Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

What is up with Blogger??

Oh well, at least this time it's letting me post SOMETHING.

It's time again for Weigh In Wednesday with Kate and Joy from Happy To Be At Home and I'm excited because (drumroll please)

I lost two pounds! Here's how my week went. It sure wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for a loss at least!

Doing fair. I'm working more on portion control and eliminating carbs later in the day. I've also figured out that it doesn't have to be perfect. In previous diets, I have blown a day and said to myself, "well, since I've already blown it...where are the cheetos? I'll go again tomorrow." This time if I slip, I don't add to the hole I've dug, I just dig myself back out the rest of the day, or the next day!

Still doing ok on the water. I'm still not able to let go of the Dr. Pepper, however.


Still haven't started exercising! Abby (my three yr old) was sick this week and I wasn't up to par either, and so I didn't get out to do any exercise.


I've won a few small battles with the craving monster. And although I haven't started exercising yet, I'm still losing!


Dr Pepper.

Plans for next week:
Try to incorporate some exercise. Keep on with water and portion control. LOTS of veggies and salads.


two pound loss

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tackling To-Do's on Tuesday

I thought I would be in town by now. I am feeling so much better, I feel like I've finally kicked this cold. There's nothing left now but just a little bit of cough and congestion (easily fixed by otc cold meds).

But wouldn't you know it? Yesterday at just about bedtime, Abigail starting throwing up. She threw up from about 8 last night until about 10:00 this morning about once an hour or so. So we spent the night in the living room with her on her princess couch (washable and I can throw it out if need be too) and staying close to the bathroom. I washed sheets and towels all night and when she finally stopped throwing up, we both slept on the big couch until about 1:00 this afternoon. So basically, I've accomplished nothing today (except for the fact there's no sick laundry to do, I did it as we went!)

I'm waiting until my husband gets home to go to town for groceries. I don't want to risk throwing up in aisle three!!

I've been doing really well with these lists as part of Tackle It Tuesday. Over the weekend I found another blog (one that participates in Tackle It as a matter of fact) that is also doing lists to tackle. She has a carnival too. So I thought I would link to both carnivals with my lists now. So go to both Crazy Adventures in Parenting and 5 Minutes for Mom to see other lists and tackles this Tuesday!

Here is my list for the week!

Daily Items
Continue daily bible study/prayer
Work on reunion items each day

Weekly Items
Grocery shopping/errands

Kitchen Prep:
make broth

muffins for lunches

breakfast sandwiches

prepare dish for neighbors (just had baby)

Garden bed preps
Photo project
Pay Bills/paperwork

Blog/Computer Work
Check Reunion email everyday
Check regular email everyday/clean out
Clean out reader everyday
Reply to comments/Comment on other's posts
Update Reunion Website

Make posts for next week:


Homeade Thursday

Frugal Friday

Cleaning List

Bathroom (get shower curtain)
Computer room and desks
Living Room
Dining Room
Everyone cleans bedroom/help Abby
Master bedroom
laundry catch up day

The way this list is set up (thanks Lisa!), I don't need to do another post to report my progress. I can edit the html as I go. See how much I'm learning by blogging!! So I will come back once per day and edit my progress on the list. Talk about accountability!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Journal

For Today... Feb 23, 2009 It's my mother's birthday! I called her first thing this morning. The kids and I sang her happy birthday over the phone (and woke her up oops lol)

Outside my window... bright sunshine, but pretty windy (it's Kansas!)

I am thinking... I have alot of catching up to do from being sick.

I am thankful for... naptime! It's 1:55 and I'm just sitting down to catch up blogging. I'm not going to town today, we'll go tomorrow instead. I had to do a little catch up today now that I'm feeling better.

From the kitchen... it's been cleaned and shining, but nothing is cooking yet.

I am wearing... striped pj pants (I'm hanging at the house today), pink tshirt and flip flops

I am reading... The Last Patriot Brad Thor

I am hoping... that I hear something from KHP this week.

I am creating... a plan for the week

I am hearing... an airplane flying over the house

Around the house... I'm trying to get things all caught up from being sick AGAIN. Seems like this cold will just not go away. I'm cleaning and trying to put things back in order.

One of my favorite things... plans...I'm a planner by nature and when things are up in the air I get a little uneasy.

A few plans for the rest of the week... today is catch up day, tomorrow town/groceries/mail reunion paperwork, Weds kitchen/office work day and make a dish for neighbors who had a baby three weeks ago. I haven't gone over there for fear of giving a cold to the baby, Thurs should be back on schedule...laundry focus, Friday bills/paperwork.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... This picture was taken about this time last year at the park in our nearby small town. It was a good day. Don't you just love the little cut outs they put up in the small child area of the city park?

To read more blog posts like this one, go visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Menu Plan Monday

It's another week. I ended up not going to Oklahoma last weekend because I couldn't shake the cold and didn't want to pass it on. So I ended up winging it over the weekend. I cannot tell you how much easier it is to make something for dinner when it's already planned out. I kept finding myself at 4-5 oclock and no idea what to fix. I'm glad I'll have a plan for this weekend!

I got a lot of chicken quarters this weekend. I had to run into Dillons for something and took a look around (looking for markdowns of course), and I found a good one on chicken quarters for .58/lb. I refuse to pay more than a dollar a pound for chicken, but this is about half that. So I picked up a few bags, took it home and processed it and bagged some for the fridge and some for the freezer. When I process chicken quarters, I just remove the skin (save for broth) and then cut the leg from the thigh (it makes it easier for eating).

Also, I've been trying to eat more vegetables and less carbs. So my husband this weekend told me that he wants to lose weight too, so I've decided to cut alot of the breadmaking out for a while. I still have to prepare regular meals for the kids...they aren't dieting, but I'm fixing salads for Jason and I instead of the rice/potatoes, etc to go with the vegetables.

Here is my menu list for the week:


Pork Steak w/mushroom gravy
potatoes grilled with onion/pepper
giant salad
(for me this means a little tiny bit of meat w/no extra sauce and lots of salad)


Cajun Seasoned
steamed veggies


or leftovers


Chicken and Noodles
green beans
big salad


hamburger pizza
(me: more salad, less pizza)

Chicken Tetrazzini
steamed broccoli
(super small tetrazzini, lots of broccoli and salad)


swiss steak
mashed potatoes
green beans
(me: no potatoes of course)

And that's the menu plan! To see other menu plans for this week, take a look at I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

I almost forgot that today is the day I post how well I did on my weight loss goals. Ha!

But for the sake of accountability, I'll go ahead and make the post anyway:

Not so good. Valentine's Day is just not the right week to start a diet. But then, I guess any week is bad when you like to eat! So next week I definately need to improve in this area.

I did really well with the water. I'm filling up a gallon jug at night and let it get icy cold in the fridge overnight and drinking it all day long. I'm drinking LOTS of water!


Enough said. I will try to actually get some exercise in next week.

The water. I'm doing really well with water.

I really craved sweets this week (which usually isn't my's usually starches I go for). I had a hard time staying away from the Dr. Pepper and kept sneaking it in throughout the week. I need to watch that more.

Plans for next week:
Concentrate on more veggies and salads
Stay away from the sweets!
Stay away from the Dr. Pepper.
Try to exercise (shouldn't be a problem if we get good weather...I've got the gardening bug and that can be a workout!)

I gained 1 pound this week.

**This post is part of Happy To Be At Home's Weigh-In Wednesday. Even though I can't get Mr. Linky to work over there! haha

Reunion Progress

Warner Class of 1989, Reunion Update

I'm aware that alot of the people I graduated high school with have started reading my blog. So I thought I would post a progress report on how the reunion organizing is going.

We are about to have our 20 year high school reunion and last month (Jan 09) we decided to get things going.

My goal was to have all our classmates located by the end of February. We are 63% finished.

We have a short list of people we still haven't found and we have a short list of people that we know we have good information on that haven't replied to us for one reason or another. In one case I keep getting the answering machine (still recognize the voice!) and another I have on Facebook and while he keeps logging in and adding friends that I've suggested, he's not answering my message about the reunion. So there are some like those.

So the next issue was to get a website up to keep everyone informed about reunion progress, etc. That item is finished. I made one tonight.

The next item is to have surveys and biographies ready to go when we get the last of the names on the list found. I have not started on this project yet, but hope to have it completed by the end of next week. The survey will be regarding the actual reunion. Do people think they will attend, why or why not. Questions for feedback about what types of activities they are interested in. What type of functions they would attend (family, dinner, cocktails, etc) The biography will just be a questionaire, to see what they've been doing since graduation. I'm hoping that if I get all of those back, even if some don't attend we will have updated information on what they are doing now.

After we have a feel for how many are attending, we can begin to start choosing the venues. Finding where, and when and creating a realistic budget will be a challenging phase and then the next phase is getting the actual invitations out complete with RSVP. I'm thinking the website will be very helpful in this respect. People can just click a mouse instead of sending mail...much easier.

Then I'll have to work on decorations, entertainment, food, coordinating welcomes of the alumni (nametags, guestbooks), memorial table, accomodations for those who'll be coming in from out of town, childcare or family activity information to make available to the same. I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it right now.

If you're from Warner High School, leave a comment for me and let me know what you think of the reunion plans. Are you excited about how things are coming together or are you dreading the reunion? I'd love to hear what you have to say, so drop me a line or two and let me know that you were here!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I'm late getting this out since it's technically Wednesday (but I'm going to cheat and date it yesterday!)

I'm sick AGAIN. Just when I thought we'd kicked this junk out the door, last night I had a little sore throat, today I can't walk to the kitchen without coughing so hard I can't breath. My throat is killing me, my lungs are full of gunk. It's nasty. I hope you and your family don't get it because we are having a heck of a time getting rid of it. And this time it's come on FAST. (Maybe because it was never really gone??) I have cleaned like a crazy person, washed everyone's sheets, changed our toothbrushes...I don't know what else to do. But I hope we get rid of it quick, I have too much to do to sit around and be sick.'s my list of to-do's this week.

  • Work on reunion to-do list a little each day
  • Continue with bible study
  • Do better with diet. I have done a terrible job this week and I have to account for it tomorrow...oh well.
  • Work on photo project at least two days out of the's not going to get done by itself
  • catch up on laundry (again), I don't dislike laundry, in fact I kind of like to do laundry, so I can't understand why it piles up so fast!!
  • Get out and get that front and south garden bed cleaned up and ready to's almost garden time.
  • make sure all the garden supplies are ready to go (I have all my seed as of this past Monday!)
  • Plant first seeds on Feb 22!
If you want to see what other people are busy with around the blogosphere, go visit 5 minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Garden Planning

I finished planning my garden this week. So I thought I would tell you about it.

My vegetable 16x40 and I make the rows the short way.

Here is the list of how I have the garden plotted out:

(last year I had corn and it didn't turn out very I'm replacing that end)
I will direct seed the sunflowers in the ground around May 1st.

2 ft path

Cucumbers. About 5 plants should fit in this row. I'm going to try two regular cucumber plants and three pickling plants. I will start the seed inside around April 10 and move to the garden May 10. The cucumbers of course are climbers so in this row Jason and I will put up fence post and string wire or maybe just a good strong string for them to climb on.

2 ft path

Peas Direct seeded into the garden Apr 5-12 (the earliest I can get the soil ready). These are also climbers so will need the fencepost/wire. This crop is short lived so when the peas have all been harvested, I will remove the peas and replace them with okra.

Okra These seeds I will start inside on Apr 19 (right after I've planted the peas). They will move to the garden as the peas finish off somewhere around the end of May. These are also climbers. I have the option of replanting after harvest again with peas if we need to. I'll decide what to do from how each yields.

2ft path

Crookneck Squash (yellow summer squash) 4-5 plants can fit in a row. Last year I only planted half a row of this and the other half row zucchini and wished that I'd done a row of each (you can cut it up and freeze). We love this stuff and since I'm taking the three rows of corn out this year I have the room. I will plant the seed directly into the garden May 3rd. This is also a climber so will need fencepost/wire to climb.

2ft path

Peppers I can fit about 8 pepper plants into a row. I am planning on three big green bells, four colored peppers and one banana pepper plant. My pepper seeds I will start inside in March. They'll move to the garden around May 24th.

2 ft path

Zucchini 5 plants can fit in the row. They are direct seeded on May 3rd. They will also need the fencepost/wire.

2ft path

Bush Beans We eat ALOT of green beans. I will plant two rows right together (I can get to them from each side) as many as can fit in the row. I sow direct seed on May 3rd and then I'll thin the rows a bit as they come in. This method last year made about 30 plants and we used every bit of it. I was tempted to do another two rows this way, but then I might have trouble keeping up with it.

2 ft path

Broccoli One row will be about five plants. I am going to put one Eggplant plant on the end of the row just to try it. I've never grown eggplant before. The broccoli seed I will start inside on Mar 22 and it can go in the garden on Apr 19. The eggplant seed can be started inside Mar 29 and can move to the garden on May 17.

3 ft path

This is a row of melons/gourds
3 hills of Watermelons Started directly in soil May 10th.
3 Cantaloupe Sprouted on papertowel Apr 19 and planted into garden May 10th.
3 hills of Pumpkins Started directly in soil May 10th
I've never tried climbing these plants but I've been reading alot of information that says it can be done. I'm going to try it this year (and I gave an extra foot in either direction in case it doesn't work and they have to grow on the ground

3 ft path

Now my salad row
This will be a scattering of lettuce, then about 4 cabbages, then spinich, then 4 more cabbages, then more spinich, then 4 more cabbages and then room for more spinich.

This is a double row and the way I try to do it is scattering the plantings so that one part of each section of the row is being planted while another is being harvested. I do many varieties of each if I can. Lettuce and spinich can be started from seed inside Mar 22 and into the garden Apr 19. Cabbage 1st March/5th April

2 ft path

Tomatoes I have room for 7 tomato plants in a row. I try to do several varieties, some cherry tomatoes, big slicing variety and Burpee has a long keeping variety that is supposed to keep 6-12 weeks. I thought it might be worth a try to get some of that variety and try it (I can always can them if they start to go bad). These seeds are planted inside Mar22-Apr 5 and moved to the garden May 17th.

I'm planting marigolds all around my tomatoes too. For color and beauty and because it helps them to grow better. Some of the research suggests that it's a natural repellant for tomato pests and brings in the beneficial pollinators. Start seed inside Mar 14 and move to garden May 10th.

2 ft path

Onion sets
bunching onions

These I'll start inside Feb 22nd and move to the garden Apr 12.

That's the vegetable garden.

A couple of other things I'm trying this year. Instead of taking room in the garden for potatoes, I'm trying to grow them in a large trash barrel. You start the eyes in the trash barrel, just covered with dirt. When they grow up 10-12 in then you cover them back up with dirt or straw. Continue until time for harvest and you should have an entire barrel full of potatoes. I can't wait to see how it works out.

Kind of the same way, I'm doing my carrots in an empty bucket (or two).

I'm planting some leeks in my front flower beds. I thought they would be interesting vegetation and we can harvest them for eating! I'll start seeds inside 22nd of this month and can move them to my flower beds on Apr 12.

I'm also planting blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in my side front (south facing) flower beds along my house. I'm very interested in edible landscaping so I thought I would use this area where I put annuals last year. I do have some lilies there that I will need to transplant but I've found a place for them to go.

I'm also doing several containers for my front porch/entryway that I'll be starting from seed

begonia I haven't picked these seeds up yet, so unsure of my starting dates on this one.
impatiens Can start seeds inside Feb 22nd. These can go on porch after last frost (can always bring them back in if we need to)
petunia Can start seeds inside Feb 22nd
zinnias Can start seeds inside March 8th.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Journal

For Today... Feb 16, 2009

Outside my window... the day is still cold but should warm up some and be sunny.

I am thinking... about my to-do list this week.

I am thankful for... my family, my home, and all my blessings

From the kitchen... nothing much going on in there until later

I am wearing... pink Eagles tshirt and jeans

I am reading... Power to the People (Laura Ingraham)

I am hoping... to find some bargains while out shopping today.

I am creating... places to start my seeds for spring planting!

I am hearing... quiet

Around the house... I have some laundry to do but I haven't started yet. Then we need to go to town and pick up a few groceries.

One of my favorite things... A clean, organized and well decorated room...even if it's only temporary!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Work on reunion contacts (I'm organizing my 20 yr high school reunion). Work more on the photo project (getting both reunion pictures and our family pictures in some kind of order). Check back tomorrow and I'll have a todo list up. I also hope that I have a day or two warm and nice enough to work in the garden beds to get them cleaned up and ready to work in this spring (I was sick on the nice days the last couple of weeks!)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... Doesn't that make you ready for spring?

For more entries like this, go see the Simple Woman's Daybook blog.

Menu Plan Monday

It's time for a new menu plan!

I'm recycling two from last week that we didn't use (Valentines Day) and only going through Thursday because since there's no school on Friday, I thought we could go visit family in Oklahoma next weekend.

Here goes:


Cowgirl Beans
corn on the cob
Texas Toast


Meatball Subs


Chicken & Dumplings
green beans
potato bread


leftovers or breakfast
(something fast and easy to finish packing and leave at 6:00 am Friday)

Make sure that I leave plenty of fend for yourself items for Jason who will be staying home since he has to work on Friday.

Don't forget to take a look at I'm An Organizing Junkie for more mealplan ideas!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


We still had some sickness this week, though since it wasn't mine I still accomplished my list. I didn't get one single EXTRA thing in though. The laundry enough was enough to keep me busy.

Hopefully next week will be back to normal. As I speak, everyone is feeling better and I think we've kicked the flu to the curb. Knock wood!

Here's my list again...all items accomplished:

  • Keep after the bible study program and intensity of prayer
  • Organize the file cabinet (I do have one more item to finish this. I need to buy a few new hanging folders, but I can pick those up this week when I go to town and finishing will be a five minute job)
  • Get tax stuff together and take to accountant
  • Continue working on photo project (this will probably take MANY weeks, the goal is to work towards the finish line a bit at a time)
  • Garden planned out (need to start indoor seeds next month)
Jason and I are talking about turning half of my garden shed into a chicken coop. There is an unused part of the yard behind the shed. It is too narrow to use for anything and it is completely closed off from the rest of the yard. The tool/garden shed also has a great deal of wasted space. It is two rooms and fairly large. So our idea is to take one of the rooms and completely close it off, make a small door (for access to the yard behind the shed), fence the yard behind the shed completely to keep chickens in and to keep predators out, and make the shelving in the room into chicken bedding/laying areas.

The tools in this area of the shed can be easily moved to the remaining room (where the mowers go) and this building, while weather-tight, has a dirt floor which will be good for chicken scratching.

So I've spent a great deal of time this week researching backyard chickens on the web. I had a small coop when I was a girl, and those of you who know me know that I ran a commercial breeder house (where I gathered the eggs that hatch into the broiler chickens that you buy in the grocery store) for two years. That experience taught me alot about chickens, but you know me, I like to know more still.

A backyard operation is very different from a commercial operation and my experience with the coop as a child was...well, as a child. I've really enjoyed reading all the info about different breeds, costs, nutrition, different applications of the backyard coop, etc. I've found that just about any question you can think of can be answered if you know where to search.

I believe that about 10 chickens will give us all the eggs we can eat (that's counting everyone being here) and enough to share with my in-laws. If I add another 5-10 that would be enough to make enough eggs to sell to pay for the feed and care of the hens. From what I'm reading, I think I will plan (at least this year) on only keeping hens. I may add a rooster later if we decide to let them breed. Since what I'm reading says most chicks are sold in groups of 25, I think that's what I'll get. 10 for us, 10 for eggs to cover costs, and 5 to cover any loss from predators, etc. We might even make a little bit of money selling eggs this way. Not alot, but enough to put towards debt and get us to Baby Step 3 that much faster!

Every way I figure it, the cost is minimal since we are making use of an existing structure and the benefits are plentiful. The kids (especially Abby) will love it. I have allergies to dogs and cats, so we aren't able to have pets. I think this would be a great teaching opportunity for the kids, agriculturally, teaching responsibility, and ag economics as well, for the older kids. And it could be really fun!! Since they are going on the back of a structure that is basically hidden from view, they won't be an eyesore when we are sitting in the backyard but can be accessed easily if we choose to see them too.

So what do you think? Do you have any experience with backyard chickens? What breeds do you think are best? Please share with me in the comments any experience you've had or something you'd like to share about raising chickens in your backyard.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weigh In Wednesday

Some of the blogs I read are participating in something called a Weigh in Wednesday over at Happy to Be at Home. Every Wednesday, people in Bloggy land that choose to participate in this carnival discuss any weight loss they have accrued and how they have done for the week in a number of areas.

I've decided to start this today and will report back next week. I will share everything except for the NUMBERS of my weigh in. I've noticed in this carnival that some do that and some don't so it appears to be optional. I choose opting out!

Posting goals publicly on my blog really reinforces my accountability. I seem to follow through better and feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when I fill out that "ta-da entry" that states my follow through. So hopefully this will be the case with this challenge as well. We'll see how I do each week and I will post back here next Wednesday to be accountable for any missteps or to cheer for victories! Wish me luck.

Next week I will discuss how I handled food choices. Some people are doing low carb, others are counting calories. I think to start I will choose to eat only what will go on a child-sized plate and choose predominately salads and vegetables.

I need to increase my water intake.

I hate exercise. I'm going to shoot for exercise of some kind three times a week and then try to build from there.

I'll let you know! Consistency I know will be my main challenge, so I'm hoping this accountability will help with that.

If only!

Plans for Next Week
Cut out all Dr Pepper (even diet), switch to water and I will allow myself tea if I need to fill a craving. That's a better choice than Dr Pepper.

Weigh In
Ok, I have my number...but I'm not telling you! haha

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tackling Catching Up After Being Sick

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My To-Do List was left unfinished last week because midweek I got the flu. I've been sick really up until today when I've been able to catch up a little bit. I still have a laundry list of things I need to accomplish to get back on track though. Here's my list to be checked off as Ta-Da's on Saturday:

  • Keep after the bible study program and intensity of prayer
  • Organize the file cabinet (I got started on that a little last night, purge done, need to finish)
  • Get tax stuff together and take to accountant (I got it all together but haven't made the trip to town since being ill)
  • Continue working on photo project (this will probably take MANY weeks, the goal is to work towards the finish line a bit at a time)
  • Garden planned out (need to start indoor seeds next month)
  • Blog work (got the plan last week, but didn't write while ill...need to develop that a bit more)
Another thing happened last week. Some of my high school friends and I realized it's time to organize the 20th High School Reunion. We were the class officers so we need to try to find all our classmates, plan activities, organize lodging options and venues for activities and send out invitations in time to do a reunion before this summer is over. So each week I will be making reunion goals for my to-do list as well.

Wish me luck working on my goals this week. What goals are you working on this week? You can see what other people are doing, and let people know what you are up to too, by checking out 5 Minutes For Mom and her blog carnival Tackle it Tuesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

So I got sick with the flu on Thursday and I've been sick in my bed since Saturday night. That's why I haven't posted my menu before now. I'm STARTING to feel better tonight, so I'm attempting to clean up some of this mess and catch up the laundry tonight before bed (it's baaaad since I've been basically bedridden and made it fend for yourself over the weekend).

But here's the menu for the rest of the week, so I can at least feel like I'm getting a grip on things again:


The Chicken Pot Pie I didn't make last week
Oatmeal Bread


Lasagna (from my freezer)
Green Beans
leftover bread from night before


Chicken Tetrazzini
beans and potatoes (some of that free Green Giant frozen veggies I got two weeks ago)
freezer rolls


Pizza (I don't know yet if it will be hamburger or pepperoni, I have both)


Cowgirl Beans
Corn on the Cob
Texas toast


Meatball Subs

Ahhhh, I feel more organized already. I'm telling you what, if you don't plan your meals, you don't know what you're missing. It's just the most simple and easy way to get a little organization to your life. If you need a little more inspiration for your mealplan, check out Menu Plan Monday over at I'm An Organizing Junkie.


I haven't updated my To-Do's into Ta-Da's yet because I am down with the Flu. YUCK!!

For the last two days I've been pretty much flat on my back unable to move without starting a terrible coughing episode. I'm feeling a little better today and looking around at my laundry and kitchen wondering how I'll catch back up. Makes a girl just want to go back to bed.

Well, I didn't finish my list last week, for the same excuse. I got sick. But here it is anyway, for accountability sake.

New Bible Study Program daily (I did get this one done! I missed church Sunday, but I still read my bible.)
  • Organize File Cabinet (this is a big job, I'm redoing the whole system)
  • Get tax stuff together to take to accountant next Monday
Continue working on photo project
  • Get garden plotted out
Blog planning and posting list

Bake and Decorate Evelyn's cake

call school regarding some paperwork needed

freezer inventory update and reorganization

So I will obviously move those three items I didn't get done (and the photo project I didn't FINISH) to this week's list.

Doesn't feel like much of a great finish, but it sure beats nothing!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How I Clean The Bathroom WITHOUT Help

I have a little helper.

Whatever I'm doing, she's doing. If I'm washing dishes, she's up to her shoulders in dishwater "helping". If I'm vacuuming the living room, she's holding the cord and dancing around the furniture. If I'm dusting, I'd better know that she gets a dustcloth too and she will polish anything that will hold still.

I have one room where I don't let her help me. The bathroom.

It's the one room where I use actual cleaners and I don't want any of that getting on her skin. I don't want to encourage her to put anything into the toilet, or use the least not before kindergarten! So I have a system. I clean the whole house and let her help me, EXCEPT the bathroom. For the bathroom I wait until she is taking a bath.

She "cleans" the tub with her bubbles while I clean the mirrors, sink, toilet, empty the trash and mop the floor. Many times I can even get some organizing in while she's in there cleaning herself, her toys and the sides of the tub. Then when she's finished, we pick up the toys, drain the water and after I get her dried and dressed I can comet out the tub real quick while any hard water spots are still soft from her soak.

I know it's a simple solution, but it sure works for me.

Then, after the house is clean, we can both dance.

For more Works For Me ideas, visit Rocks In My Dryer for The Works for Me Wednesday Carnival.

Five Tips for the Beginning Cook

When we first learn to cook we make LOTS of mistakes and we learn as we go. When Kelly from Kelly the Kitchen Kop said she wanted posts relating to "Rookie Tips", I knew just exactly what I wanted to share with the budding chefs that might be reading.

  1. When starting a new recipe, follow it verbatim the FIRST time. The second time you try it, play with it and tweek it for your family.
  2. Make notes in the recipe. So you will remember what worked and what didn't work. That way when you try the recipe again you will remember "oh yes, that needed a little more spices" or "Those cookies only need to bake 10 minutes, not 17 like the recipe states"
  3. When baking, be precise with your measurements. When you are not baking however, don't be afraid to put in a little of this and a little of that. I rarely measure in regular cooking. Your palm makes a great place to measure (to eyeball) about a teaspoon or a tablespoon here and there.
  4. Clean as you go. Such a simple thing, but I find that if I start a pan of soapy water when I begin cooking that I can clean as I go and I don't have a huge mess to clean up at the end of my cooking session. While it seems like a simple thing, lots of people are repelled from cooking because they don't want to deal with the mess. If you clean as you go, then when the cooking is done, so is the majority of the cleaning.
  5. Don't be intimidated. Do you think Julia Childs, Paula Deen, or even Martha Stewart started off the cooks that they are now? Do you believe they have never made a mistake in the kitchen? To become really good at something, or even just to truly enjoy it you shouldn't be limited by fear. Don't be afraid to try something you've never done before or branch out to a new style of cooking. If you just get in there and try you'll improve your skills and also find a new joy in feeding your family.
For more kitchen tips about Real Food, swing by to see Kelly the Kitchen Kop for Real Food Wednesdays.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

End of January Accountability

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is making an accountability post at the end of each month to see how she is staying (or not staying) on track for her yearly goals. I thought I would join in and keep myself a running update this year as well.

My ultimate focus this year is frugality.

Frugality in Spending

Learning to use coupons to save money and stockpile bargains to stretch a smaller budget

I did really well with this one this month. I was spending alot of time trying to learn how to work this system the way the "coupon queens" do at first, but by the end of the month I'm figuring out how to find the deals fast and that you don't have to catch EVERY deal that comes down the road.

In addition to getting more for my money, I want to spend less this year.

I can do better in this area. I'm by no means doing poorly, but there is room for improvement. Learning to coupon has helped me get more for my money, but in February I'm going to concentrate more on staying on budget than getting "the deal".

We still haven't eaten out or done take out (other than McDonalds for Abby on shopping days)

WooHooo!! 1/1 on this one!

Frugality with "Stuff"

Declutter and Organize our home.

I want our home to be a place of comfort and warmth, so I'm decluttering room by room and getting rid of things that we don't use or don't love...and not bringing IN anything that doesn't meet that criteria as well.

I need organization to stay sane. So I'm also organizing the house, room by room as I go.

So far so good...January I got alot done but I still need to finish up several things and I'm just taking it week by week until I've accomplished all the tasks I have set before me.

Frugality with Food

Eat less...move more. I've GOT to take this weight off. I didn't make a goal lose x amount of pounds this year, but I want a healthier lifestyle and I'm making sure that the quality
and quantity of food fits the frugal choices I'm hoping to make this year.

If you want to see other's updates, or you want to join in yourself, go visit Crystal at Biblical Womanhood

Monday, February 2, 2009

From To-Do to Ta-Da

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Well I have alot of goals to accomplish this week. What I have decided to do for Tackle It Tuesday's from now on is list my goals for the WEEK, and try to accomplish as many as possible on Tuesday, and on Saturday I will report back with whether I finished up or not with my list for the week on Ta-Da Saturday (my own thing, not a carnival). So To-Do's on Tuesday...Ta-Da's on Saturday.

I will update the list throughout the day with red check marks, for the things I have accomplished today.

  • New Bible Study Program daily (3/7 days done!)
  • Organize File Cabinet (this is a big job, I'm redoing the whole system)
  • Get tax stuff together to take to accountant next Monday
  • Continue working on photo project
  • Get garden plotted out
  • Blog planning and posting list
  • Bake and Decorate Evelyn's cake
  • call school regarding some paperwork needed
  • freezer inventory update and reorganization
updated 4:12 pm Tue-accomplished the checked items. I will hopefully have the remainder finished by Saturday!
For Today Feb 2nd, 2009

Outside my window... It is 30 degrees, but clear and sunny. I hope it warms up today.
I am thinking... about goals and ambitions that I have and want vs what God's will is and hoping the two will match up.
I am thankful for... the fact that winter is almost over...spring is just around the corner!
From the kitchen... chicken and stock ingredients are cooking in the crockpot.
I am wearing... grey TPD tshirt that's a hundred years old and blue capri pants...but I'm about to change clothes for town.
I am going... To town to go shopping. We are running a little late today,but I guess there's no hurry.
I am reading... Still reading the Complete Tightwad Gazette like last week.
I am hoping... That I get everything on my to-do list for today done.
I am creating... I am baking a birthday cake for my mother in law this week...and decorating it. That's the hard part. I bake terrific TASTING cakes, but I'm not crafty like alot of people so this cake may look pretty sad, but I'm gonna give it a try.
I am hearing... the washer run and the hiss from the stove (heating stove, not cooking).
Around the house... Abby is playing quietly right now. We're going to town later.
One of my favorite things... finding a good bargain and FREE groceries on shopping day!!
A few plans for the rest of the week... There are tons of plans. I have a pretty hefty to do list this week. Check back tomorrow and I'll list it all.
A picture thought I am sharing with you... This is a picture of all four of the older kids from last summer. I took them to World's of Fun as payment for helping me through the summer. We had a great time and I think we'll do something similar this summer.

I know these posts with the questions are simple. But I love to make them and I like to read other's posts like them. If you do too, check out The Simple Womans Daybook and see what other woman are doing today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

For the month of February, I am trying to eat out of my freezer and pantry and ONLY purchasing great deals. We'll see how far in the month I can get. It will be a fun experiment and even if I don't make it the whole month, at least I will be gaining some room in the freezer and pantry for all the yummy vegetables that I will get from my garden this summer!!

This week:


Chicken Cheese and Rice Casserole
5 minute Bread


Salisbury Steak
grilled potatoes with onions/peppers
Potato Bread


Chicken Pot Pie


Spanish Rice


Pepperoni Pizza


I'm cooking for my mother-in-law's birthday at her house but my sister-in-law and I are bringing all the food and cleaning it all up.

I'm bringing/cooking:
Creamed can
hot dog buns
making a strawberry cake with white icing (pink flowers and green foliage and writing)

my sister in law is bringing:
salad or relish tray
ice cream

Breakfast for Dinner

What are you making for dinner this week? If you need a little more inspiration, head on over to OrgJunkie's site and take a look at what other people in the blogosphere are having for dinner.

Great Website for Bible Study

I have read the bible three times all the way through on purpose. I'm sure that the bits and pieces I've read in other study methods have maybe given me another time or two as well. However, I have never read the bible in chronological order and I have only read two versions of the bible (King James version and American Standard). I just found a website though that I'm very excited about.

At you can choose from several bible reading plans to read the bible in one year right on your computer monitor. You can choose both the version of the bible you would like to read (from a list of several versions), and you can choose the type of "year" you would like to accomplish. The types of year arrangements vary from beginning to end, to when history has dated the books to have been written, to the chronology of the subject matter dealt with and there are many other choices too.

I have chosen to do a chronological year. The best part about this site, is being able to compare and contrast the different versions of the bible. For example, if I read in the King James version the days material, I can switch back and forth to look at Young's Literal Translation to see exactly how the language translates VERBATIM and I can look at any one of the 19 versions they have available if those two don't suit my needs or questions about the verses. English isn't the only language available to read either. They have every living language I can think of, and latin too.

I'm really excited about this website and study plan. If you want to join me in this study, please leave a comment or send me a message and we can encourage each other!