Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weekly Glimpse

I am not doing too hot in doing a weekly glimpse!! LOL There has been sooo much going on lately!!! Even this week, there is a lot to talk about in this weekly glimpse!!!

This was our first week of summer vacation and I hope that it isn’t going to continue this way for the next 8 weeks!! I hope that I can get a breather before the 8 weeks is up! LOL

Starting on Sunday and for the next 2 weeks, I am the 3’s & 4’s Sunday evening church teacher! Thankfully I only had 7 kids and a helper on Sunday because it was a mad house! I love teaching this age when they actually want to sit and pay attention even if it is just a little bit! The kids were more interested in playing than they were listening to any kind of story that I had for them. So for this week, I think I am going to change my plan of attack!

Monday morning/Memorial Day, my family got up at 6am and got ourselves ready to leave to head to the meeting place for a Memorial Day parade! My family walked with about 200 other people from our church along with our church’s float in a local town’s Memorial Day parade! We had storms overnight (Sunday into Monday) so we were praying for clear skies. Our prayers were answered!! We had clear, sunny skies for the whole parade! My younger ones (4yo and 18mo) rode in the wagon or stroller but my older 3 boys walked the full 2 miles of the parade route. Needless to say, they were tired when we were done! We get to do the same thing in a different local town’s 4th of July parade with our church!

Tuesday I had a hearing test in the morning. I have been experiencing asymmetrical tinnitus in my right ear, so I thought with family history that it would be best to get it checked out. My test came back normal, so now it is on to an ENT doctor to see if there is anything actually wrong with the nerves or bones in the ear.

Also on Tuesday, my MIL came for a 4 day visit! We had a very good visit! I was able to get my weekly shopping done while she kept up with the kids. Also hubby and I were able to get away for 24 hours of rest, relaxation, and “couple time” while she stayed with the kids.

Thursday morning, I was scheduled to have a baseline mammogram done and got to the lab to find out that I couldn’t have the test done because 6 months time has not passed since I stopped nursing. So I have to reschedule the appointment for later this summer!

Friday was Family Day! We spent the afternoon here! If you have boys and are in the area…it is a must see! Make sure you have your pocketbook with you because admission is not cheap! It worked best for us to get a family membership than to pay for just a day’s visit. I know that my guys will enjoy returning again!

Saturday/Today was supposed to be catch-up day!! Catch-up on house cleaning! Catch-up on laundry! Catch-up on flower planting! Catch-up on getting loose ends tied up from having a new concrete driveway poured last week!! Instead, I ended up spending 2 ½ hours in the ER with my 18mo ds! I was just finishing getting myself ready for the day in the bathroom. I had the bottom big drawer of our bath vanity open. All of a sudden, he is at the bathroom door and opening it. He loses his balance or something and literally falls into the bathroom when the door opened and face first onto the corner of the vanity drawer that I had opened at the time! So now, he has 2 stitches on his face between his two eyebrows.

So like I said…I hope that this week is not a sample of the weeks to come or I will be one VERY busy momma!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip ---$119.42

After 3 weeks of eating mostly out of my pantry and freezer, I actually had to get meat this week. My totals are a little higher than I wanted them to be because of having my MIL here for 4 1/2 days and needing meat but it was manageable. I should be able to squeak out more than just one week's worth of food!

Here is what I purchased this week(sorry no pics--my MIL is in town so I had help putting away!)

Meijer Shopping Trip....(I picked up several of the deals that I listed!)

  • 3 loaves Aunt Millies Bread $3.19(2 loaves free)
  • 4.79lbs Whole Porkloin $9.06
  • Meijer Seasoned Salt $1.33
  • 6 boxes Kraft Mac & Cheese $2.97
  • 2-50oz Meijer Applesauce $3.00
  • 1 Cantaloupe $2.00
  • 6 cans Meijer green beans $2.40
  • 6 cans Meijer green peas $2.40
  • 2 pkgs English Muffins $2.50
  • 4 lbs Quick Frozen Tilapia $11.98 minus 2-$2.00 Meijer Mealbox coupons = $7.98 (2lbs free)
  • 4 tubes Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls $6.00
  • 4 bags Meijer Hashbrowns $8.00 minus 4-$1.00 Meijer Mealbox coupons = $4.00
  • 2 boxes Toaster Strudel $3.60 minus 2-55 cents coupons = $2.50
  • 2 Tombstone pizzas $6.66
  • 2 Yoplait Yogurt Kids Drink Smoothies $4.00 minus $1.00/2 coupon = $3.00
  • 2-4lb bags Quick Frozen Boneless/Skinless Chicken Tenders $14.98(1 bag free)

Total: $73.97
Savings Total: $63.42

My MISTAKE @ Meijer....Not giving the cashier my Catalina coupon for $5 off/$75 purchase BEFORE giving her my coupons!!!! UGH! I have been kicking myself for the last THREE days about this goof! She wouldn't take it after my coupons because my total was under the $75.00!!! UGH! Lesson learned to look at total BEFORE I hand over my coupons!!!!

Family Fare trip...
  • approxiamately 14lbs of 91% lean Ground beef markdown by 30% $28.76
  • approxiamately 2lbs breakfast steaks markdown by 30% $2.58
  • 2lbs baby carrots $2.00
  • 3 bottles Old Orchard Juice $2.67
  • 2.57lbs bananas $1.52
  • 12lbs potatoes $4.00

Total: $41.53

**The reason for the markdown ground beef is the butcher ground too much the day before I just so happened to be in the store over at the meat case while they were marking it down! Score for me!!!

Save A Lot trip

  • 6 cans cream of chicken soup $3.92

Total: $3.92

GRAND TOTAL: $119.42

Savings Total: LOTS!!! It is hard to figure out exactly how much exactly with getting the markdown ground beef. Needless to say, you can see now why my total was higher than I expected!

To read about other's savings, head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings and BecentsAble's Centsable Shopper Show N Tell!!!

Under $1/plate Meal

This week for Frugal Friday, Crystal is talking about keeping it simple to save time, energy, and money. One of the things she does is do simple meals! I can relate to this!!! I do simple meals alot for my family. I think doing simple meals not only saves time in the kitchen but makes it easier to take leftovers to make into new meals.

This past week for dinner, I ended up having 3 extra kids at my house for dinner! On my weekly menu plan, I saw that I was going to be doing one of my eight ways to fix chicken--Creamy Chicken! I was hesitant to fix the meal thinking it would not be something that was very frugal or ending up not allowing me any extras/leftovers for another meal. I went ahead and fixed it because nothing else that I had was going to work very well either.

While I was fixing it, I began to wonder if I was really fixing something frugal or if I was making an extravagant meal that in the end would be a budget buster for me. To my amazement, it was a very frugal meat & starch meal!!

Here is the recipe/meal that I made....

Creamy Chicken
4lbs boneless/skinless chicken, diced and cooked ($8)
3 cans cream of chicken soup($1.47)
poultry seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder
Mix altogether, season to taste.
(I get my spices in bulk so just for cost value for this recipe, I am going to say that ALL the spices costs me just 10 cents and that is probably a little generous!)

Served over cooked wide egg noodles--used a pound (99 cents)

Served with 2 cans of green peas($1.30)

I had 10 people eating, 2 of which had a second small serving, plus I got 2 single servings for hubby's lunch. Grand total of servings was 13(because the two small servings would have been equivalent to one regular serving). Grand total price for the whole meal...$11.86!!!! Which means each plate cost me 91 cents!

So there you have a simple, filling, and frugal meal!!!

For other frugal tips and ideas, head over to Crystal's blog--Biblical Womanhood

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday--Computer Time

How does one keep up with everything around the house, plus home schooling kids plus taking care of little ones plus spend time on the computer blogging, or chatting on message boards or just surfing??

In this high-tech world, it really can be hard to control the amount of time that one sits in front of the computer or even the television for that matter. I really think that it comes down to setting boundaries or goals and then having the self-discipline to carry them out. I think too that as parents we need to be good examples to our children in every part of our life(including the amount of computer time we do on a daily basis).

It really is hard to be disciplined in this area of my life when I am married to a "computer guru", who has successfully put together enough computers for each of the older four kids to have their own computer and also for me to have my own. Then dh has several that he uses most of them are for work purposes. You also add to the mix that I use the educational resources on the internet to provide the majority of the curriculum for the schooling my kids. And that I also use the computer to stay up to date with education reforms(like reading on the No Child Left Behind Act) and other educational insights/aspects. You also add into the mix that we have more computers in the house(at current we have 8, sometimes that number goes to 12) than what we have cars! It really makes my household seem that our life revolves around the computers! Anyone want to take over my electric bill!?! LOL

I have tried all different types of things to regulate my time on the computer. I have tried the "setting the timer" routine, only to ignore the timer and continue on surfing. I have tried "fasting" from the computer for several days only to find that when the time was over I was back on computer for even more time than I was before the "fast". I have tried not going downstairs to the office for the whole day til my work is done only to find that I end up staying up way too late surfing and then lack sleep. Needless to say, I really have worked and thought hard to get this area of my life organized and under control to a managable level.

So what I have found to work the best for me is to do my computer time similiar to how I exercise during the day.....Do 15 minutes of exercise...Do 15 minutes of computer time. In a day's time, I try to do a total of 45 minutes of exercise. So usually within the day I end up with also 45 minutes(sometimes 1 hour) of "fun" computer time. You are probably thinking only 15 minutes at a time!! WOW! she is really disciplined! LOL I am working at making this system a habit! I have found that this system really only works the best during the week when dh is at work and I am home with the kids. How I usually do my time is while the kids are eating breakfast, I will check my email and make sure that I have everything I need for the day's school work. In the afternoon, the kids have a quiet time where the little ones are napping and the older ones are reading. During that time, I will take 15 minutes to check the two message boards that I frequent or write a quick blog post. In the evening, after dinner and it is wind down time for everyone, I will take the time to read other's blogs. Now that I have added a blog of my own to the mix, I will sit down in the afternoon while the kids are finishing up their school work on their own to work on my blog. I never would have imagined that having a blog would be so educational for me!

Also, I have one day were I focus on office type duties(pay bills, do lesson plans, filing papers, etc) and usually that means that I am on the computer more than any other day of the week!

As for the kids and their time on the computer, dh and I have set rules for them. The main rule is they get one hour of computer game time a day. This only happens when they are done with their schoolwork and responsibilities for the day. The time they spend on the computer for school work does not count towards their one hour of game time. My boys love to play the multi-player type games with their dad so usually on the weekends they end up with more game time on the computer than what they do during the week. However, should there need to be a consequence handed out for bad behavior or a unrespectful attitude, computer game time is the first thing that is lost.

This is what works for me! To read about what works for others head over to Shannon's blog--Rocks in My Dryer

Weblink Wednesday--Summer Olympics

With the Summer Olympics coming in August, I have been doing some research so that we can do a unit study. The following sites are some that I have found for us to use in our study! I thought I would share them just in case someone else was thinking on doing an Olympic study. :)

Official Site of Beijing's Summer Olympics

Great Britain's Summer Olympic Team's Website

USA Summer Olympic Team's Website

Summer Olympics Unit Study

Summer Olympics Lapbook (Thanks Terri Sue!)

For other weblinks, head over to Val's blog Homeschooling with Encouragement!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meijer Deals 5/25-5/31

Meijer has several good deals this week...enough of them that I think I will doing most, if not all, my shopping there!

  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Tenders B1($14.98)G1FREE

  • Boneless Half Pork Loin $1.89/lb

  • Pick of the Chic 99 cents/lb

  • Cooks Ham Shank Portions 89 cents/lb

  • Oscar Mayer Wieners B1G1

  • Meijer Tilapia Fillets B2G2 $2/1 Mealbox coupon

  • Strawberries--2lbs $2.99

  • Cantaloupe 2/$4

  • Meijer Frozen Blended Veggies 5/$5 50 cents/1 Mealbox coupon

  • Meijer Frozen Potatoes 3/$6 $1/1 Mealbox coupon

  • Deans Ice Cream 1/2 off

  • Pillsbury Toaster Strudel 5/$9 55 cents/1 coupon

  • Lean Cuisine Dinners 5/$10

  • Milk 1 gallon 2/$5

  • Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls or Crescent Rolls 4/$6

  • Yoplait GoGurt Fizz 5/$10 $1/1 coupon

  • Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt 5/$10 $1/1 coupon

  • Kelloggs Cereal (select varieties) 3/$6

  • Post Cereal 3/$7

  • General Mills Cereal(select varieties) 3/$8 75 cents/1 coupon and 50 cents/1 coupon

  • Pompeiian Olive Oil 33% off $1/1 coupon

  • Ragu Pasta Sauce 4/$5

  • Muellers Pasta(select varieties) 79 cents

  • Meijer canned veggies 10/$4

  • Kraft Mac & Cheese B3G3

  • Meijer Spices 33% off $1 off chili powder Mealbox coupon

  • Kraft Handi Snacks Pudding or Koolaid Gels $1

  • Oreos or Oreo Cakesters B4G1 gallon milk FREE

  • Little Debbie Snacks $1

  • Meijer Family Size Snacks 2/$5 $1/1 Mealbox coupon

  • Dynamo Laundry Detergent B1G2FREE

  • Aunt Millie's Old Fashioned White or MultiGrain Bread B1G2FREE

  • Aunt Mille's Homestyle Wheat or White Hamburg/Hot Dog Buns B1G2FREE

Head over to Beth's--Tea & Thee to check out more Meijer deals!! Also if Meijer is not your store of choice, check out BeCentsAble's Grocery Gathering for other stores' weekly deals!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Singing Sunday

**this was a new song in church today for has a powerful message! This song is also going to be sung in the Memorial Day parade tomorrow that my church(my family is marching along with 200 people from the church) is participating in!

Salvation is Here
By Hillsong United

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
And I don't care what the world throws at me now
I'm gonna be alright

Hear the sounds of the generations
Making loud our freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
It's gonna be alright

Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here

Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here
Salvation that died just to set me free
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here
Cause You are alive and You live in me