Friday, July 25, 2008

How Do You Blog?

My friend, Kate, over at Simple Walk asked these questions over on her blog earlier this week. I thought I would take the time to answer them as a way to get to know me and how I blog a little better.

  1. Do you keep a running list of blog post ideas?
    Yes and No! If I think of an idea to post about that I want to save for a certain day, I will write it down on my calendar. Other than that, I usually sit down and think for a bit and then start writing.
  2. Do you only blog on certain days and about certain topics?
    No to the certain days. As for topics, I try to stick to topics that are not too personal but yet topics that I think others would find helpful.
  3. Do you limit the number of memes you will participate in? And if so, what qualifications must a meme meet in order for you to join?
    Yes I do limit the number of memes I participate in because I am find that there is ALOT of them out there. As for meme qualifications, I try to stick with ones that are not going to be too personal but ones where others would find the information that I share for the meme helpful.
  4. Do you keep your family anonymous, or do you use real names?
    I keep our real names anonymous. I do share pictures on occasion but usually refer to my kids by their ages.
  5. Do you feel guilty if you don't post for a few days?
    When I first started blogging, I didn't feel guilty. BUT now that I am somewhat established in the blogging world, I do on occasion feel guilty. I am learning though that life happens and my family is more important than sharing things with the world.
  6. Are there any off-limit topics that you will not blog about?
    Politics, and anything else that I just don't feel comfortable with sharing.
  7. Do you monitor your blog stats on a regular basis?
    Okay, I will admit that I do this!! I like to check to see if people are really reading what I am posting. I also like to check to see what posts are getting the most hits because then I try to work more posts to expand that topic.
  8. Do you ever sit and stare at your computer monitor, waiting for inspiration to hit, only to give up and decide to just post tomorrow? (Or, even better, when that inspiration does not hit, do you think "Oooh, I know, I'll ask everyone else about their blogging habits!")
    Yes, I have been known to sit and stare at the computer screen. I usually will go and read other's blogs or websites to see if I can get the inspiration to strike. If reading other sites doesn't work then I just go off and do housework and come back later during a break to write a post.
  9. Do you, without fail, refrain from blogging on any certain days of the week?
    I would love to say yes to this question, however, right now I blog just about every day of the week. I try to limit the amount of time I am blogging when my hubby is home. Also, once we start school back up, I am sure that there will certain days where I just don't make it to doing any writing.
  10. Do you do most of your blogging in one day and then just publish throughout the week?
    I would love to work up to this where I am just blogging one day a week and then let them publish throughout the week. I think this would help me not to spend sooo much time writing up posts each day.
  11. Do you limit the number of posts you will do on any one day?
    No. I have been known to write up 4 posts up in one day!

This question wasn't asked but I thought I would share why I started blogging in the first place....I started blogging as way to get all my homeschooling links to somewhere else other than just on my computer! Then I started reading other's blogs and seeing these memes that they were doing or participating in that I decided to expand the topics on my blog to more than just homeschooling but also to things that I do to keep my family of seven with one income surviving in this world. Also, I struggle with grammar and writing mechanics so I thought writing for the world to read would help me to refine my skills so that I could teach writing to my kids better.

So how do you blog?? I would love to hear...leave a comment here or go over to Kate's!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Weekly shopping---saved $69.84

I went shopping today! I would have been way under $100 if I hadn't decided to purchase 6 packages of markdown meat at Family Fare! I think it is becoming a weakness of mine in my shopping habits of getting markdown meat! However, my family is a strong meats and potatoes family so I guess if I am getting decent deals on the meat I can't complain too much.

I spent an hour and shopped 2 stores today. The prices reflect the amounts off with the coupons(if there was any). You can go check out the deals with the coupons links.

First stop, Meijer....

  • 2(10.74lbs) Whole Chickens $7.57($3.79 each)
  • 4.87lbs pork loin $9.20
  • 2 boxes Ore Ida Extra Crispy Fries $2.00
  • 3 frozen Welch's Juices $3.00
  • 3 pks Aunt Millies buns $3.00
  • 2 pks Aunt Millies English Muffins $2.00
  • 2 Meijer Sour Cream $1.58(79 cents each)
  • 3 gallons Milk $8.31($2.77/gallon)
  • 2 bags potato chips $3.79($1.90/bag)
  • 4 boxes poptarts $5.34($1.34/box)
  • 3-64oz Juicy Juice $4.75($1.58/bottle)
  • 3 boxes General Mills Cereal $5.18($1.73/box)
  • 2 boxes Tyson Anytizers $3.00 ($1.50/box)

Total after coupons $58.74
Total Savings $43.70 (with non coupon savings $35.40, coupon savings $8.30)

***I was going to get some Warm Delights and Brownie Mix BUT they were out of stock! I did remember to get a raincheck though so I will have those deals on another week! I also see looking over my receipt that I should have gotten ONE MORE 10 for $10 get 11th free item because I have 10 things!!! UGH! I hate it when I just follow my list and not pay closer attention. I guess too I can chalk it up to the fact that they are remodelling the inside of the Meijer store that I shop at so finding things is a bit tricky these days(how things were last week is NOT how they are this week)!!!! UGH!

Next stop, Family Fare.....

  • 4.57lbs ground round $10.60
  • 2.94lbs ground chuch $5.12
  • 1.34lbs bottom round steaks $3.09
  • 1.54lbs beef stew meat $3.01
  • 1.65lbs chicken drumsticks $1.65
  • 2 mini loaves garlic bread $2.00
  • 3 lbs stick margarine $1.95(65 cents/each)
  • 3 pkgs Cordon Bleu $3.00
  • 14 containers yogurt $7.00(50 cents/each)
  • 2 tubes 5 ct. cinnamon rolls $2.00
  • 3 tubes 5ct. biscuits $2.70 (90 cents/each)
  • 1 can chow mein noodles $1.16
  • 3lbs red potatoes $2.00
  • 2 boxes Post cereal $3.54 ($1.77/each)
  • 2-18ct Eggs $3.00

Total after coupons $49.82
Total saved $26.14

Grand Total:$174.40
Grand OOP Total: $108.56
Grand Savings Total: $69.84

To see more savings from this week's deals....head over to Super Savings Saturday at MoneySavingMom

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weblink Wednesday--Summer Olympics

I have been working at getting a couple of unit studies together for us to do during the first few weeks of school. With the Summer Olympics going on during our first week of school, I thought that doing a fun unit on the Olympics would be a good place to start our year!

Here are a few of the links that I found to incorporate into our study....

Teacher Visions Summer Olympic Page---tons of activities, facts, and resources.

Homeschool Share's Lapbook

Teacher's Corner Summer Olympic Links---links to National Geographic's page, the official 2008 Beijing's Olympic site, links to the history of olympics and more!

Teacher's Planet Summer Olympic Resource

Want to find other weblinks, head over to Homeschooling with Encouragement!

Works for Me Wednesday--Backpacks

Even though I homeschool, each of my kids has a backpack! I find that each of them having a backpack saves time and energy when getting ready for a long trip or even just a day trip over to my parents' house.

When we get ready to take a trip, I pull out the kids' backpacks and take out the items that they will not need on the trip. Then either I or the child who the backpack belongs to will fill it with the necessary things to take on the trip. This isn't the bag to put their clothes in but the items to keep them busy as we drive to our destination.

Each child is then responsible for their own backpack. What items are they are responsible for??
  1. a notebook filled with paper for drawing, writing, or playing games like tic-tac-toe
  2. two pencils sharpened--one breaks they have a spare
  3. box of colored pencils--I use these rather than crayons when travel because they won't melt in the heat like crayons do!!
  4. handheld games like battleship, connect four, boggle.
  5. a book or two and NOT public library books! I don't like public library books getting lost! Sometimes I will allow 3 or 4 books depending on how long the trip.
  6. a deck of playing cards or the UNO cards
  7. coloring books--I make up my own! The older kids books have activities in them more than coloring pictures while the younger ones have their own coloring pictures.

For my little ones that are under 3, I do up a backpack full of small toys that they have like matchbox cars, dolls, toy phones, and other things that do not make ALOT of noise.

Backpacks filled with items to keep the boredom away on trips is what works for us!

To find out what works for others, head over to Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday--Pantry Meals

There are days when I don't feel like putting any effort into doing anything in the kitchen! You know those days where you just want to close the kitchen and eat take out for all your meals??!! I am sure that no one else gets that way!?! When I get like this, I would rather find something else to do like curl up on the couch and get lost in a good book than to work in the kitchen! These days seem to come especially when I know that my hubby is going to be working long hours. It ends up being just the five kids and me for all 3 meals so I don't feel/need to fix anything fancy just filling. I don't need them coming back in an hour saying they are still hungry!

Yesterday I had one of those days!!! So instead of ordering take out, I pulled out one of my "pantry meals". My pantry meals are those meals where I have all the ingredients that I need either in the freezer or in my pantry stockpile and I can get in and out of the kitchen in less than an hour! I don't do OMAC or have freezer meals but I do up meals partially to pull out on my lazy days.

I pulled out of the freezer about 1lb of already browned ground beef, grab a can of tomato sauce, some elbow macaroni, and a few spices and whipped up a meal in less than a 1/2 hour!!! I call it goulash/chili mac/homemade hamburger helper.

Here is the recipe I used(approximate measurements)...

1lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 can water
1-1 1/2 cups dry pasta
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
2-4 tsp. minced onion(or 1/4 of a fresh onion)

Mix all together. Simmer til the pasta is tender. Serve on to plates, and sprinkle with parmesan or cheddar cheese.

Serve with veggies or a leafy salad and homemade bread.

Notes: You can change the spices to change the dish. I have used taco seasoning. I have used italian seasoning. Instead of using water, I have used milk. It all depends on what I feel like throwing together.

I love putting one dish wonders together because on lazy days it makes the clean up a breeze!

For other kitchen tips, or recipes...head over to Tammy's Recipes

Monday, July 21, 2008

How Do You Rate????


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

I found this little interesting 1930s Marital test linked over at Like Merchant Ships. Click on the "take the test" link and see how you rate and then leave me a comment that you did it with your score!

DVD Giveaway

There is the ultimate DVD giveaway going on NOW over at Homeschooling with Encouragement!! You can win all THREE of these Dove approved Family Films just by going over to her site and leaving a comment!! Granted by telling all of you about the giveaway just lessens my chances...oh welll!!! These are some good quality family films!

Don't delay!!! You only have til July 31st to leave her a comment!!

DVD Giveaway

Menu Plan Monday 7/20-7/26

**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on the cook’s whim!

Last week’s menus went off without too much trouble! I did switch a couple days around because of our schedule but no food changes. I also didn’t have to take a meal to my friend who lost her mother, she called me the day before I was to take it and said that life was back pretty much back to normal and she had gone grocery shopping so she didn’t need the meal. I argued with her a bit telling her that I was still willing to bring something but she assured me that they were fine.

This week’s grocery shopping was more a stockpile week on everything but meats! There wasn’t too much in the way of meats on sale this week so I will make do with the meat that I have in the freezer and I am going to be working towards meal planning till next payday(31st) from the shopping that I did do for this week.

This week, I am going to be a “work widow” for the first half of the week! Hubby has a major product that he and his team are working on so it will be late days for him which means that the kids and I will probably be on our own for Monday and Tuesday dinners at least, while hubby eats with the team. On Wednesday, we are going on a FREE family outing to the local minor league baseball game along with fireworks after the game!! How are we managing the “free” part of the outing….it is hubby’s work sponsored event. I won’t even have to worry about cooking that night because we will be eating “ballgame food”---hotdogs, burgers, brats, potato salad, chips, ice cream, and drinks. Should be a fun night!

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day.
A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (7-20)
Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage links and leftover cinnamon rolls
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: Pizza Hut
Snack: snack basket

Monday (7-21)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: goulash and corn muffins
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (7-22)
Breakfast: waffles and sausage
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: chicken tender sandwiches, fries, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (7-23)
Breakfast: bagels and cereal
Lunch: leftovers or sandwich and chips
Dinner: BALLGAME!!!
Snack: BALLGAME!!!

Thursday (7-24)
Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: ????
Dinner: marinated chicken breasts, parmesan noodles, green beans, and breadsticks
Snack: snack basket

Friday (7-25)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and corn
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (7-26)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ????
Dinner: ??? probably grilled something or "freezer dinner"
Snack: popcorn or snack basket

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Singing Sunday

What Can I Do
by Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick

When I see the beauty
Of the sunset’s glory
Amazing artistry
Across the evening sky
When I feel the mystery
Of a distant galaxy
It awes and humbles me
To be loved by a God so high

What can I do but thank you
What can I do but give
My life to you
Hallelujah, hallelujah
What can I do but praise you
Every day make everything I do
A hallelujah, a hallelujah

When I hear the story
Of a God of mercy
Who shared humanity
And suffered by our side
Of the cross they nailed you to
That could not hold you
Now you’re making all things new
By the power of your risen life