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Monday, March 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ Cheesy chicken casserole
Tuesday ~ Frozen lasagna and french bread
Wednesday ~ Burritos
Thursday ~ Chicken fettucine and breadsticks
Friday ~ FFY (Fend for Yourself)
Saturday ~ Hot dogs and chili dogs, chips
Sunday~ Chicken broccoli stirfry

See other meal plans at The Org Junkie.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Spring ~ It's SNOWING!!

Boy have I been itching to get my flowers planted in my pots outside!

Boy am I glad I didn't do that!

Starting at 9 a.m. yesterday morning, the snow came down ... for 12 hours straight!  And I'm not talking about flurries.  I'm talking about droves and droves of blizzard-like snow!  It was awesome!

At one point it was thundering during the snowstorm.  At other times the wind was blowing it in a straight line.  It was coming down so hard that you could hear it snowing when you stepped outside.

Of course the kids were all about it, even though it was cold and windy and wet!!  On round 2 of getting bundled up to go play, Brynne pee'd her pants and had to come in.  Come on ... you remember doing that!!

Dawson finally got to build a snowman.  All winter all we have gotten is ice.  Its' been great for sledding, but impossible for building a respectable snowman.  This guy won't get to stick around for long, but he sure looks good!!

Kyndal was at a friend's all day, so didn't get a chance to play in the snow.  And Rick worked in the garage all day building the play structure that, hopefully, we'll get to put up soon and enjoy without snow!!  Me and Clifford opted to stay inside and keep warm (although he was so tempted to go out a couple of times.)  I made a big pot of baked potato soup, marked my JBF clothes for the sale this week and got kids dressed and undressed several times.  Clifford did this ~

It was an interesting day, but really kindof cool.  At least we didn't lose power, or tree limbs or anything of that nature. We just had an opportunity to have some unexpected fun!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Photography Challenges

The Photo Hunt theme this week (or maybe it's really last week because she already has a new one up so I'm behind) is "Yellow".  Here is a photo Dawson actually took of Brynne at Gilcrease Museum and I obviously enhanced it.

And here is an extra entry for "Yellow" from today's snow storm !!  My poor pansies !!

The IHeartFaces theme this week is "No Flash".  I was waiting to take some snow pictures today because we were supposed to get "several inches", so I didn't enter it in the contest (you have to have it entered by Tuesday).  But here's what I came up with ...

And in Week 3 of the 52 Week Challenge, I have a photo of me and my junior high best friend Jami.  Over Spring Break she stopped by my parents' for a visit.  Since she moved away in the 9th grade, I had only seen her briefly one other time. We recently reconnected on Facebook and it was so great to visit with her and her girls!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

In response to a worried phone call from my mother, I thought I should respond by saying that I am not going over to the dark side!!! :)

I'm just being a mom, obsessing about the welfare of my kids, always worried that "this decision" will be the one that sends them to life-long therapy.

I'm really fine .. Brynne and I made some chocolate chip m&m cookies, so all's well!

Lest You Be Free

An aha moment or two ... then satan really gets to work!  He won't let it rest .. he won't let it go that easily!  He works on your mind, continuously, trying to convince you that things won't be okay, putting ideas in your head that you know are not truth.  Yet, they are there.

This is where prayer warriors come into play.  Fighting off the negativism of the enemy is an impossible task in my own strength.  I can give it to God, only to take it back within the hour. God has spoken to me, given me the answers I need.  I just need help in believing it, in truly believing it .. in truly believing Him!  I need to learn to trust more and to not grow weary.

I would appreciate your prayers in this.  Please join with me in prayer that I will take all thoughts captive, weigh them against the Truth I know from the Lord, and leave them at the door when they don't measure up.  Join with me in prayer of a protection over my household from the attacks of the enemy.  He needs to give up, but he won't, so I need to stay strong.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

(Lots of) Thoughts on Thursday ~ Freedom

I have to share something that has happened to me today. To some this will be no big deal.  To others, I hope I can help provide you with some freedom as well.

God is good!

I am keenly aware that God is at work in everything that I do, even to the minute little details of my day.  I am also keenly aware that satan is at work trying to thwart God's plans at all times.

This morning I overslept by about 45 minutes.  I forgot to turn on my alarm.  I always get up at 6:00 to do my quiet time with God and then to exercise.  These are the two things (along with my several cups of coffee) that get me through my hectic days.  This morning I was going to finish the last 2 1/2 pages of my Bible study lesson on Esther.  So, I didn't have time to do my study or exercise.  On top of that, I miscalculated what time we needed to leave the house to get to Bible study and realized that I only had 20 minutes to get up both Eli and Brynne, get them ready, fix my wet hair and get out the door.  There was no way. I mentally decided I would skip Bible study, because of those reasons and because Eli was whining about not wanting to go to "his class" there. I was just going to take Brynne to preschool and come home. But, something within me just got fired up and we left the house about 15 minutes late, still plenty of time to go to Bible study.  Eli had calmed down by then, so we went on.

Satan tried TWO TIMES to keep me away!!  He used my absentmindedness twice to keep me from setting my alarm and to keep me from getting us out the door on time.

I want you to know that I did recognize the work of the enemy in all of this and I thought, "man there must be something I am needing to hear."

And there was.

There were two very distinct things.

In the 2 1/2 pages I didn't read held the answer to a problem I am having right now with Dawson.  It was right there on those pages.  And there was scripture to back it up.  Dawson is changing right now, if you know what I mean.  And along with hormonal changes comes memory problems and lack of focus, as well as emotions that are hard to deal with.  I remember this myself, and I remember it with Kyndal, but it still has taken me by surprise.  He is going through some physical changes as well as emotional ones.  I am really struggling with him on some of this.  And, it's hard for him at times because he has such a carefree personality that is sometimes difficult in our structured home life.  I don't ever want to stifle his creative and playful side, because those qualities are so awesome!  But, at times I find I do.

How do I help him to be who he is authentically, while at the same time living within the confounds of our household? How do I get across to him that life is not all about play, that he will have difficulties in his adult life if he doesn't have self-control and give all of himself to his responsibilities??  I have seen how these qualities in him can have a negative impact, and I want to help him take his God-given talents and use them to God's glory and to his joy and happiness!  The problem?  I don't share that personality, Rick does not share that personality, so it's difficult for us.  

God spoke to me through 1 Timothy 4:12-15 and gave me direction on how to help him use his gifts!  I was so overwhelmed with this message from God that I almost wanted to shout right in the middle of my small group!! Thank you Lord!  I can't wait to talk to Dawson about it.

God is so good.

And then I went to the video portion of Bible study.  We have been studying the Book of Esther through the teachings of Beth Moore.  Each week the lesson has a sentence that says, "It's Tough Being a Woman ..." and each week it's different.  Two weeks ago we studied a topic, that I guess just wasn't for me at that moment.  I didn't really take much from it.

But today, the study revisited it and said, "It's Tough Being a Woman who feels responsible for the How".  I am experiencing this with Dawson and with so many other things right now!  As a woman, a wife and mom, I want to FIX EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE!  I want to help everyone! And it burdens me!  

I have been so burdened and sad because I can't fix every problem my husband or kids are having!  And I dwell on it!  I can't take 6 completely different people and make us get along every minute of every day!  I can't make each of us love each other how we are supposed to!  I can't make each of us respect each other how we are supposed to!  I can't keep my kids from having hurts from other people!  I can't make my family members make decisions that are all good!  I can't have all the answers for every problem and circumstance!  I CAN'T DO IT!!  Lord knows I have been trying .. and I have been miserable!  I feel like I need to be God in every situation or "Junior God" as Beth Moore put it.  I don't know how to do these things!

... but God knows how.

2 Peter 2:9 ... "the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment."

Psalm 103:14 ... "for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust."

I don't have to know the How!  I have to trust the God who does!  Hallelujah!!!

I remember many years ago.  Kyndal and Dawson's dad has just moved out of state after our divorce leaving me to physically care for a 5 and 3 year old alone.  I had no family, no strong core of friends.  I was alone.  I had always believed that I was a strong, independent woman who could take care of herself and her family.  And I could, physically.  But, I was weary and overwhelmed and alone and sad and angry!  I sat on the couch one night, in the dark, after they had gone to bed and sobbed and sobbed and cried out loudly to God!  I couldn't hardly even form words except just to say, "I can't do this!  I don't know how!  You have to help me!"  I sobbed until I was exhausted and went to bed.  I woke up the next morning with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and such peace and inner encouragement.  You see, I had let God have the "how" of that situation and I began seeking Him for His wisdom in it.  And He has continually taught me what to do and when and how.

I guess I've been trying to take back the responsibility because I feel much that way again right now.  I just feel such a weight of responsibility.  But this morning, during that lesson, I just sat and cried. I thanked God right there for that Word. I don't have to know the How .. I just have to trust the God who does and seek His wisdom.

We are never going to fret ourselves to victory.  Trust and faith is the victory.  Trusting God for what He has done is just thanks.  Trusting Him before He's done anything is victory.

The other lesson today was "It's Tough Being a Woman who can balance passion with patience." I just need to remember that God is waiting along with me for that thing, those things, I am passionate about. There's something, a reason, that the wait is for.  There's a reason it hasn't happened yet, and God is as passionate about it as me.

"What I Got for the Money" Yesterday

Not much money going to be saved this month, but that's okay.  Here's what I bought this week:

Bran cereal  $1.49
Wafer cookies  1.15
Striped chocolate cookies  1.09
(2) Swiss rolls  1.89
Wheat crackers  1.69
Flour tortillas  1.79
Coffee filters  1.59
10 lbs. potatoes  1.4
(2) Refried beans  1.30
Ravioli  .79
Spaghettios with meatballs  .79
(2) Cream mushroom  .98
Black beans  .59
Biscuits  1.19
Turkey bacon  1.99
Black pepper  1.19
Pop tarts  1.69
3 lb. onions  .69
(2) chips  2.28

Total  $27.94


(2) Cereal  4.00
(3) Mac and cheese  2.22
Coffee  6.00
Peanut butter  3.58
(2) Tomato soup  1.36
Onion powder  .50
Fettuccine  1.23
Apple juice  1.97
Tea bags  1.44
Sour cream  1.06
(4) Ramen  .64
Tortillas  4.22
Chicken taco seasoning  .50
Shredded parmesan  2.38
Turket breast  2.98
3 lb. bananas  2.01
(2) Avocados  1.76
(6) Lunchables  6.00 (ad match)
Frozen broccoli  .88 (ad match)
Frozen lasagna  5.00 (ad match and coupon) ~ for next week

Card stock  $5.48
Paper towels  1.49 (coupon)
Shampoo  0.00 (free with coupon)
Toothpaste  1.08 (coupon)
Barbie dvd  14.96 
Noticeables  7.87 (coupon)
Mega-T Diet pills  3.00 (coupon)

Total Groceries  $ 53.97
Total Household  $ 36.77

3 pkgs. boneless skinless breasts  $10.71
Total $ 11.62

(4) loaves bread  $5.06
Total  $5.49

(3) Gallon milk  $10.47
Sliced american cheese  1.99
Chocolate ice cream  3.29
Total  $17.09

Total Groceries  $  116.11
Total Household  $  36.77

P.S.  Notice the creepy guy lurking behind the groceries !!! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Olive Juice Bag Contest ~ One Week Left

If you're a blogger, blog about this Olive Juice Bag giveaway to enter for a chance to win one of 6 of their adorable bags. One per month will be given away!

How cute is this one???

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today  ~  March 24, 2009

Outside my window... it's sunny now, but was storming and downpouring just a short time ago.  We came upon flooded roads on the way to take Brynne to school and had to "find our way around", as Eli put it.

I am thinking... about how much I need to do today, that I almost didn't do my Daybook because of it.  I knew my "fans" would be disappointed, though.  Ha!

I am thankful for... a God who desires to bless our obedience!

From the learning rooms... we're back at it .. letter sounds, reading, homework and all.

From the kitchen... I've been e-mailing JBF volunteers, organizing JBF promotional materials for pickup, putting cash in my budget envelopes, paying activity fees, working on my activity budget for the next several months (summer camps coming up!)

I am wearing... a green striped shirt, my "fat" jeans, my favorite airline socks Rick got on his trip to Taiwan and Roxy tennis shoes.

I am creating... landscaping ideas.

I am going... to work my tail off so I can sit on it by 7:00 tonight and watch my shows!

I am reading... "An Accidental Woman" by Barbara Delinsky, (want to finish it by this weekend), Proverbs and my new magazines.

I am hoping... Rick can get sod down before all of his dirt washes away from the rain.  He has worked so hard and our yard looks so great!!  

I am hearing... Eli playing his car game on Xbox.  

Around the house... I have piles of clothes to be marked for JBF.

One of my favorite things... is coffee (we've established that).  I am drinking, right now, a sample I received from Starbucks of instant coffee.  And, you know what?  It's good!  I'm going to definitely get some for our trip to Yellowstone.  Hot water and a shot of instant coffee and I'll be good to go!

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Get back into my workout and Weight Watchers routine.  Let's just say I "slipped" last week while on break.  I really have nothing planned this week except to finish getting my JBF stuff ready.  Believe me, though, that will keep me busy!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Big boy needed a drink so bad that he risked falling into a bathtub of water to lick Brynne's cup of koolaid.

For true simple women, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday ~ Chicken spinach linguine
Tuesday ~ Chicken fajitas
Wednesday ~ FFY
Thursday ~ Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes, bisquits with honey
Friday ~ Hot ham and cheese, chips
Saturday ~ Ramen, crackers
Sunday ~ Bacon, eggs and toast

We are having a lot of chicken this week because boneless skinless breasts are on sale at our local Reasor's for $1.68 a pound.  I'm going to stock up so I am certain my grocery budget will be blown this week.

Check out the OrgJunkie for more menu ideas.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Where Have I Been???

It seems like I haven't touched my blog in a week!

We spent last week at mom and dad's for Spring Break.  We did a whole lot of nothing, which was great!  But, I managed to gain 4 or 5 pounds.  Gosh .. I can't believe I couldn't maintain by doing nothing but sitting and eating!!

We came home yesterday afternoon.  I was so excited to sleep in my own bed, and then ended up tossing and turning all night!  I was so disappointed!

This morning we went to church and then came home for an afternoon of work.  Rick worked all afternoon in the yard building flower garden boxes around the side and back of our house. This required moving lots of dirt, so he is exhausted tonight!  I started going through Brynne's closet and getting her outgrown summer clothes marked for the JBF Owasso sale that is next week.  That took a couple of hours.  Since I am employed by JBF, I also had to get organized with my volunteers.  Being out of state last week had me a tad confused with my volunteers, so I spent the last part of this evening straightening that all out.  Dawson spent the afternoon at Braden's (because he hadn't seen him all break) and Kyndal had a friend over.  They washed both the Suburban and Rick's car.  That was nice!  Eli and Brynne found a bucket of 101 Dalmation toys and they played with those and one of those antique Fisher Price treehouses and barn.  Then Brynne tripped outside and fell and was so distraught that she stripped down to her panties, got in our bed, and slept the rest of the evening.  She had been really cranky today, so I think she was still fighting the tail end of her virus she had this week.

It's 10:00 p.m. and everyone is in bed, even Rick.  I'm ready for it to be Monday tomorrow so I can get back into my routine.  I am a routine girl, that's for sure!

One last thing ... as many of you know Rick and I made a change in our spending this year 2009. We made a conscious decision that we were going to work to pay off all of our debt, except our house.  To do that we were going to have to REALLY tighten our budget.  He basically stopped spending any money and has been taking his lunch to work.  I tightened up our grocery budget and have really been working hard in that area, as well as not spending any money outside the budget.  We have slowly been paying toward our debt, about 1% a month.  At that rates, it's going to take us a while.  And we were prepared for that!

Last year we had gotten complacent and started living above our means.  We were very ashamed of that, and wanted to get back on track.  We truly felt it was a turning back to God, and allowing Him to dictate our finances again.  That obedience has paid off!!

Although we weren't excited about it taking a very long time to pay off our debt, we were willing to do whatever it took for however long, and not be bitter about it.  Rick's company did give them their bonuses this year, and we are extremely grateful for that.  (Especially in light of the fact that some in his company have been laid off, and no raises were given this year).  We had a number in our minds of what we "needed" to do what we "wanted" in regard to our debt this year.  We got our income tax returns back from our accountant yesterday.  We are getting a total refund that is over 3 times what we were expecting!!!

Immediately we have to give all credit to God and to thank Him for blessing us in our obedience!  What we will be able to pay off with that money gets us quickly closer to our goals! And it allows us to make a few adjustments to our budget and do some landscaping that we desperately need to do (so the HOA letters can stop coming!!  If you don't know, we just built our house a little over a year ago  and the work that has to be done to our property is overwhelming!)

My point in this super long story .. God is faithful!  God is good!  And we need to remember that!  I don't want to disappoint Him when He has entrusted us with this money to do good things with it.  Obedience is so key!

So, tomorrow it's back to the regular posts, with all the extras I throw in.  I'll have a menu planned for tomorrow.  Wait .. I guess I'd better get to that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Photography Challenges

I didn't get the photo hunt done this week because I forgot to look to see what it was.  The category, not that I looked, was "four", and that would really be a fun one to do.  Maybe I'll find something in the next few days.

The iheartfaces challenge this week was "green".  So, I did some slight modification to this picture I took of the kids on St. Patrick's Day.  I didn't enter it into the contest, because I didn't think it was contest-worthy.  But, here it is, none-the-less.

And, for weeks 1 and 2 of the 52 Week Challenge (of getting a photo of me every week for 52 weeks), here is a photo Kyndal took of me when we went to Art Blast at Gilcrease last weekend

and one of me and my grandma on Tuesday, her 86th birthday.

Hopefully I'll pay more attention to it next week and get some good ones.

Thoughts on Thursday

It's a good thing I don't live with my momma!!  Man, am I lazy!  All I do is snooze, and eat, and read, and eat, and piddle and eat.  For the first couple of days I really enjoy it. But then I become such a sluggard that even I disgust myself!!  It makes me realize how much I love all I do at home. So, why don't I do those things here, and even give my mom a break from doing it herself?  I don't have the answer to that.  I guess for the same reason why others tell me how helpful my kids are when they are at their houses, yet I have to beg them to throw their laundry down the chute that is a half foot from their pile of dirty laundry.  

And it throws my kids, at least my little ones.  They are not used to seeing me just sitting, doing nothing.  Brynne keeps asking me, "What are you doing?"  Well, the same thing I've been doing for the last 7 hours ... nothing.  She seems stressed by that!  And she's bored.  She follows me around all day, moving from room to room, discussing the task(s) at hand. She's not used to being in one room for this long at a time.

I know that within two hours of being home I will be feeling the effects of being a hard-working mom, will be knee deep in laundry and other messes and will be feeling totally taken advantage of.  But, honestly, I wouldn't change that for anything.  I love being on my feet all day, giving to my family, taking care of them, and going to bed exhausted with that feeling of accomplishing something!  I hope that I don't take that for granted.  It's an amazing life I get to live!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"What I Got For the Money" Wednesday

I don't have a picture, and I'm not going to list out my groceries separately, but here are my totals for this week:

Aldi Groceries Total  $ 24.24
Walmart Groceries Total  $ 43.07
Walmart Household Total  $ 5.49

Total Groceries  $  67.31
Total Household  $ 5.49

We are at mom and dad's this week for Spring Break so meals are provided.  But I went shopping for Rick to have meals for the week.  And these totals also include about $12 in Easter candy for the kids' baskets.

My grandma Alice's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.  Since we are usually in Missouri visiting my parents for Spring Break on St. Patrick's Day, we get the pleasure of celebrating her birthday with her.  With her health, she is only able to spend short periods of time with us.  But it's always nice for her to get to see the kids.

We hope everybody had a fun St. Patrick's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today  ~  March 17, 2009

Outside my window... it's super, super sunny (but still cold this morning)!  And, it's a total change of scenery because we are in Missouri at mom and dad's.

I am thinking... about how I am ready for another cup of coffee and ready to get the lowlights put in my hair by my sister.

I am thankful for... my sister who spends our whole break giving us haircuts, hair coloring, eyebrow waxes, spray tans, etc.

From the learning rooms... we get the week off ~ it's Spring Break!!

From the kitchen... I sit drinking my coffee, updating my blog.

I am wearing... my pjs ~ hey, it's Spring Break!!!

I am (thinking about) creating... a day of St. Patrick's day fun.  I think I just saw a Leprechaun run across the backyard!!

I am going... to celebrate my grandma's birthday today and go watch my niece play basketball tonight.

I am reading... "The Accidental Woman" by Barbara Delinsky, and hoping to finish it this week.

I am hoping... my good friend, who is struggling, can find some peace and contentment.

I am hearing... Eli talking to my sister in the bedroom, the t.v., and Brynne coughing.

Around the house... our stuff is scattered everywhere.  How we find half of it when we leave after a week, I'll never know.

One of my favorite things... is spending some time "back home" doing a whole lot of nothing.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  The beauty of spending time at mom and dad's is not having many plans.  We do have a couple of basketball games to watch this week, and we'll eat lunch with my grandma today.  But, that's about it.  Just lots of relaxing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

For true simple women, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Spring Break Version

We are on Spring Break and in Missouri at my parents' for the week.  So, the menu is not my problem ... YEA!!  We had grilled burgers last night and are having italian roast and spaghetti tonight.  Who knows about the rest of the week.

I did go to the store and leave Rick a "menu" of sorts, since he stayed home this week.  His menu consists of his favorite easy things:  avocado toast, frozen burritos (store brand), ramen noodles, leftover bbq beef sandwiches, Chunky soup and other leftovers from last week.  I did actually write these things on the calendar, just so he doesn't forget what he has and eat nothing but frozen burritos all week.  But, it's really up to him.

I bought him a couple of surprises, too, like Spicy V-8, his favorite cereal and his favorite honey ham lunch meat.  He's living high on the hog this week!!

It reminds me of the week my dad would go hunting when I was growing up.  We'd eat all of our favorites, like tuna casserole and spaghetti .. things my dad didn't like.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Break

We have had a crazy weekend, full of activity!  Friday night Dawson went to a birthday party while the rest of us went to a birthday party for one of Kyndal's friends.  Everybody had a late night and was exhausted!  I got up yesterday and went to Mug and a Muffin at church to hear the 918CouponQueen.  She was awesome!  Then some friends and I started having a discussion about another friend going through a crisis.  That was how I spent the rest of my day.  Although I had so much to do to get ready to leave today, I just felt I was needed elsewhere so I neglected my home and spent the day trying to let a dear friend know that she is loved.

Rick worked on our backyard all day getting it ready for the swingset he has designed.  It looks so good and I am so proud of him!  Dawson went to play paintball all day and Kyndal and the little guys hung out at home.  Eli stayed in his pjs all day (his favorite thing) and Brynne spent her whole day outside helping Rick.  She LOVES to do that!  Reminds me of when I was a little girl, wanting to do "guy" things with my dad.  Kyndal had the thrill of watching the Missouri Tigers win the Big 12 Championship ... Go Mizzou!!

Rick and I went out last night to meet up with about 30 of his high school friends down on Brookside.  We had a really great time!  It was fun to hang out with them and hear old stories, and new.

This morning I am up E.A.R.L.Y. because we need to try to leave town by about 10:00 to head to Missouri to my parents'.  I haven't packed at all, my house is so dirty (which I hate leaving it like this) and I'm currently finishing up laundry.  I hate to leave in such a rush, but it's necessary.

So, I'm off to chug some coffee and jump in the shower.  We will be at mom and dad's all week, but I will have my computer (duh!)  I'll be posting, but possible not as often.  I don't know.

If you are on Spring Break, I hope you have a great one!  Enjoy your families!  I'm hoping to just sit down and read a book.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frugal Friday ~ Low Point Burritos

I love frozen burritos!!  Between those and chocolate pop-tarts, my diet is toast!

My love for frozen burritos dates all the way back to college.  I ate them for almost every meal. I have continued to make them a weekly staple in my diet, especially for lunch.  But those burritos are 7 Weight Watchers points EACH!  That's 2/3 of my daily point goal, if I eat two for lunch.  Not really worth it.  But, I crave them!  So, I decided to work on making my own.

Here is a picture of the frozen burrito and the one I created. The yummier looking one is actually the one I created (on the bottom).  In my first batch I used fat free refried beans and 93% lean ground beef, because we always eat the beef and bean frozen burritos.  They worked out to have more points than I wanted.  So, I came up with this recipe:

10 Mama Lupe High Fiber 75 calorie wheat tortilla shells (used wheat instead of white)
2 cans fat free refried beans
1 can black beans

In a pan I combined all of the beans and heated through.  I put a couple of tablespoons of the mixture on the tortilla shell and rolled it up.  (Wow, this is hard, huh??)  Then I put them in a 9x13 baking dish and stuck them in the freezer.  Once they were frozen completely through I transferred them to a freezer bag.  

When I want one (or two!!) I simply do what I always did with my frozen burritos.  I put them on a plate, microwave them for 2 minutes, poke them with a fork, microwave for another minute, add a tablespoon of fat free sour cream and all the salsa I want to each burrito, and Voila!

It seriously takes about 15 minutes to fix 10 burritos, and only takes 3 minutes to heat them up for a quick, yummy, filling, fulfilling lunch!

And the comparisons???  The store-bought frozen waffles typically cost about 30 cents each and are 7 Weight Watchers points each.  My homemade version (which is so much healthier) costs about 43 cents each and is 2.75 Weight Watchers points.  I can eat two for less than the points of one of the frozen variety.

Is this one worth the work??? You bet!!!

Need other recipe ideas?  Head over to the Recipe Swap hosted by Gayle.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Final Thoughts on Thursday

I hope that I do not take for granted the blessings that I have in my life.

God loves me and has such a specific plan for me ~ a plan that He is working out in me.  And it's exciting!  I can see it and feel it in just about everything I am doing right now.

I feel like Rick and my marriage is stronger right now than it has been in a long time.  That is an answer to prayer.  Rick is an amazing husband.  I have such a strong desire to be an equally amazing wife to him.  It's something that I really try to work at, but know that I need to put more priority on. Making our marriage a priority is difficult in our busy lives, in my life focusing on the kids.  But I do try, and I hope that he knows how much I really do love him and honor him and appreciate him.  And may I never take his love and devotion to me for granted.

The kids .. WOW .. how blessed I am!  

Enrolling Kyndal into the mid-high tonight was such a surreal experience.  She ran ahead of me as we were leaving, and I looked at her and just couldn't believe that I have a daughter as lovely as her.  She is growing and maturing and trying to find her way.  And, so far, she's doing it with such grace and beauty.  I pray for her, that she keeps a strong head on her shoulders and has the confidence to make good decisions and stand up for the things she knows are right.  I pray that she remembers that she is a strong influence to everyone around her, and that she takes that seriously.

I can see Dawson's future laid out before him.  But, I have to be careful to let him forge his own path.  He has an obvious passion for animals and art and he is playful and loyal.  I pray that he takes his fun-loving personality and uses it in a positive way.  I pray that he develops courage to explore his relationship with God and share it in these areas where he has passion.

My little Eli and Brynne are just so joyful.  It is so fun to see them learn and grow.  They are such complete opposites in their personalities and how they approach life.  It's such a challenge, but so fun at the same time.  It's funny that they don't often like to do the same things, but they always seem to be together.  They light up my life each and every day and I hope and pray that I soak in each moment and realize the joy they bring to me.

The friendships I have are of an extreme dynamic in my life right now.  I am so grateful to God for who He has brought forth. I can see where my friends fit into these changes God is orchestrating in my life.  The changes I am experiencing may seem insignificant to so many, but they are huge to me! I am praying that I do not lose sight of the importance of my friends.  I am amazed right now.

Lastly, I pray that I take seriously and seek out the opportunities God is laying before me and the passions that He is exposing to me.  These new passions have taken me by surprise, but they are providence.  May I not lose sight of that.

Thoughts on Thursday ~ Give and Get

I love a good deal.  I love a great deal, even more!!

My friend Jami e-mailed me a coupon for 30% off at Old Navy, Gap and some other stores.  It's their Give and Get promotion and some of the proceeds go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  

I ran by Old Navy today to get Eli a shirt for his spring picture tomorrow and look for a spring dress for Brynne's picture in a few weeks.  They had tons of clearance.  I ended up getting his shirt and the following for her:  two dresses, a puffy vest, two pair of pjs, a pair of capris and a pair of socks all for $27.00!!  WOW!

I only had $30 left in my clothes budget, so didn't buy more. But tomorrow more money comes in the budget so I'm going back!  The coupon is good as many times as you want to use it through March 15th.

If you would like the coupon, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll e-mail it to you.  I tried to post it here, but the barcode will not post.  Hopefully it will e-mail properly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"What I Got For the Money" Wednesday

I actually did my grocery shopping Monday night this week because yesterday was going to be so busy.  I have been chomping at the bit to do this post!  After about 10 straight weeks of missing my goal ... I DID IT!  And, I had a tough goal!  I did about half my shopping at Aldi and half at Walmart.  Here's what I bought ~ 

To make a long story short, I wanted to save $50 out of this two-week period.  So, that meant I had $62 to spend on groceries and household items, including $12 of milk I knew I would purchase. So, I needed to spend no more than $50.  I made an additional goal of trying to buy as few boxed items as possible, even snacks.  I planned to make M&M chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cupcakes and maybe one other batch of cookies for this week's snacks (in addition to fruit and crackers), instead of purchasing those yummy boxed snack cakes and cookies my kids are addicted to.

Bananas  $1.11
3 lbs. apples  119
3 c. Shredded cheddar  2.49
Bag sweet potatoes  1.69
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef  2.49
Toaster pastries  1.69 (some things you just need)
Pancake mix  1.49
Chocolate cake mix  .79
Chocolate chips  1.49
Salt  .33
Turkey bacon  1.99
Can soup  1.39
Eggs  1.09
Total  $ 20.87


Apple juice  $1.97
Flour  2.88
Shortening  2.72
Frozen blueberries  2.54
Butter  .96
(2) M&Ms  1.18 (for cookies)
Cupcake liners  .98
Yeast  .93
Total Groceries  $ 15.37

Trashbags  $ 2.97
Measuring spoons  1.50 (my pampered chef ones walked away!)
(3) 1.5V batteries  4.37 (for Brynne's singing Barbie)
Light bulbs  .96
Toilet paper  1.27
Total Household  $ 12.01

BRAUMS (so far)
Gallon milk  $ 4.00

Total Groceries  $ 40.24
Total Household  $ 12.01

TOTAL SPENT  $52.25  ** And, I have $ 8.00 left to finish purchasing milk.


To see other awesome shoppers, go to The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today  ~  March 10, 2009

Outside my window... daylight is beginning to peek up from behind the canyon.

I am thinking... about how I want to make diligent use of my time today.

I am thankful for... the unity in our family ~ helping each other out, working together.

From the learning rooms... we are making progress on letter sounds!  He knows A,B,C,E,J,K,P,S,X,Y,Z.  We need to continue working on these, and start learning his telephone number.  Kyndal and Dawson need to work hard for the next few days to get their grades good and secure before Spring Break that starts Monday.  Brynne is learning about dinosaurs at preschool this week.

From the kitchen... I plan to make some homemade bread (for the first time) and homemade snacks this week.  I'm trying an "experiment" with making homemade snacks throughout the week instead of boxed, easy ones.

I am wearing... my black workout sweats and tennis shoes and my Baltimare, Maryland t-shirt.

I am creating... my container gardens.  (I planted basil, oregano, rosemary and flower seeds this week) and making homemade goodies.  My husband is creating a new play structure for our backyard.  I can't wait to sit in my porch swing to watch the kids play!

I am going... to Claremore today to deliver Just Between Friends promotional materials to my volunteers and then going to work hard to get all of my stuff done so I can sit and watch t.v. with my family tonight.

I am reading... a Proverbs chapter each day, the book of Esther in correspondence to my Bible study, and "The Accidental Woman" by Barbara Delinsky (thanks to Lynn!!).

I am hoping... my seeds spring up in my container garden.

I am hearing... the clock ticking and birds chirping outside.

Around the house... it is still dark (thanks to Daylight Savings) and lots of busy-work!

One of my favorite things... is watching my family "busying" around together, working toward  accomplishing the same goal.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Today I have a list of housework I need to get done, as well as some projects for JBF and a trip to Claremore to deliver the promo materials.  Tomorrow I have the twins and then we'll try to make it to church.  On Thursday I have Bible study in the morning and then officially enroll Kyndal in High School in the evening!!!  On Friday night it will just be Rick, the little ones and me as Kyndal and Dawson each have birthday parties to go to.  On Saturday I'm going to our ladies' ministry "Mug and a Muffin" to hear The 918 Coupon Queen teach us more about couponing (and I really hope to learn something I can use!), then Rick and I are meeting up with some of his high school buddies for dinner.  On Sunday the kids and I head out for our yearly week-long trip to my parents' for Spring Break.  We are really looking forward to that because we haven't been there since Christmas!  

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Green beans!  I have 3 green bean sprouts (even had to transplant one), about 5 tomato sprouts and some basil!  Honestly, I never expected to see even one!!! :)

For true simple women, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.