Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So Tired

These past couple of days have been crazy busy here in our little household. I feel like I have been going non-stop! We were supposed to meet a girl to interview to sit for us for lunch, she was a no show. But that was due mostly in part to her being sick the night before and yahoo being what it is, I had no idea! Tuesday was MOPS. Always a good time, and the boys and I really enjoy this. But we get home in the afternoon and time seems to fly right past us. Today I scheduled a spur of the moment visit to a Preschool we have in mind for our oldest guy. Followed by finally meeting our girl for lunch.
My son LOVED the Preschool and if he could, would go tomorrow! He was so excited and loved looking in the classrooms with the other kids. He also got to play on the playground for a few minutes with the 3yr old class. He listened closely to the lady giving the tour and was very obedient. It uses Christian curriculum which is SUPER important to us, and the price is just right! Then since I needed to pick up some legal pads for my business, we ran by Target because we were a little early for our lunch meeting. Of course I bought more than I intended. Can someone tell me if they have EVER gone into Target and ONLY bought what they went in for??
They have EASTER stuff out! Of course I had to get a few things....
From there we went to lunch at Panera's. The sitter to be was running a little late so I got the boys and I started on lunch. Well, they were done by the time she and her son arrived. So they were getting BORED. As little guys will. The new sitter was very sweet and I know she will work out great. The boys warmed right up to her. But as time passed they got very restless and we were soon trying to keep them from running all over the restaurant. Tough work! I have absolutely NO NEED for a gym or an exercise video at this point.
We came home, and my goal was to start pulling stuff together for an out of town client who is flying in tonight and I will be meeting with this weekend, as well as get the house picked up for the sitter. I was checking my email, only to discover my client last minute had decided she also wanted to meet with some of the photographers and the 2 florists I had sent her info on a MONTH ago. Just now. The day before. Yeah, like they have nothing better to do than to wait for me to bring them clients. So I have been scrambling to schedule MORE, yes you read that correctly, MORE VENDORS. Which has been near to impossible. Where we live, it is almost always considered Wedding Season. And most vendors are either working at a wedding on the weekend, or with their families. Which I understand. And had she given me a little more notice, I may have been able to schedule something. But certainly not the day before. I did my part, but she needs to do hers as well. I managed to squeeze in two on Saturday morning. I am EXHAUSTED. This woman is tiring me out and I have not even met her in person yet.
In the middle of all this, I discovered my young guy, who was supposed to be napping, had LOCKED himself in his room. And its not the type of lock where you just turn the little knobby thing. No, you have to push on the door knob and turn it to lock it. I couldn't get him to do it again. So I took the door knob off. And then promptly called my dad. My poor guy was trying to help and sticking his little fingers under the door. I finally got it to unlock and he was so happy to finally be free!
Now it is close to when I usually start dinner and I haven't cleaned anything yet. I am so very tired, I am not done putting together things for my client, and I need to clean up and organize my desk space. Procrastination does not pay people! Alright, I am getting up and getting to work! I am sure I will have some GREAT stories after this weekend. Notes will be taken, and I may post some pics if I can find my battery charger for my camera!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Chicken and Dumplings Link

I thought I would link you all to Chicken and Dumplings in the Crockpot. I found it through browsing and finally landing at Slow Cooker Thursday hosted by Sandra. It looks incredibly simple and sounds super tasty! I am going to be out of the house all day Thursday with a client, and the boys will have a new sitter. I wanted to make something yummy that I thought they would both like (we'll see how that goes!) and that could be ready when I get home! I got my crockpot as a wedding gift, almost 6 years ago. And only recently have really begun using it. What a great item to have!


That was me about 15 minutes ago. God hit me in the head with a 2x4. I just was not paying attention to what He was trying to get me to do. Currently we have Comcast cable, the digital service with OnDEmand, or rather On Occasion since that is about when it works. I am always looking for ways to lower our monthly bills, and had always been under the impression that I could not switch to the Dish Network because of our location and sticking with Comcast was our only choice. Anyone who lives where we live, probably recieves something called Mint Magazine. This comes with ads for local businesses and coupons for things. The most recent one had an ad for Dish Network. As far as I knew, Comcast and Dish were the two cable networks in town. The ad for Dish was very enticing and a good deal less than Comcast. I have always hated paying what we pay. So I called. The first person I talked to, went through my options with me, ran my info and told me I was approved no problem! But because someone else was using our home number for their account so they sent me to someone else. At which point I was told I was NOT approved, and would have to buy the system for $249. But we could restart my husbands account no problem. But oh wait, the leasing offer was not eligible to re-activate. I would have to PURCHASE the equipment anyways. All this to save about $40 a month. I got disconnected several times. I think that was the first WHACK! I called back. They had no knowledge of my husbands account being reactivated. GGGGRRRRR!!!! WHACK!!! HELLO! HEY YOU, I AM TRYING TO TALK TO YOU!!!! I'm sorry, God, could you hold on a sec, I am trying to save some money here. I called AGAIN.
The guy I talked to still didn't know what was going on: "You were approved, and then not approved with the same info? You want to purchase? You do know its cheaper from Radio Shack, right?"
Me: "Ummm, no, does Best Buy carry it too?"
Guy:"Oh sure, go purchase it and then call us back"

I can do that. So I called Best Buy. No, they only carry Directv. I am sorry, "Whats that?" Thats not the Dish Network, for those of you who are as clueless as I am. And the cost for a reciever? $49.
I called Radio Shack. $99 for a Dish Network reciever. Now, which sounds better to you?? I am still thinking I need to purchase a reciever.

Now, our phone company is Bellsouth, and that is also who I have DSL through. And I KNEW that if I had the Dish Network, I could bundle and save more money. That was my goal anyways. So I called Bellsouth, thinking of course I was going to be told to purchase the reciever and get set-up. They bundle with Directv. Thats right. I finally heard my Heavenly Father gently tap me on the shoulder and whisper,"Thats what I was trying to tell you..." Oh, and because I am in good standing with Bellsouth, I was already approved and they are coming on Saturday to install. And will pay less than $40 a month for our cable, because I bundled services and stopped being so stubborn.

God cares about our finances! I know He does, and all that time he was trying to tell me this was a better deal, stop trying to get the Dish Network, I have something better for you. Good thing I eventually listened to Him before I spent over $150 trying to SAVE money!!

Menu Plan Monday

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I love this new image for Menu Plan Monday, makes me want to run out and buy an apron! Anyway, this was my first week grocery shopping using The Grocery Game. It took me a bit longer than I thought to figure out what it was I wanted to do. I clipped and sorted coupons and made a Menu for the week all at the same time! So I will share my menu first, and then my experience with The Grocery Game!

Sunday: Pizza
Monday: leftovers or scrounge night
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner, Pancakes, scrambled eggs, etc.
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Thursday: Chicken and Dumplings in the Crockpot
Friday: Chicken Pesto Pasta, Salad and garlic cheesy bread
Saturday: Roast, Mashed Potatoes, and baby carrots

My hubby went out again this morning, but thankfully will be back on Friday for about a week before he goes out again. It was so nice to have him home this weekend, and even nicer to be able to sit back let him do things around the house. He always likes to let me relax as much as he can when we are home. Unfortunately we had a TON of stuff to get done while he was home. And I really wanted to get ALL the grocery shopping done while he was here, so I wouldn't have to do it by myself with the boys and trying to haul everything upstairs!
Now, with the Grocery Game, you are supposed to wait until between Sunday and Tuesday of each week to shop. The reason being that the stores do 72 hour sales you normally wouldn't find during the week. Our list was a lot longer than I usually make it because of that. We had run so low while I tried to NOT run to the store. I think you are supposed to pick just one store to shop at, but all three of the store on my list are literally in a five mile radius. And I don't think I would have done as well otherwise. I made my list, went through the online list and marked what to get at which store. I pulled my coupons for what I needed and off we went. I saved OVER $60 my first time out! I think I did pretty good! I learned that I could use 2 coupons on an item, even if it was a BOGO. I even got a FREE gallon of Milk! And as I learn to stockpile and only get what I need, my list will get smaller and I will spend less because we will need less! I think this is GREAT!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Saucy Crockpot Meatballs

You can go here for the recipe!
It is really good, I am going to make it actually for Saturday night because tomorrow is my littlests birthday and we will go out for dinner then instead of tonight. And my hubby gets to come home tomorrow too! It turned out he did have duty today. At least we have the weekend!

I Only Have A Minute!

Barely that. After talking myself in and out of attending our church's M.O.M.S group at the park every time I woke up last night, I finally decided to go. I knew once I told the boys we were going to the park, and that one of their favorite little friends would be there too, there shouldn't be too much fight in the getting dressed process. So you would think. My oldest has grown VERY attached to this shirt he got from his cousin. Its mostly white with orange short sleeves and an elephant in various shades of orange on the front. He LOVES this shirt. He sleeps in it, then I wash it and he wears it during the day.
He wore it last night to bed, and I figured since he was clean when he went to sleep, he could wear it today. Until I discovered he had gotten into my desk before I got up and drawn all over it with a dry erase marker. I made him change, and OH MY HEAVENS I think I commited the unpardonable sin! I told him he couldn't wear it to the park, but could put it back on when we got home. He wanted to take it in the car and change after he was done at the park....
And then my little guy wanted to go pantsless to the park. Ummmm, yeah.... NO! I don't think so! But we finally got there and they had a great time. It was nice to be out in the sunshine (it was actually kind of warm out, my little guy was sweaty in a shirt and pants) and fresh air. Plus I think it will help the day go by a lot quicker. And it was nice to meet some moms from our church!
And now I should be cleaning like a mad woman, and getting my house back in order. Am I motivated? At this moment, no. I am tired from the park expedition, and then the store and now home.
Here is my one vent for the day! When I got home, the UPS man was sitting right in the middle of the parking lot. Blocking the 5 EMPTY spots right in front of our apartment. I had to get the boys upstairs and a few groceries too. But instead I am just sitting there. I honked my horn to get his attention to move his truck. Nothing. Pretty soon I see him coming from upstairs, which is where we live. So I rolled down my window to get his attention. He still had the packages and since my little guys birthday is tomorrow I figured they were for us. But he ignored me, got back in the truck and drove off. I had to get the boys and the groceries upstairs and there was of course a little note saying they would be left at the office. And since I had just gotten the boys out of the car and up the stairs I was not about to go and put them back in the car to get packages he could have just handed to me!!! But, deep breath, its all good. I will get my house together, have a nice evening and we will be able to get Damon in the morning! YAY!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Am I My Mom??

Nah, probably not completely, or even close for that matter. Its something we all fear and hope never happens! That dreaded statement, "I sound just like my mom!" And there have been occasions when I could see her lurking around the corners of my mind.
Growing up, my mom was known throughout our circles of friends as the strict one. I am talking if I could have been the girl in the plastic bubble, because I would have been safer, she would have done it! We were never allowed to walk to the corner store by ourselves, or ride our bikes to our friends houses. Going to the mall with a friend, not a chance! And I understand to a point now, that a lot of this protectiveness was born out of fear for our safety. Not a lot of this changed as we grew up, we still couldn't ride with our friends to the mall until they had been driving for a year, and while my friends were out TP-ing eachothers houses on the weekend (don't worry we always helped clean it up the next day!) I was told proper young ladies did NOT need to be out at that time of night.
But on the other end of things, I was close with my parents, we talked about things, crushes, boys, dreams, goals, etc. And my mom always tried to do what she thought was right. A little misguided perhaps from events in her own childhood, but well-meaning.
One thing I remember was that my mom went out of her way to make really GREAT lunches. Most of the kids in our classes had the average sandwich, chips, milk and cookie. Maybe hot lunch if it was edible. Maybe the occasional bagel or muffin.
My Mom got creative, we had whole wheat fritters cut into animal shapes with a yummy PB spread, oatmeal bread with strawberry creamcheese, and ham and cheese roll-ups. And I am sure other things I am forgetting about. But I remember how all our friends were in awe of our lunches, they were never ordinary and always good and healthy too!
Now, as I am packing my boys lunches for the first time ever, for MOPS, I have been thinking about those fun things I had to eat. I wrote down the recipes for these items at one time and now I would love to find them and make them for my boys lunches!
I know alot of things my parents did, we probably won't do with our kids. But that is what being a parent is, learning from our parents mistakes, tweaking the rules we lived with and making new ones for our own families.
My sister and I were loved, and even though we didn't have all the things our friends did, we still had quite a lot.

Monday, February 19, 2007

On Being Productive....

Hey, it feels pretty good! As a WAHM I have an obligation not only to my family, but to my business. I try to get most of my work done in the first half of the day so the rest can be spent picking up, making dinner and all the other domesticated things we housewives do through out the day. After dinner I hang out with the boys. Not to say I don't spend time with them throughout the day, but this is specific.

I had quite a few things to get done today, mostly because I am the QUEEN of PROCRASTINATION! I am sure there is more than one of us out there though, but I hold the title in my home. I can find all kinds of things to do, rather than what I should be doing!

Here are the things I HAD to get done today:
*Call Reception locations and put together a list of websites of Photographers in the area, and send them out to my newest client.
*Pick up living room
*do some laundry and fold some
*clean up the kitchen
*Make a Menu Plan for the Week
*Handwash some items that can't go in the washing machine
*Layout Clothes and put together lunches and backpacks for MOPS tomorrow

So far the only things I need to do is fold clothes, which I will do after the boys go down for the night while I watch whatever catches my interest. I also wait until the boys go down to put together everything for tomorrow. I also need to handwash a shirt and a nightie (sp?). I thought today was going to be low on the productivity level, but I surprised myself! I even whipped up some Brown Sugar Chewies for the boys to have after dinner and to pack in their lunches!
I think part of my enthusiasm is due in part to the fact that its pretty certain that Damon will be home in time this week! And even though I know that he doesn't expect me to have the house spotless and all that good stuff. He knows I definitely have my hands full with the boys and being pregnant. Add a business on top of that and I barely have time to breathe sometimes! But I also know that if I DON'T do it, he will spend the entire weekend he is home cleaning the house from top to bottom rather than being with us! So you see the motivation! And I know he would think he was being UBER helpful, but I would much rather spend time with him than watch him turn into the cleaning tornado! That could be a good super hero name, dontcha think?!?

Menu Plan Monday

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My goal this week is to be able to shop and use coupons effectively, work on stockpiling my cupboards and pantry and see if I can save some money. I am excited about using The Grocery Game website and making the most of my shopping trip. So here is my menu for the week!

Monday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday: Easy Chicken and Potatoes in the Crockpot
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Hopefully Damon comes home and we will go out!
Friday: Crockpot Saucy Meatballs, spaghetti, and garlic cheesy bread
Saturday: enchirritos
Sunday: Leftover from Saturday

I just got done talking to Damon, the divers are done, and everything looks good, they will hopefully be heading out tomorrow, which should put them here when they said!! Keep praying though until its absolutely certains! Thanks!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thankful MEME

I got this one from The Organizing Junkie I don't usually do these but I thought trying to find 3 things, and only 3 things that I am thankful for would be interesting!
1. Even though I hate the Navy, and the havoc it wreaks on our family life, I am thankful that the ship my husband is attached to will never take him to Iraq or the Middle East for deployment.
2. I am so thankful everyday for the blessing my 2 little guys are to us. God has blessed us with two healthy kids that are full of energy and joy. I can't wait to add our third in August, and no, we don't know what we are having!
3. I am thankful for being redeemed and set free! That as a Christian, even if my guilt can creep up on me in my thoughts, I KNOW I am FORGIVEN!

Hey, that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. There is so much more I am thankful for, but I think these are definitely my top 3. And it is nice to contemplate all we are thankful for, I think it helps me to see what we do have and not what we want to have.
What are you thankful for?? I can't really tag anyone since I am new at this and I don't know who my regular readers are yet!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quick Prayer Request

Hey everyone, I just wanted to ask for prayer real quick, my hubby has been gone since the 6th on his ship, and they are supposed to be back on later this week. But apparently they had a problem and need to go back into the port they just left to make sure there was not significant damage to the bottom, Navy divers will take a look early tomorrow morning. Just pray everything is ok, they can get back underway and be home as planned. The boys are really excited that Daddy is coming home, as am I, if he isn't home in time for this weekend, I won't see him probably until the following weekend, and he will miss my little guys 2nd birthday.
Thanks everyone!

The Grocery Game

In my quest this year for frugal living, I have read a ton of articles and visited websites until I am blue in the face. As many of you know, I want to greatly reduce our debt this year, and with our tax refund as well as a couple of new clients for me, we are off to a good start. I know that it is God's will for us to not be in debt, to pay off our CC and to live below our mean. We pray every night about our bills and our finances, that God will give us wisdom on how to pay our bills off efficiently.
In my hunt for frugality, I have been trying to gather my wits about me to tackle weekly sales at my grocery store and coupon clipping. I am the most forgetful person in the world, I am telling you, I have great intentions, but I never remember to take them with me! I clip, I organize, and then I forget about them. And I have never planned my menu around the weekly sales.
A good friend of mine was telling me a couple of weeks ago about this website called The Grocery Game and how you sign up and they organize your areas weekly circulars and categorize the sales into items that are not significantly reduced, items to stockpile, and items that end up being FREE! You can also print out coupons, from online sites they link you too. We have both been thinking about joining the program, but wanted to wait until my friend had talked to a lady at our church who uses the site. This morning, however, I turned on the news to find the woman who owns and runs the site talking about it! She gave a brief rundown of the site and how to use it. Mostly talked about stockpiling and how this will in turn help you reduce your bill even more. I paid careful attention, and then promptly went to the site myself. When you sign up for the trial you get 4 weeks for a $1. If you continue to use the site after the trial period, one store circular organized for you is $10, additional stores are $5. For every 3 friends you get to sign up and use the site, you get 12 weeks free!
This is my first attempt at this. I read a lot of the testimonies about it, people are saving literally HUNDREDS of dollars on their grocery bills every week. One lady saved enough in her first month to pay her car payment!
I can't wait to see if it works just as well for us! I will keep you all updated as I muddle through this. I am waiting for my little guy to wake up from his nap, then I am off to buy pull-ups and a SUNDAY PAPER! Thats right people, I am going to clip coupons to my hearts content, and then SAVE SAVE SAVE this week when I grocery shop!

Has anyone out there had any experience with this site, or know how to use coupons and only pay pennies for items?? Share with me how you save money!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bawling Like A Baby...

Usually with a title like that, I would assume it would be about someones child, however, this was ME, last night. I am sure that we all have our favorite TV shows, shows that we wait anxiously for every week. I have a couple that I enjoy watching, some I don't like to miss. I have never felt so emotional watching one, as I do Greys Anatomy. Which is why I think it deserves a post. Many, many moons ago, I was a diehard fan of ER. I watched it faithfully when it premiered. Probably up until a couple of years ago, I got bored and they kept replacing characters. So when Greys Anatomy premiered, I jumped on board.
For those of you who have not been watching Greys Anatomy, this is an amazing show, great storylines, and characters worth watching, and no, I am not just talking about McDreamy! Although, he is really cute...
So back to last night, maybe I can chalk it up to pregnancy hormones, or the fact that I miss my hubby, who will be home next week. Greys Anatomy is in the middle of a 3 part storyline and it looks like they are KILLING off the main character and narrator Meredith. She got knocked off the pier last week, after a horrific ferry boat crash. So they basically let her float for a week! McDreamy of course pulled her out, hypothermic and blue. They spent the last 30 minutes of the show trying to revive her and warm her back up. All the interns were crying and I was sitting on the couch BAWLING like a BABY!! Terrible. I am glad no one was there to witness me sniffing and wiping my eyes on my sleeve. And now I have to wait till next week to see if they really killed off the main star or are going to bring her back at the last minute. You know, this is why I am watching Alias on DVD! No waiting!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!!

It is Valentines Day! I was dragged out of bed this morning by two little boys telling me they "had a GOOD snooze!" Well, when do I get one? Anyway I made cinnamon toast with little hearts cut out of them and strawberry slices. Very yummy! I gave the boys their little V-day gifts we had gotten at Target the other day, I had tucked them away because they had forgotten about them. They were happy to see them, and my oldest came over and said "Its Valntins (how is sounded) Day THANK YOU MOMMY!!" They were grounded yesterday from the TV today for getting into the bathroom and spraying shaving cream and water everywhere (this is with childlocks on the door!) so they didn't get to watch any of the cute little shows on today. But they have been playing like crazy all through the house. I cleaned up their toys and got the kitchen cleaned up and I am getting ready to put some Valentines Day cookies in the oven!
So far, besides the thank you from my oldest, the highlight of the day was a call from my hubby! His ship is still out and will be until next week. I thought he wouldn't be able to call today, so it was a nice surprise!
I should be working today on calling vendors, but it is V-day and I know they will all have their hands full, so I am off to start the dishwasher and heat up my oven!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL VALENTINES DAY!!!
What was the highlight of your day?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What A Day!

Today was the first day of MOPS. I decided this year to finally do it because I want to be able to get the boys out of the house and interact with other kids. And the plus side being that I get some fellowship and a message of sorts. I got almost everything ready last night, I had bought each of my boys their very own backpacks, Thomas for my oldest and Cars for my youngest. I had to put in a change of clothes and pack a lunch. Except for their sandwiches. I saved that for this morning. I laid out their clothes and thought we were good. Of course, things never work out the way you think they will! We got up this morning, and breakfast did not go as planned. My oldest fussed and fretted and refused cereal. Normally he will eat whatever I give him, but this morning, it was No I don't like cereal, and "tell me I don't have to have cereal Mommy" he wanted NOODLES. For breakfast. EEEEWWWW!! We hopped in the shower, got out and got dressed, well, I got dressed, my oldest got dressed and I chased my youngest around with a shirt, undies and pants. I think ok, now we are ready! Wrong! I forgot I had to make juices, and stop and get gas and OH! I still hadn't called to get directions. Yeah, that would be helpful!
I did manage to get there, just under the wire. The boys enjoyed their classes, and I enjoyed the group. It was so nice to sit there with other women, and just be. There will be crafts each week, and they serve a ChikFilA breakfast sandwich. (my hubby will be so jealous!) Afterwards, the church is so huge, they have a cafeteria! I can sit and have lunch with friends afterwards while the boys are still in class. Talk about a wonderful idea. God BLESS the women who came up with MOPS!
Afterwards we headed home, now I have to add that my oldest son has for some odd reason decided that the downtown area of where we live is called China. I have no idea where this came from, but on the way home, he was so sad because we were leaving China!
I laid my little guy down because he was fast asleep, and let my oldest watch Backyardigans in our bedroom. Ahhhh, a nice little bit of more time to myself. I am thinking "I can do this, I can take my boys out on my own, and have a nice day" our puppy guest did well while we were gone. I had bought two baby gates and put them on either end of the kitchen. So I put him in there with his toys, water, and a little bit of food, as well as a puppy pad. He peed on the pad! I thought, I can do this, We could plausibly get a puppy and it would be ok while Damon is gone on his ship. I took the boys out with the puppy yesterday for a little walk and it went well. I figured we could do it again today, I needed to get the trash out, the boys and the puppy would get some fresh air before the storm came. Things were good, I was on top of it! Damon would be SO PROUD!! Wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The boys went to the potty, we got shoes and socks back on and put the leash on the puppy. I also needed to take the trash out. I want you all to picture this, I am 16 weeks pregnant, my boys are 2 and 3. There is a puppy on a leash that is scared to go down the stairs unless he is carried. And I have two BIG bags of trash. Can you see it? Needless to say, this was a catastrophe waiting to happen. I got the boys down the stairs, along with the trash. But the silly puppy wouldn't come down the stairs. My oldest took it upon himself to try and get Bowie down the stairs. No luck. So I had to run up and grab him. My youngest takes off RUNNING. Across the parking lot. I am yelling, COME BACK HERE NOW!!! My oldest sits down in the dirt and starts playing, I am lugging two bags of trash and a puppy chasing my youngest. Finally I rounded one up, and got them back on the grass, and started heading towards the dumpsters. I must have looked incredibly stressed out, because the lady in the apartment on the end waved me to go to the dumpster and she would keep and eye on the boys. I was so grateful.
Ok, but I still was not back up the stairs yet, and I know this is a VERY long story at this point! I go to grab the boys and they both take off running in OPPOSITE directions. I am exhausted just writing it back down. I managed to catch the youngest, the lady grabbed the puppy, and I went off after my oldest. He was ALL the way around the corner of the little group of apartments we are in. I got him and went back around the corner to get the puppy. Thankfully the lady walked the dog back over for me while I had a hold of the boys. I sent my oldest up the stairs and carried the puppy and walked the youngest. The lady was nice enough to offer to watch the boys on occasion if I ever needed to run to the store or something. So nice.
Never again! I am never doing that again. Now, the puppy goes home on Friday. And we love having him, but I am not taking the boys and the puppy for a walk again. Oh my word! And to think I had bought a couple of weeks ago a prenatal workout DVD. Because I thought I was not going to be getting enough exercise. YEAH RIGHT!

I forgot to post a picture of our Valentines Day Dessert the Chocolate Pillows with the Cherry Sauce and Vanilla ice cream, so here is that!

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And here is a picture of puppy Bowie!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I have to admit, I am not really feeling very Menu Plan-ny today. I did really good last week, although I did substitute in a few meals as my cravings dictated. I tried the Saucy Crockpot Meatballs, which were amazing, and even my boys ate! And then on Saturday we had Strawberry Stuffed French Toast, another winner!

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Mac and Cheese and Chicken for boys with fruit
me: Steak and mashed potatoes garlic cheddar and italian bread

Ranch Chicken Ring

quesadillas cheese for boys chicken and veggies for me heart shaped of course! We will be making cupcakes and decorating them today and drawing V-day crafty things!

chicken and cheesy rice

eat out with the boys on the way home from taking our puppy guest for the week home

I am not feeling very adventurous right now, I just have to make it through this week and next, and the hubby will be home for the weekend.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Look Mom! No hands!!

When I got up this morning, I was on a mission. Usually when hubby is gone on his boat, I tend to not venture out of the house unless I absolutely have to. I become a hermit so to speak. Not because I am introverted or anything, but mostly because it is such a BIG task getting my boys, and myself ready to head out the door. I simply don't have the energy to fight with them to get dressed, and chase them around to put shoes and socks on several times. I say several times because by the time I have moved from one to the other, the first kid is pulling his shoes and socks back off! Fun for the WHOLE family! Then there is getting them down the stairs and into the car, and then getting to the store/mall and either trying to get them to stay in the stroller or the shopping cart! And since I am pregnant, I am usually not up for that kind of Triathlon.
But this morning, I had things to do! I needed foundation, and Estee Lauder at Dillards was having a FREE GIFT with purchase. My last bottle of foundation lasted over a year so it was time for a new bottle. Then, I had found an ad in the weekly ads for Contact Lenses (4 boxes at 16.45 a box!) I hadn't bought any since I had my eyes checked oh... about 5 months ago. I had gotten new glasses that I really liked, and I felt like I needed to give my eyes a break. Well, great deal, break over! I needed to get V-day gifts for the boys as well as a few items from the grocery store.
So I figured, God would give me the strength to do this, and if all was successful, I would even attempt church tomorrow! We all hopped in the shower, got ready in record time (for us) and headed out the door! With not much whining, I got my errands done, the boys did so great, and while I did manage to forget a few REALLY important items from Target, we made it home in one piece! I let the boys pick out their V-day gifts, and I know most of you are now shaking your heads in pity, they were fairly easy to please. They both picked out this little stuffed elephant that was supposed to be a gift card holder, it was on sale for .34 cents a piece! Then they eached picked a Elmo Valentines day book, and I got a Pooh bear DVD about love and friendship. Of course I also had to pick up some of the CUTER than CUTE melamine Valentines plates they had on sale for $2 each, and a $1 heart garland.
They have forgotten about the elephant and the book, so I will give it to them at breakfast on Wednesday, and we will make cookies and cupcakes together and decorate them! Which is perfect because they are staying with a wonderful friend for a half an hour on Thursday morning, and now we can bring her some treats! And I know you will read this, and YES I am bringing you some!!

I am off to hang out with my little guys, and read my book before bedtime!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Catching Up

Some of my regular morning blog reads have prompted me to share a little bit of our financial struggles. Like most Americans, I know very few who aren't, we are in debt. Now I know that if I did an average of how much debt most people have, ours would probably be on a very low scale. But it is still our debt, and in our little world, it is quite a bit. Most of it we can claim as our fault, we are both HUGE impulse shoppers. Its a scary thing when we go shopping sometimes! We are suckers for FREE GIFTS! It is a little joke between us, that no matter what it was, if there was a free gift, we would buy it!
We have had some very hard times these past 6 months. Thankfully God provided a way out everytime we could begin to see the avalanche bearing down on us. We are in no way caught up, but slowly we have begun paying off credit cards. We have sacraficed to get to where we are now. Cut corners where we can, and according to my husband I am the Electricity and Water Gestapo. I know what I can control, and I do. Every penny I make with my business goes towards bills, or anything unexpected that comes up. I didn't want to cut up our Credit Cards. We want to get our Credit Score back up, and if you stop using them altogether than your score goes down. Instead we chose to fill a bottle with water and freeze them. So there they are in the freezer! Until they are all paid off, we won't use them.
The minute my husband W-2 was available online, I did our taxes. Our refund was just deposited today. I would love to just go shopping, or put it towards visiting family, or even nursery items for the new baby coming in August. However, I know what I have to do with it and as much as it pains me, I will. Plus it felt good to pay one off this morning. Most of it will go towards our entertainment center, but I have to wait on that since they screwed up our interest rate and have yet to fix it!
I know I have said this before, but my goal this year, especially in these first 6 months, I want to learn to budget better, and shop more frugally.
There is really only two good things I can say about hubby being gone so much this year, we won't spend nearly as much on gas as we do, since he won't be driving back and forth to the base every day, and when he is gone sometimes we get a little extra money. If they do enough flight ops he gets paid extra, and if he is gone longer than 30 days we get family seperation pay. Thank God for blessings in disguise!

On a lighter note, I had a Dr. appt yesterday and the baby and I are healthy, everything is on schedule, and I only gained 4 lbs! I am going to try and eat healthier this time around. Anyone want to help keep me on track?

Oh, and I am making Saucy Slow Cooker Meatballs, and I PROMISE not to lift the lid this time.... even though they already smell amazing!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Asiago Cheese Bread by Request!

This is a rather long recipe, although fairly simple to make! I found it in my Betty Crocker Cookbook, Bridal Edition. Which was a gift from oh so long ago when I got married!
And since it was requested by Barb I thought I would share it with everyone!

Asiago Bread

When sliced, this large, flour-dusted loaf reveals cheese lined pockets. Any full-flavored, firm aged cheese works well. Its a perfect bread for a country style dinner as well as toasted for breakfast!

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast(2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 c very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
2 tblsp olive or vegetable oil
2 tsp dried Rosemary or Thyme if desired
1 tsp Salt
1 c Diced Asiago Cheese
1/4 cup diced Asiago Cheese

1. Mix 1 1/2 c Flour, the sugar,and yeast in a large bowl. Add warm water, beat with a wire whisk or electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand about 1 hour or until bubbly.
2. Stir in oil, Rosemary, and salt. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 c at a time until a soft, smooth dough forms. Let stand 15 minutes.
3. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Knead in 1c cheese. Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening (I used Olive Oil) turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 45 to 60 minutes, or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
4. Lightly grease uninsulated cookie sheet with shortening. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Gently shape into football shaped loaf about 12 inches long by stretching sides of dough downward to make a smooth top. Place dough with smooth side up on cookie sheet. Coat loaf gently with flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until almost double. (mine took a little less than 45 minutes)
5. Place square pan on bottom rack of oven, add hot water to pan until about 1/2 inch from top. Heat oven to 450 degrees
6. Spray loaf with cool water, sprinkle with flour. Carefully cut 1/2 inch deep slash lengthwise down center of loaf with sharp serrated knife. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese inside.
7. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 400. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until loaf is deep golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool!


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Happy Early Valentines Day!

Last night we did our Valentines Day dinner, because this morning my dh went out on his ship for 17 days. Meaning we would miss Valentines Day AGAIN!! We missed it last year because he had just been deployed for 6 months. He had already given me my gift, we just wanted to have a nice dinner and exchange cards. We always do one funny one, and one "romantical" one! The Chicken Kiev turned out really good, needed a little something though. Not unusual for me though, I can't take anything really bland right now. I had also made Asiago Cheese Bread, which turned out SO YUMMY!! Damon had made cherry sauce for the dessert, which he LOVES, and we usually make at Christmas for our ham. So he discovered that dipping the bread in the cherry sauce (sounds weird, I know!) is super tastey!
And for dessert... OH MY WORD!!! I had decided that I was going to make Chocolate Pillows, which basically is just a chunk of dark baking chocolate between two wonton wrappers. Then fried for a minute or two in hot oil and served with Vanilla Icecream and the cherry sauce.
I COULD NOT FIND ANY WONTON WRAPPERS!!!! At least not at the grocery store we shop at. So instead I picked up some of the Puff Pastry sheets in the freezer section! They were SO GOOD! I broke the sheets into little squares and placed a piece of chocolate in the center and then pulled up the corners to meet on top, then baked them in the oven for about 10-11 minutes. These were so wonderful, a simple, but amazing dessert. And it looked pretty too! I served them in pink heart shaped dishes with Cherry sauce drizzled over the ice cream and puff pastry. I was going to take a picture last night, but my dh didn't want to wait for me to take a picture to post here! So I will recreate it tonight, just for the sake of a picture of course....

All in all, we had a nice quiet evening, the boys were in bed while we had dinner and it was nice to just be together.

Monday, February 5, 2007

My Celebrity Faces

I thought this was the funniest thing ever! I came across this here!

I think its the smile, don't you??

I had another one up a little bit ago, I will put it back up so you can see the difference, also it shows a what the comment is talking about! People always ask me what my ethnicity is, and it is never anything even remotely close!


I have heard moms say that they didn't know they could love as much as they do until they had a child. I have also heard plenty of moms say that they didn't think they could have enough love to give if they had another child. Which always has driven me crazy. My BIL overheard his mom say when he was little that she had no clue that she could love another child more than her first son, until she had her second. He lives with that memory to this day. I look at my two boys and I am amazed at the amount of love I have for them both. I don't love one more than the other. But I do love them equally for different reasons.
My oldest guy is so sweet, with a loving heart. He is funny and learning so much every day. He cares for those around him, and often thanks Jesus for his friends at night. He is dramatic and full of energy, but I know that he loves his family with a steady love.
My second little guy is crazy, and busy. He loves to climb in my lap, no matter how inopportune the moment, and give big hugs and kisses. And how can you deny that, no matter what I am doing, my heart melts when I hear "Need Hug? Need kiss Mommy? He is impulsive, a little bit of a bully to his big brother, but is always ready to hug and say he is sorry. I love hearing him say Good Morning Brother, I love you! And boy can he carry a grudge!
I am also so excited to meet the new little one I am carrying, in August. I already love her/him, and we pray daily for health and safety. I also pray the gifts of the spirit over all my children, that they would have sweet spirits.
I am so blessed every day by my little ones, and I can't imagine life without them! I revel in their love, and while I do get stressed out sometimes, especially when it is just me and them for weeks at a time when Daddy is gone, I THANK GOD for them every day!

Menu Plan Monday

I have a really big urge to skip Menu Plan Monday this week, since Damon will leave tomorrow for 17 days for training and the usual Navy junk* (insert stronger word here). But a lot of stuff will carry over from last week, and there will be lots of simple kids stuff and sandwiches for me!
I gave the Easy Chicken and Potatoe Crockpot recipe a try last week. It was so good! And my husband found a recipe he wanted to try, Hawaiian Tacos, and so I threw that in the mix too!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday: We are celebrating V-day tonight so the boys are eating early and we will have dinner after they go to bed!
boys: hot dogs and fruit
Us: Baked Chicken Kiev, salad, Asiago Bread (homemade)
dessert: Chocolate Pillows with Cherry Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Vermont White Cheddar Sandwiches
Friday: Spaghetti, Salad, and garlic bread
Saturday: Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas
Sunday: Corndogs for the boys and english muffin mini-pizza for me!

Now the real question is how much I will stick to this! But since I am really trying to be more frugal, I am a little more motivated.
Let me know if you play!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I Think They Might Be Gone?

Its funny the things that motivate us to take action. We have been fighting this flea issue for quite a while now, trying to be careful how we did it because we wanted our boys to be safe. We purchased Brewers Yeast about a week ago, and began sprinkling it on our cats food. For those of you unfamiliar with Brewers Yeast, you can get it at the Health Food store. It is mainly all the B vitamins together and helps to boost your metabolism. And now Cordelia (the cat) is a little hyper! The reason you give it to your cat is that supposedly fleas don't like the taste of it in their blood and will start to leave her alone.
I would imagine however, that it takes a few days for it to work its way into her system. Because she still had them!
Friday, Damon got to come home from work at 8am. Which was great! I got to sleep in a little bit. When I got up we were talking about how on Tuesday, they are going out for about 2 weeks. Oddly enough, and maybe not so odd, there are about 5 people who will not be going due to various "accidents". Hands cut, fingers broken, etc. One of Damon's friends isn't going for a different reason, although I am not quite sure why. Anyway, the point of all this is that he will be gone from his house for about 7 days and has just recently got a dachsund puppy! And I get to puppy sit it!
So when I heard this on Friday, we decided we had to FINALLY do something about these ridiculous FLEAS! And since we had all day, we had to do it all! We had bought some powder called Flea Busters a while back, but you have to leave to house for about 8 hours after you put it on, and then vacuum it up when you come back. So we got everybody ready, decided to run our cat by the Vet for a treatment, (a great little pill that makes all the fleas fall off dead, don't know why no one gave us this before....) take Cordelia back to the house and put her in her room, and then head to St Augustine for the day! The pill worked wonders, and the carpet definitely seems to be in much better shape. And we had a lot of fun in one of our favorite places! All this, so that when I doggy sit in a couple of days, this puppy doesn't go home with fleas!