Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Giveaway!!!

Annie is having a great springy giveaway! Yay!
Go check it out. These candles are the greatest!!

post signature

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moving pictures!

Here are a few pictures of the new house and the kids helping us unpack.

post signature

Moving Day Three

Guess where I have slept the past 2 nights? Yes, you guessed it, the new house! It feels so great to wake up there.

I will hopefully get my pc hooked up at new house today and I will write more. Right now I am at the rent house on my knees because there are no chairs here. My desk and the piano are still here alone with tons of little things that should probably be thrown away. Junk.

Have a great Tuesday!

post signature

Sunday, March 23, 2008

post signature

The Resurrection
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

post signature

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Frugal Brainstorming

Julie’s Frugal Ideas

Keep in mind that these suggestions are temporary. Once we are out of debt (everything but the house) we will loosen up a little bit. Some of these things we may continue because they are smart and make sense. The more of these ideas we put into practice, the sooner our total debt will be paid off.

Food/Groceries/Grocery Shopping

~Follow Hillbilly Housewife’s $45/week menu once a month (

~Follow Hillbilly Housewife’s $70/week menu once a month

~Bake treats from scratch (cinnamon rolls, banana bread, zucchini bread, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, etc.)

~Plan dessert 3x a week to keep dh from eating candy and ice cream on his way home J

~Cook double and freeze half; do this at least once a week

~Leftover Night once a week

~Shop for food once a week

~When shopping, only buy what is on my list

~Leave debit cards at home

~Use Dave’s cash envelope system

~Plant a garden

~More With Less cookbook

~Use what we have in the pantry/freezer for our meals

~Buy a large jar of applesauce and put into small containers for boys’ lunches

~Make pudding/jello and do the same

~Make sure they bring home their water bottles each day

~Make KoolAid once a week and put into their water bottles

~Get creative with their sandwiches: tortilla wraps, ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and honey, turkey and ham, cheese, chicken salad

~Eat meat/poultry with dinner twice a week

~Have beans and rice/beans and cornbread, eggs and homemade biscuits/bread, baked oatmeal and scrambled eggs several times a month

~Use Betty Crocker cookbook for basic recipes

~Have cold cereal on Saturday mornings only

~Shop at bakery outlet

~Base menus on sale ads

Our Time

~Stay in town from 8-11, then pick up ds5 and go home for the afternoon

~Do Sonlight at park or library

~Make Fridays library days; be sure to get books back on time; 1 book per person

~Work in garden on Saturday afternoons

~Sunday afternoons have to be a time of rest; after lunch, the kids and I need to go to bed for the afternoon

~Budget Committee Meeting each Sunday evening

~Use my planner

Selling Our Stuff/Getting Rid Of Excess

~Ask Dad to find a home for the horses

~Do not pay for a U Haul for moving to new house

~Get rid of cell phones

~Only basics on Verizon phone bill

~Have garage sale

~List piano in paper, on Total Money Makeover forums, and on Craig’s List

~Shop garage sales on Saturday morning for things to resale

~List items on eBay Sunday pm (8ish)

~Buy Weight Watchers book on eBay and count points manually; cancel Weight Watchers online

~Collect cans and take to recycling center for kids’ spending money

~Sell weight bench


~Use cloth diapers at home; disposable diapers when we leave the house

~Put panties on dd2 at home; disposable diapers on her when we leave the house

~Save $50 a month for car repairs and keep the van as long as possible

~Fix things as they go wrong; don’t wait until there are 5 things needing repair

~Keep thermostat at 64 (daytime) 62 (nighttime) in winter and 80 (daytime) 78 (nighttime) in summer

~Set program on thermostat so we don’t have to adjust it

~Conserve water by using faucet aerators

~Use compact fluorescent light bulbs

~Use rechargeable batteries

~Use clothesline or clothes rack

~Use low-flow showerheads in both showers

~Set a timer in the bathrooms for showers

~Run errands once a week (Fridays)

~Use powder dishwasher detergent instead of tabs; see if powder is really less expensive than tabs or liquid

~Use 4 cleaners only (bleach, window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, vinegar)

~Wash everything in cold water

~Sew patches in the boys’ and dd2's pants

~Put bibs on babies

~Keep SA8 stain treatment on hand all the time; buy several

Bargain Shopping/Smart Purchases

~Stock up on essentials (diapers, wipes, toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, shampoo) when they go on sale and/or I have a coupon

~Pay $89 for yearly membership to Total Money Makeover online instead of paying monthly (25 cents a day if I pay yearly)

~Take advantage of rebates at Walgreen’s and CVS

~Check Money Saving Mom’s blog at least weekly for bargains and freebies

~Shop at consignment stores and garage sales for mine and kids’ clothes and shoes

~Shop at Kohl’s sales for dh's clothes and shoes

~Research refillable ink cartridges

Smart Things To Do

~Get hay crop going on back part of land (mow the whole thing, get rid of tires and metal, fertilize)

~Cut up credit cards (videotape it and send it to Dave Ramsey’s TV show)

~Get papers organized so that all receipts and warranty paperwork is filed and I can easily find it

~Keep desk clean and organized

~Keep checkbook balanced

~Take Shonda Parker’s Naturally Healthy Family course ($300)

~Use Trilight herbs to treat illnesses

~Give kids a good quality vitamin; try giving them the full dose of Juice Plus

~Clean, paint, and repair this house so we can get our deposit back

~Learn to cut the kids’ hair

~Put Pay Per Posts on my blog

~Do taxes; e-file

~Look for ways to have “free fun”

Frugal Reading List

Not Just Beans by Tawra Jean Kellum

A Simple Choice, by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Frugal Living For Dummies(R), by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Unplug the Christmas Machine: Putting Joy Back into the Holiday, by Jo Robinson

30 Days to a Simpler Life, by Connie Cox

Eat Healthy for $50 a Week: Feed Your Family Nutritious Delicious Meals for Less, by Rhonda Barfield

More-With-Less Cookbook, by Doris Janzen Longacre

365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Child, by Steven J. Bennet

Unclutter Your Home, by Donna Smallin

Dinner’s in the Freezer: More Mary, Less Martha , by Jill Bond

post signature

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Beauty in the Common Things: Spring air
Listen In: boys playing football on ps2
Supper Plans: not sure yet
Today I Plan To: grocery shopping, shoe shopping for ds9
View From the Kitchen Window: sunshine and shadows

post signature

What type of Mother Hen Are You?
by Educational Resource

post signature

Sorry About That!

Oh my goodness, I was so whiney yesterday morning! My day definitely got better. I got the upstairs floors sanded and re-finished, then I helped Dad all day on various things. Last night before we left, we cleaned and put one coat of finish on one set of stairs and all of the downstairs floors. We worked until 11:30 pm, so I am a wee bit tired, but I am very excited about the progress we made yesterday.

Today the heat and air will be completed and tomorrow the propane will be installed and all appliances hooked up. We will put a 2nd coat of finish on the floors before Dad leaves to go back to Oklahoma. Then we will be able to move in on Easter Sunday.

The shower in the master bathroom will not be completed when we move in and there are a few light fixtures that I have not picked out yet so we have little porcelain fixtures that just hold a bare bulb. But I can live with that until I find fixtures I like. The dining room chandelier and the entryway light fixtures are the ones I am having trouble finding. I have looked at Lowes and Home Depot. There is a store in town called Lone Star that has Texas/Western style fixtures and furniture and I am going to look there.

Tomorrow the youth group is coming 0ut to help pick up trash outside of the house. There is so much trash to pick up! The wind has blown stuff all over the 11 acres and probably into the neighbor's land as well. Hopefully we will have that picked up soon.

That's all for now! Have a great Thursday!

post signature

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I am discouraged this morning. There are 2 reasons for this:
1. Mom and I put the 2nd coat of finish on the wood floors upstairs in the kids' bedrooms yesterday morning. We figured that turning on the fans would benefit us by helping the floors dry faster. Wrong. Yes, the floors dried faster, but little bubbles are all in the floor, making it look kind of like bubble wrap. That is not exactly the look we are going for, so today I get to sand all of the bubbles out and start over. I feel like we wasted a whole day. I am really thinking about crying over this.
2. I listed a bunch of homeschooling books and curriculum on eBay Saturday. it took me hours to do this. Well, when I paid my account balance last week through PayPal, I accidentally clicked on "Pay Now " before realizing that I had authorized payment from an old bank account that is closed, instead of our current bank account. Today when I went to sign in to eBay to check the items I was selling, it told me that my account was suspended for nonpayment. Blah blah blah, to make along story short, now I have to relist everything. Again, I feel like to totally wasted my day Saturday.

We want to move in this Saturday. I am tired. I want to cry. My children have been home with a babysitter all day everyday since Monday. My kids and I are not used to me being gone from morning till night. My baby is missing me and I am missing him. Last night I called to check on him and to let the kids know I was on my way home and Baby was screaming at the top of his lungs. When I got home, he was already asleep. So sad. : (

post signature

Monday, March 17, 2008

Okay, I lied. I didn't mean to though!! My mom's camera requires some fancy little thing that she left at home. It won't upload pictures without it, which means you will not get to see pictures of the house and kids and Aunt Maxine and Aunt Sandra and mom and dad and my cute hubby until next week when she gets home and emails the pictures to me.


post signature

Beauty in the Common Things: visiting with someone you haven't seen in a long time
Listen In: Baby talking and kids breathing as they sleep
Supper Plans: Crockpot Herbed Chicken, brown rice, salad
Today I Plan very happy that it is Spring Break and I don't have to drop off/pick up kids from school, work on the new house with my mom, dad, mom-in-law, and dad-in-law
View From the Kitchen Window: dark outside

Yesterday I got to see my Aunt Maxine. I haven't seen Aunt Maxine in almost 10 years! The last time I saw her was at my Grandad's funeral, which was when ds9 was 6 weeks old. She is going to be at my other aunt's house all week and yesterday both aunts drove down to see us. These are my mom's 2 sisters. It was so much fun to see her! She is 72 years old but seems MUCH younger. I enjoy being around her so much. We met up with some friends from the town I grew up in who happened to be in this area this weekend as well, and we all (my family of 9, my parents, my n-laws, our friends from home, and my 2 aunts) went out to eat at a great local Mexican food place. We had a great time and it is a memory I will cherish always. I took lots of pictures and I will post them later today because they are on my mom's camera!

We are working, working, working on the house this week, trying to get in by this weekend!!! I have hired a babysitter today, tomorrow, and Wednesday to keep the little ones here so I can help out some at the house. My mom is such a hard worker. She is one of those people who is constantly working on something. She never sits down. Seriously. So having her here for the week encourages all of us to not sit down and to keep working. And, of course, having her here lifts everyone's spirits because she is a very cheerful little gal!

I had better go get ready for the day. I am siting here in my jammies, wrapped up in a blankie, and the babysitter will be here in 45 minutes. I wil post those pics later today.

post signature

Thursday, March 13, 2008

When I went to bed last night my house was pretty messy. The kitchen was especially neglected. I have been leaving the house every morning this week at 7:45 to take the boys to school and not getting back home until after 3:30 when I pick the boys up from school. We have been doing “carschooling” this week while we run all over North Texas running errands for my dad and my father-in-law as they finish up our house.

Last night I finished dd13’s school at about 10:30 and crashed. I was so tired that I fell asleep in my clothes. I just woke up when my alarm went off. I came into the living room and it looked rather clean. Hmmm…I turned on the light and it was definitely clean. Then I walked into the kitchen and was sure I was in the wrong house. Either that or someone broke into our house last night and cleaned the kitchen. Spotless. Floor mopped. All dishes done. Table cleaned off. Table polished. Piles of dirty laundry begging to be washed are gone. I am not sure where they are and I am not going to look.

I know my hubby didn’t do this because he took Benadryl last night and the last time I saw him he was snoring.

That leaves dd13 as the sneaky cleaner. Wow! What a HUGE blessing to wake up to a clean kitchen and living room. Oh, and did I mention that Mt. Washmore, who had been taking up the couch and spilling onto the floor, is folded?

I hope she didn’t stay up until wee hours of the morning working on this. But if she did, I feel even more thankful and grateful to her. What a sweetheart! I am super blessed and thankful and very loved!

Now, if it really wasn’t dd13 who did this wonderful thing, I have to figure out who exactly It was. I’ll keep you posted!

** Update** It was dd13 who cleaned up for me. She stayed up until 2:30 am cleaning!! She couldn't find the mop (??) so she scrubbed the kitchen floor on her hands and knees!! AND she has arranged for the youth group from our church to come out to the new house and do a major cleanup the day before we are scheduled to move in (which is now March 22, btw). What a sweetie!!

post signature

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Cleaning Guide

Amy over at The Motherload
has put together a great guide to Spring cleaning. Today is Day Two of week One, so hurry up and check it out!!

post signature

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Beauty in the Common Things: the color green
Listen In: E playing with Baby and ds5 talking
Supper Plans: pintos and cornbread
Today I... ran errands, homeschooled
This evening I am going to pay bills, fold laundry, and do the supper dishes. Our homeschool program (Sonlight) is a 4-day program so we get Fridays off (except math, which we do M-F). Fridays are supposed to be cleaning and errand days, but I have been running errands everyday while we are building the house.
Tomorrow will be cleaning day, I hope. However, tomorrow is supposed to be wintery weather here, so I may have all 7 children cooped up all day. It's hard to clean when they are cooped up in the house. They make major messes when the weather is too bad to play outside!
View From the Kitchen Window: raining cats and dogs : )

post signature

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Beauty in the Common Things: homeschooling in Texas
Listen In: Mister Rogers
Supper Plans: spaghetti, Italian green beans, garlic bread
Today I Plan To: homeschool dd13, shuttle boys to and from school, make a quick trip to the grocery store, go to church service tonight, go out to new house and look around at the progress (our move- in date is getting SO close!!!)
View From the Kitchen Window: dawn

post signature

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Decorating for Easter

Hi everyone,
I hope your weekend is pleasant and relaxing. Ours has not been, but that is okay. We have managed to pass around a nasty stomach virus all week and today Baby and I are finishing up our bout with it. Lovely.

The garage sale didn't happen, obviously. We will try again next Friday. : )

I would like to decorate my new home for Easter. Can any of you give me some ideas for decorating without spending lots of money? I want to do some simple things that will not stretch my creative side too much. I don't have much of a creative side, that's the problem. I have been searching around on the internet for ideas, but haven't seen anything that really catches my eye. it has to be EASY and QUICK.

Have a happy weekend!

post signature