Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas done but still smiling!!!

Well we had to postpone Christmas until late last night, about 10pm. One of the unfortunate things about hubby working for the you never know when he is going to be home, He is on call 24 hrs, 7 days. We had a really nice, non stressful night last night, Everyone seemed happy and content, It was really really nice. We had a ham and scalloped potato dinner with pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, spinach dip with veggie tray. I had all ingredients on hand so no running to the store......YEAH.
Today I spent cleaning up, I kicked everyone out ( Sent them to the bowling alley) and cleaned cleaned cleaned. OHHHH the house looks so nice, I had an extra hour before they got home to just enjoy the cleanliness. I was very happy to see they took extra care tonight to keep it clean for me. All in all this was the best Christmas thus far. Nothing really notable, Just quiet, content, laid back. I miss it already!!!!!! Hope you all had your best Christmas thus far too !!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Getting ready for christmas

I am getting ready for Christmas today, I want a very laid back no fuss Christmas this year. I have given myself permission to be free. I cleaned the house this morning, A shortened spring clean type clean. Scrubbed every little corner. I am done. I will not do much until December 27th. I have the last load in the dryer, all sheets and blankets have been washed too. I will spend tomorrow making up some of the food that can be made up ahead of time. Then just the big stuff will need to be done on Christmas eve and day. I really really want to enjoy this year and not be caught up in the fact that everything is perfectly perfect. I never live in perfectly perfect and this year I am gonna enjoy the mess. Of course, no one will see me on Dec. 27th, Cause I will be back in mode come 7am, And I will curse myself hourly for "letting this house go" ahhhhh, (sip of coffee) I know myself so well!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEEE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is there anything better then goulash????

I make goulash atleast 6 times a month. We love it!!!! I make it on the stovetop, or sometimes I put it in the crockpot. It is really filling, So the only I ever serve with it is homemade applesauce, or tonight was homemade applesauce and throw those pears in that are gonna go bad sauce!!! I always feel complete when I make this, Maybe that is why I make it so much. Everyone gobbles up and wants seconds. It is so cheap and so easy, I love it love it love it.
Goulash (stove top recipe)
1 lb hamburger
1 can tomato paste( 1 large can or 2 small ones)
1 can tomato sauce(1 large can or 2 small ones)
salt pepper
macaroni noodles or any darn noodle you have on hand.
Sometimes If I remember a can of corn.
Fill up pot about 3/4 way with water ( I use a stockpot)
bring to boil, crumble hamburger into boiling water, add celery and onion. Boil until hamburger is no longer pink. Add tomato sauce and paste, Stir till dossolved. Add macaroni noodles, cook till done. Salt and pepper to taste. Right before you serve this you can add a can of corn, I add liquid and all.
I do sprinkle in a pinch of sugar in anything I serve with a tomato base, tomato sauces, spaghetti sauces give me acid, and the sugar cures that for me. It is not enough to taste, but does the trick for me.

What someone's waste would buy me

I was just reading emily's post over at about wrapping paper ideas. I posted about seeing a woman spend $79 just on wrapping paper. Every time I see this type of spending, I can't help but think what that could buy for our family. I do this everytime I see something wasted, I can't help it, I have an illness, hahahaha. So let's take that $79 wrapping paper amount and see what we could buy that is actually useful......
$79 would buy our family
#1- 30 gallons of milk
#2- 5 huge boxes of powdered milk
#3- my wish list-apple peeler corer, food dehydrator, root beer making kit, -my $20 gift cards from swagbucks, and I could add a bit more to that list.
#4- enough paint to paint every room in our 2500 sq. ft. house
#5- @.99 lb when on sale for pork chops, 79 lbs.
I sometimes don't even realize that I am doing this, I just see things and my mind thinks, maybe too much sometimes.
Wrapping paper to me is just wasteful spending. It is something that most just throw away. I just keep everything, and use it the next year. I have a huge bin full of bags, wrappings, ribbons etc., enough to last years, then I just keep adding to it. If by chance I used it all, I still would not buy new stuff, I would use newspaper or whatever I had that would work. I know my kids would rather have something else they needed then expensive wrapping, I took a poll, not one kid or hubby or I would want wrapping instead of something else we really wanted or needed, Well the 2 year old just stared at me but I took that as a no, :). What waste have you seen lately and what could you buy your family with that?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Going to the store during the holiday's makes me sad.

I purposely get my stockpile at it's largest during the holiday season, To avoid the stores. Plus I do not have the same ability as my hubby does to go in, get only what is on the list and leave. He does not mind going and getting them for me, and this saves us money. Well he had to work today, and I had to get some milk, Been pumping out yogurt just as the kids are gobbling it up. It made me rather sad, I know this sounds crazy, But every year when I go to the store so close to Christmas it makes me sad. Sad for a lot of the people that are shopping. Sometimes I want to run up to them and tell them, I know I have been there, But you can't buy their love. Some of them, just seem to grab things randomly, piles and piles of STUFF. They seem in a trance, like not even realizing what they are buying. Am I nuts or does anyone else notice this and feel bad for them. The funniest part is they look at me in the express lane with my brood and probably think, How sad she can only afford milk!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day of reflection

I have been reflecting alot today, about the past year or more. I want to make some real big changes this next year or two. I love learning, I will never stop! There is nothing I don't want to do or learn, Well within reason and law. I have learned alot this year, I learned how to make my own yogurt, Which my family hated store bought yogurt but loves homemade. I make all my own breads. I cut my paper towel use down by more then half. I have tried to get more organized, This will take me longer! Lots of things I did. This next year, I want to learn better ways of dealing with my 5 year olds, (adhd), I want to recognize that having twins with it, seems at times like it is worse than it is. I want to enjoy them more, as much as I do the baby. I want to make amends with my 14 year old, if there is such a thing with 14 year olds. I want to be a better wife to my husband, I am critical, and after 15 years together this coming march, I need to recognize that he is safe. I brought alot of baggage into our relationship, two kids, Just coming out of an abusive marriage, Parents who were less then loving. I think that the hubby thing must be top priority and then maybe the rest will fall in place. This will be a year of letting go of that baggage, of letting myself go and be vulnerable. Surely if I can get milk to turn into yogurt, and dough to become bread, I can do this, Learn this. With god all things are possible, And I know he will be right there with me just like he always has, Even when I didn't know it. Yes a year of learning and changing and great things.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is this house ever clean????

Ever spend all day cleaning, Sit down maybe 5 minutes during the day and at the end of it all, Everything looks dirty!!!! Ugghhhh I had that day today. I cleaned and cleaned, Felt at times like I spring cleaned!!! I sat down tonight and everything just looked a mess to me, no different then when I started. I thought and thought and thought and then thought some more. Why? I started to look around and really notice things, Although I have been delving further and further into frugalness and wasting less, I have been trying to reuse-reuse-reuse, It seems like more is coming in then going out. It also does not help that I have been watching to new show on A&E Hoarders, Not that I am a hoarder, I am not emotionally attached to anything. My problem is that I am a great organizer, I really am, I have all the tools, all the knowledge to help me organize. My problem as I see it is I just move things around. So I am adding to my New years resolution list. Organize to reduce stress. I omit steps of organizing rules, even though I know I shouldn't. Like, having the boxes for donating and throw away and storage. I tend to always think I will use that some day I am sure, Or I will have a yard sale, Which I might add I have not had in 10 years, Because I hate having them. So I have my list ready, When the Christmas stuff comes down, My organizing the CORRECT way goes in to effect. I will have my boxes, give away, throw away, keep. I have it quite lofty at a 30% reduction in stuff. I have given myself in my timeline/outline 3 months to do this, With the side note that nothing comes into this house, Unless...
#1 I am out of it.
#2 It is a food product, or my general stockpile.
#3 Christmas or birthday gifts.
#4 If say I get a new couch, The old one goes. I get a new crock pot, The old barely working one goes.
Wish my luck, give me suggestions, No doubt I need em.
Helppppppp me be free, free of stuff that has no meaning or use!!!!!!!

comments, not working

I have heard that my comment section is not working, I am going to fiddle around with this today and get this working, Although I love just writing, Of course I want to hear comments, I check daily for comments and was wondering why I had none!! Thanks to all who have visited and I am getting right on the comments problem. Michelle

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whew, Half way done!!!!

Half way done with christmas food prep, Got a late start since our water pipes froze up, So started yesterday. Made christmas roll out cookies, Half baked, half rolled up and put in freezer. Sugar cookies half cooked, half rolled up and put in freezer. Got the breakfast pizzas made, sausage and cream cheese rolls made, Made 3 loves of reg. bread, and one banana bread.
But my big fun accomplishment is I found a recipe and video on youtube for making yogurt at home, We loveeeeeeeeee yogurt, topped with homemade granola is the best. I have never made yogurt before. Here is the link to the video . The only change I would make to this yogurt is adding 2 tablespoons total of vanilla, for the vanilla yogurt, And I will also try reducing the amount of milk, By 1/2 cup fulls each time to get a thicker yogurt. It was still tasty and so very very easy. I am going to make more tonight. No worries about anyone eating it, the 5 jars I made last night are almost gone, And I have quite a stockpile of canning jars. I am also making granola tonight, since I am out.
I was also at walmart today and they had nice blanket fleece for $2.44 yd, So I got 2 yards for each of my 5 year olds, and 1/4 yd of spiderman fabric. I plan to make them each a blanket, cut out the spiderman fabric for appliques. My oldest daughter (18) wanted to the 2 year old's, disney cars his favorite. So I have added that to my list, and still have 3 part done repurpose bath mats to finish up!!!!! Plus all the other baking, I'm behind as usual, hahaha. I found today a great bootie pattern and a block type picture project I am going to make too, I love this blog, and emily the owner I think is a really neat person and gifted writer, Her blog is . I am hoping for a digital camera soon, So I can put pictures up of everything I make, But I got 2 disposables for free today, So I will take some with those and hopefully put up pics by next week. Happy cooking and crafting.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letters to my children

I got to thinking last night after I wrote the post about my life and the fact that Friday I had some pains in my left arm and my chest and my back, that landed me in the Dr. office getting an EKG, I was fine no heart attack. Anyway I got to thinking, I should leave something for my kids, So that if something should ever happen to me, They can have something tangible to look at, to know exactly how I felt about them. They would never have any unanswered questions, They would know my thoughts on certain things, etc. Then I thought also my husband could do this, He excitedly agreed. I have decided to make each one of them a book. A story like book, with words on one page and pictures on the other. I have my outline planned out for each child. I started writing a few this morning. It made me extremely happy when I was doing this, Reminiscing about their growing up thus far, and thinking of things I would like them to know. My oldest and I are best friends, But I was hardest on her and would love her to know the method to my madness and how awesome I think she is. To my 17 year old son, Who I almost lost at 3 months old to RSV, How that affected me, And how he overcame some tough times between ages 8-12 and came out a great great young man. To my 14 year old, We have had a tough relationship, She is a very emotional child, But I wonder if she knows she is my most loving child. To my 5 year old son Jacob, That it seems I am on him all the time to keep him at task because of his adhd, But how is the funniest kid I have ever seen, Anytime I need a laugh he is right there cheering me up. To my 5 year old Joshua, How I also seem hard on him with his adhd, But I know he does not know now that I watch him so many times a day with a smile on my face because he is so articulate, When he eats it is mesmerizing, His schoolwork is quality not quantity, he never gets as much done as Jacob, But everything is done with the most care. To the baby who is 2, How I was so scared when he was born, Because the twins required so much of my attention with their adhd, and I worried so much about how he would cope with that. How he was so easy going and just flowed with me, Made things so easy, How he brought utter joy to my life everyday since birth, And that everything he does, even naughty makes me giggle.

I am really excited about this, I hope they get half as much out of this that I will take away. But most of all I will have peace that they know how I valued each one of them, in good and bad, And that I always loved them and was always proud of them no matter what!!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Up all night

Can't sleep tonight.....I have this thing, doctors can't figure it out, in my legs. If I have a day where I am not very mobile ( like today), White Christmas was on once then an encore, and It is my favoriteeeeeeeee movie, I watched both times haha. Anyway when I don't move alot when I go to bed at night my legs hurt and ache so bad I want to rip them off. It is really strange, Usually people who are moving too much have trouble, no mine is the opposite. Since they can't figure out what is wrong with me, They gave me a nerve blocker to take when it happens. It takes awhile to kick in, So just took it, have some time alone here!!!!

I was reading a few of my favorite blogs tonight, And was alot about cutting back at Christmas. I wanted share my story for any feeling closet guiltiness about this cutting back. I grew up from day one until age 16 with everything, My parents made alot and I mean alot of money. My dad was an electrician for general electric and my mom was a real estate agent, We lived in southern California, The gated communities. Always lived in huge houses and had everything. My mom took me shopping every weekend for new clothes for school, Not Kmart or places like that, I went to school in $300 dollar outfits from bullocks and Broadway. My brother and I went to private schools, My parents were not a keep up with the Joneses, they were the Joneses. Except for the shopping trips, which were strictly get in get the outfits and leave, That was the only time with my mother, She was busy, and did not really want to be bothered with us. I am so thankful that she had her mother, my grandmother, move in to care for us when I was only 5, She was the most loving greatest woman ever. Christmases were gross at our house, The amount of presents was sickening. Our living rooms were there size of half my house now, and you could hardly walk in them, I honestly remember my brother and I getting tired of opening gifts. Christmases were never good anyway, My dad was a raging alcoholic and my mother just wanted it over. Christmas was yanked away the day after to get the house back to pristine order right away. I have not one good memory of any Christmas ever, I don't have but a handful of good memories period. My mom had enough of me long about 12. She divorced my dad and remarried, A younger guy, a pot smoking guy, Who got me high my first time. By 13 I was out most nights running, By 14 I was a heavy pot smoker, by 14 I was drinking every night. I know now I was only trying to get her attention, But none of it really bothered her, Except she did not like being bothered by it. I left/got kicked out when I was 16. Although an excellent student even with everything going on, I had no choice but to quit school and work. I worked at a nursing home about 70 hours a week. I was lonely, had been lonely my whole life. I met a guy on my 18th birthday, Was pregnant 2 weeks later. I never drank or did any drugs again. I wanted so badly to be a good mom and quite honestly had no idea how, but knew to do pretty much everything different then my mom did. The marriage did not work out, he was abusive. I left when I was 3 months pregnant with baby #2. I met hubby now when baby #2 was 3 months old, That was 15 years ago this coming march. We have 4 children together, although you can't tell him that he does not have 6 children, My ex never had anything to do with my first 2, Thank god, never a birthday card or anything, They were better without it. They did go to see him 2 years ago, And it was not a good experience, They were so happy to come home to mom and dad. Now my point, We have lived completely the opposite of how I grew up. Christmases are Jesus Jesus Jesus family family family. Never been big on gifts, usually just the 3 gifts like Jesus received. It has been good. I know this has been good, Because I heard from my brother 3 years ago that my mom's life was not good, in fact she was living on the streets or in her car in California. I found her and moved her here with us, I am not exactly sure what I was doing, I thought I had a obligation by god to take care of her, I also selfishly thought maybe she might be proud of me or love me like I thought she should. She spent a year and half with us. ( I had not seen her or talked to her from age 20 to this time, when I was 36). It was a year and half of pure hell, She degraded me and my children, My husband could not take it, He left for a short time. My kids were miserable. She finally had enough of us and being a mom and grandma, She left last march and I have not heard from her since. So how do I know that my kids preferred our ungift focused Christmases, Cause they have been begging me for 6 months to have our Christmases back like before grandma came. And it will be done. I am a good mom, I can't give my kids all the new stuff that comes out, Wouldn't even if I could. I don't hate my mom, I don't blame my mom, She is who she is. She just did not have it to be a mom. I will never get what I thought I needed from her, realized a few months ago I didn't need it, Got it from my kids and husband a long time ago. The only gift I ever I wanted and I already had it. I don't have a glamorous job that pays tons of money. I never really go anywhere without all in tow. I don't even know what the Joneses have these days let along keep up with them. Most mornings I wake up to all 3 little ones in bed with me prodding me to get up, My house is clean enough, with 6 kids don't look at the mess if you don't like it. I can't get one moment of peace in this house, or someone not bugging me while I am cooking or even bathing!!!!! This Christmas will be crazy, it will be messy, lots of good home cooked food, a few gifts, some traditions, and a few meltdowns I am sure, Because brother took my plate of food or arguing over whose gift is whose, ( the baby thinks they are all his!!!!)the teenagers throwing wrappings at each other, hubby with bows on his head. AHHHHH I love Christmas at our house. Wishing you all a crazy, hectic, loving Christmas. Michelle

P.S. Mom,

I wish you peace, I wish you love, I wish you contentment. I know you did the best you could.

Love me

Christmas eve 2009

Soooo, Since we are not doing much in the way of presents this year, I am going to focus on a huge christmas eve bash!!!! I think this will be very memorable, and I hope teach the kiddos alot!!!! We are having a Polar Express party, I did this early in december a long time ago with the older kids and they loved it. Although we do not celebrate santa claus, The three little ones are trainaholics, Dad is an engineer, So I think this will go over really well for the little guys and the big guy. First thing, The older kids and I are going to make a train out of boxes, This will be where we sit during the movie, I will print out tickets and posters and all kinds of stuff, Of course we will all be in pjs. I am going to make train cutout cookies to decorate, And have some sort of train craft, Maybe ornaments to hang on the tree, And of course we will have hot cocoa!!!!! I think after the movie is done, Since we don't do stockings, I will take their christmas bags I made, And fill those with goodies like party bags, and hand those out to the kids. ( these are like our version of christmas stockings). Here is a link to where I got some printouts and ideas....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting ready for the holiday season-cooking.

On the 10th of december I will be getting ready for the next month and 1/2, (december 12th-january18th) This is christmas season, new years, oldest daughters birthday and the epiphany. Between organizting things, crafts, learning etc. Christmas eve, Christmas day, New years eve, New years day, Daughters birthday, and the activities planned for the epiphany, This works for me to have everything snack and quick lunches or breakfasts done. I will be doing breakfast burritos, sausage and cream cheese wraps, sausage and cream cheese crescents, breakfast pizza, stuffed crepes, frito chili wraps, and cinnamon rolls. Also I will dedicate one day to making all the cookies for the next month and any breads I will need. I started this last year and it worked out really nice. These are all things that the kids can warm up easily themselves, even the little ones with little help. I have posted the recipes for the frito chili wraps and the breakfast burritos, Here a few of the others.
Sausage and cream cheese wraps
I will make up 20 of these
(2) 10 packs of small burrito shells(or make your own)
(2) bulk suasage rolls
(1 ) 8oz cream cheese
fry sausage until done, drain, return to pan, mix in cream cheese until melted, spoon into burrito shells, roll up, place back in burrito shell bag, or baggies, freeze.

cream cheese crescents
I will make up 64 of these
8 packs of crescent rolls
4 bulk sausage rolls
2 8 oz cream cheese

unroll crescents, fry up sausage, drain, mix with cream cheese until melted, spoon onto crescent roll, roll up into little package, bake in oven on 350 until browned.

The kids really like these crescents, and hubby likes em even more, and my father in law who will be with us this year likes em even more then him, That is why I am making 64 of them, And I am pretty sure those will go faster then I think!!!!!

P.S. Got my first oriental trading order today, I love this stuff I am hooked. I had a $10 off $20 coupon, So got some neat things for the kids to do for 10 bucks!!! Then in with the box came a oriental trading calendar with coupons for every month next year, including one for this month, So I am placing next order tomorrow. These are great little prepackaged craft projects by theme, That are easy to get out, with some glue and let them create with minimal help from me while I am cooking or cleaning!!!! Worth it to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The coolest bathroom rug!!!

I have been "channel surfing" you tube the last month for recycled projects, recipes, decorating ideas etc. I found some neat ideas, But the best so far is recycled bathroom rugs. You use worn out towels, or towels that you get from the used store, family members etc. We use our towels till the end, So this was no problem finding old towels in my house!!! Next you need some latch hook backing. I bought two 36x30 , I used 2 40% off one item coupon for hobby lobby, and paid $2 each for them. You then cut your towels into ( I used 1/2 inch strips) abour 4 inches long. You then poke it through one hole and out another and tie off. One thing I realized is you do not have to make sure you get each hole covered, it is so thick you just make sure that there are no gaps. This is the most luxurious, absorbent rug I have ever seen. With small children these are great for sopping up the spills from baths. And it feels great getting out of the bath or shower. The best part is they look great, Looks like some specialty item you paid a fortune for!!!!! I am going to purchase 6 more latch hook backings next month and try and make one every month next year for gifts next year. There is a video on you tube that takes you step by step. Just type in recycled bath mat in the search. Happy bathmat making!!!!!