Saturday, January 30, 2010

frugal REDNECK decorating

The first 3 pics are of scrap wood projects. The first is a coat rack with baskets screwed to the floor underneath each hook so stuff stays off floor. The hooks I got at a garage sale about 5 years ago, I bought a box of them for $5, There ended up being 50 hooks, and some odds and ends. The baskets are just from dollar tree. The second picture is of the game shelf/diaper shelf. I needed somewhere to store the boys games and the 2 year olds diapers/wet wipes. They were constantly getting into them, scattering game pieces everywhere and diapers being used on baby dolls. This worked out well, they have to ask to have something now so only one thing gets taken down at a time. The third is the DVD shelf. Underneath the DVD shelf is a work in progress, It was the fireplace opening that is a total mess, The entire fireplace needs to be replaced. So for now I wanted to block it off, for cosmetic reasons and for losing heat reasons. We put up a cut piece of plywood over it and caulked around the entire thing. I am still deciding what to do here, So it is incomplete. I was thinking of boxing in the brick step up part on the bottom with wood. Then putting up shelves from the bottom to the top just underneath the DVD shelf, Then painting it. But still not sure. It will come to me!!! The 4th picture is and what redneck house in complete without sheet curtains. I cannot bring myself to purchase curtains or drapes, I make all my own, or purchase sheets. I loved this look in the dining room, It reminded of an old coffee house. My hubby said it makes him think of milky way bars hahaha I don't get it!!!

This we just did 2 weekends ago, I wanted a spot by the kitchen window where I could put my seeds growing. We had some extra wood and brackets. So hubby put up these two shelves for me. They worked perfect and my seeds are growing like crazy!!!

This was a spot under the bar, bar stools were too expensive and I did not need the eating area. I utilized the area on both sides of the bar. On the kitchen side I had my son make me two supported shelves. I store snack foods and the dishtowels in one3 basket, potholders in another basket on the first shelf. Second shelf is for all my electric devices. Underneath on the floor sets the twins Disney cars stools for helping in the kitchen, And one of my 50# box potatoes.

I re purpose anything I can, I use leftovers completely, Any unused lumber will be used for something, if just blocks for kids, It will be used!!!! Today I am showing you 5 things I have done in the last year to use up stuff and make something I really needed.

First up is my island my hubby made for me. I wanted one really badly, But would never and I mean never pay what they want for one. We had an old butcher block table, that could hardly stand on it's own. The legs were wobbly and broken. My hubby and son took the top, made a base for it, and shelves inside. I like the natural look so I did not paint it. I also had them leave the sides and front and back open. I wanted to incorporate color into it, So I hung curtains on the sides and back. I loveeeeee red check, So I used some material I had found at walmart $1 a yd bin. I also added a towel bar on one side, I had picked up the towel bar a couple summers ago at a yard sale for $.10. I love this island, alot!!!! Happy redneck decorating, Michelle.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My home stockroom and stockpile

My home stockroom and stockpile. These first pictures are my bathroom stockpile, I have 3 shelves so far dedicated to stockpile stuff. These hold shampoos, razors, toothpaste/brushes, anything for personal use.

The wall shelf is my bathroom cleaners and all the medicines, first aid.

I need some more shelves, We have the wood and brackets just have not done it yet. So this is excess that has no room yet. I got the stayfree pads at Walgreen's this past week, They were 1.99 each, and I used BOGO coupons. So I started out at 2/1.99 or 8 packs for $7.96. I also used a $5 and a $2 register reward, So I paid .96+tax for 8 packs of stayfree pads. I also have down there, my smelly basket, candles, holders etc. and the box with more deodorants toothbrushes/paste etc.

This is another part of my bedroom "food" stockroom.

And a larger area of the storeroom.

My stockpile room is in our bedroom, I only have a bed and one dresser in there and it is a large room, So it made sense to have it in there at this time. It keeps the little ones and the big ones from grazing on it anyway. This picture here is my large white shelf. It has my yogurt maker ( large white cooler) chips, all my spices in mason jars. My unused canning jars. My long term #10 cans, cereal, canned foods and some odds and ends.

This is my paper towel and toilet paper, I have the ones on top and the ones in the bin, I have no where near enough of this stockpiled up beyond maybe 2 months, I have been waiting for some really good coupons to come along with a really good deal.
I really enjoy this, Using the coupons, Getting awesome and lots of times free or near free stuff. Being able on a weekend like this one with darn near a foot of snow in 24 hours. I need something I just go shopping in my own house. Don't have to fight crowds or bad roads or go to the store and be tempted with other purchases. The best part of having this stockroom/pile, Is I no longer have to "grocery shop" I shop sales and coupons only, As I am rarely ever out of anything, I can now shop totally to keep my stockpile going, Which gets me down to spending 1/2 sometimes even less on groceries then I was before. There are some weeks where I may only spend $20 on groceries and household because sales are not great. Anyway hope you all enjoy the pictures, I am so happy to have a camera now!!!! Happy winter weekend to you all, Michelle

Thursday, January 28, 2010

update.....Pics of my poor baby

We are home with Matthew, All is well so far, His surgery went really well, The cut is a little bigger then they had anticipated, basically is from one side to the other. He required no pain medication after surgery. I did not want to go the pain medication route if not necessary, Of course I don't want him hurting. We ended up having to give him some pain meds to get to sleep this evening. The hardest part is he cannot have any physical activity other than sitting quietly playing with one toy at a time the DR. said, I will have to tie him down I think haha. Anyway dad is rocking him now, I am making him homemade chicken noodle soup and the next few days we are just gonna love him and snuggle him. Thanks to all who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers!!! We have a huge winter storm coming right on top of us tonight, 1/2 inch of ice then 10-15 inches of snow, Power outages expected, Stay safe to all who are in this storm also. Have a safe weekend, Michelle
added.... We can't hardly keep him settled down, Thank goodness I found on clearance at walmart for $6.50 this morning, A train track and a 3 car train, He settled down nicely on the floor to play with this. The hardest part is he sees the twins running around like crazy and wants to get in on the action. Although I think he moved a little too much earlier, Because he reached up to his neck, and said neck owie, So he knows it is there. He gobbled up the chicken noodle soup. I added all kinds of extra healing herbs. He went down to bed and went right out, So I hope he sleeps through the night to get some needed rest as he has been up since around 2am, With just little naps here and there. He looks so very different without the huge lump, Once I got past the scariness of the incision, I was glad it was gone. The Dr. sent off the lump to be analyzed, He said very rarely to these turn out to be cancerous, So just have to wait for the one last test to come in. The odds of it returning are just around 10% so that is good. We also noticed that he did not choke or gag while eating his dinner tonight, That was nice hopefully he will eat better, Not that he is too skinny, He is smaller, 2 years old and 27lbs, But the nurses all said he looked very healthy, He only started off at 5lbs so he is doing fine. My first 3 were larger kids, And then the last 4 were smaller, With the twins born at 4.2 and 4.6lbs, and now at 5 years old weighing in at 37 lbs last month. They eat like mad!!!! Looking forward to posting more pics of all kinds of stuff, once things settle down here with Matthew. Have a great night all and stay safe and hug your babies!!!! Michelle

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Will be AFK for son's surgery

I will not be blogging for a few days, Today is getting ready for son's surgery tomorrow morning, Want to get him bathed and hair cut, Need to make a dinner to just pop in when we get home tomorrow. Tomorrow morning at 6:45am is his surgery, Any thoughts or prayers are welcome. He will need some TLC for a few days, I don't expect to let him out of my sight till sunday, So will try to blog again then. But will pop in late tomorrow night after he is sleeping soundly to say all is ok. Thanks to all and have a great couple of days!!! Michelle

Monday, January 25, 2010

Manic Monday!!!

Is it too late to eat my words from yesterday....hahaha. Hubby left for a 2 day work trip this morning, And I am already for him to come back home and help me...I am nuts!!!! Just have to get back in the swing of things again. I am going to do my shopping tonight. Not much in the way of sales this week for me, I did go and buy $25 (25lbs) more of the chicken breasts that were on sale for .99 ( organic, bone in) today, So I am stocked up on those. I am mainly doing coupons that expire soon on stuff I will use or need that are free or free(ish). I also read about a great idea in a book I was reading about using those small plastic containers with lids in your chest freezer, So I saw at Walmart today they were on clearance for 2 for $4. I bought 2 sets 4 containers, Came home and cleaned out and organized my chest freezer. I put meats in two of them, Veggies in one, Odds and ends in the other. I really like this, My freezer was such a mess, Now I just reach in grab the container I need and no more digging!!!! Wanted to also mention this months ALL YOU magazine, I have been getting this magazine since they came out, They have some of the best coupons out there, There have been months where I have bought up to 10 copies because the coupons more then paid for the magazine. This months is a good one, Tonight I will buy another 5 copies. Some of the hot coupons this month are:
Borden singles sensations-$1 off 1 package
$1 off Colgate 360 toothbrush
$.75 off good earth tea
$3 off one nuetrogena makeup
$1 off NYC makeup product of $1.72 or higher
$1 off ovaltine
Free pouch of tuna snack bites
$1 off taco bell queso or salsa

There are alot more in the magazine, these are my favorites, You can also go to for some great stuff and more printable coupons.
Alot of these coupons especially the makeup ones I use at Walgreen's with their sales.
I also want to mention I added their flag to my blog today, I have been using this site for at least 2 years now. You can find any deal or any coupon out there, Lazybear does an awesome job of tracking down everything!!!! Definitely a site to add to your favorites. I use this site at least twice a week. I also use and These are my 3 go to sites for all couponing and all deals grocery and drugstore. These sites help me especially well with my Walgreen's shopping, Take for instance 2 weeks ago, By using these sites and coupons my total bill was $72.00 and after all coupons was $2.12 out of pocket with $13 in register rewards.
I am going to start posting my deals each week and I am getting my digital camera tonight, So will start posting pics YEAHHHHHHH. Happy bargain hunting!!! Michelle

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Is this vacation over yet???

Ok, I know I know I know, That 90% of women beg for their husbands to more, anything, But you don't have my husband. Don't get me wrong, I don't want the husband that does nothing. He does everything. This works ok without stepping on my toes 50 weeks out of the year. He does not work that much to begin with, On average he works about 8 days a month, Those 8 days a month are spent away from home, 2 at a time. I do get a little breathing room. His vacations are hard for me, as crazy as that sounds. He is home for about 16-18 days straight. During those 16-18 days he does everything so I don't have to do anything. This gets boring for me, and every time towards the end I feel......lazy, guilty, toes stepped on, I want my life back. This is crazy right??? I even feel guilty for thinking this way. This is all on me not on him. These are my feelings. I wonder sometimes if this is how people in the workplace feel when that worker comes in and is just gung ho and they feel like that person is trying to take their job!! hahaha. I am grateful for him, He just wants me to be happy. He wants me to do the things I like doing without being interrupted by kids and other stuff. Now here is the craziest part about me, I will in about June, start saying, lordy when is your vacation so I can do something alone for once :\. Why do I do this?? So now is the last day of his vacation and I can't wait till he goes back to work so I can change diapers and make breakfasts and settle arguments and have food thrown on me and do the baths and put the kids to bed and .....and.....and.....and....and......I am certifiably nuts!!!!!! Welcome to a little part of my brain. Happy vacations to you all, Michelle

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Woke up at 2am this morning....

I woke up at 2am this morning, fell asleep with my boys last night at 8pm. When I woke, I woke up wide awake bright eyed and bushy tailed. I did some stuff on the computer for an hour while I drank my coffee. Then I thought what a perfect time to straighten up, make my lists, do some paperwork. Did that. I was bored, too long with noone asking me a ? or hanging on me!!!! I needed something to keep me busy, So I made bread. I have to admit that was the most peaceful breadmaking process ever. My bread came out perfectly perfect. It was really nice to take my time and be peaceful, One with my bread making haha. I may have to do that again on purpose!!! Today was a little slow for me from my middle of the night party, But it has been nice, Just a slow saturday of leftovers and hanging out. Did have hubby hang shelves over kitchen sink to put my newly growing seeds, It looks great. Hopefully soon I will have a camera and can take pictures. Soon I promise. Happy Saturday!!! Michelle

Friday, January 22, 2010

forgot link

I wanted to add a link to the video on the mom who plans out meals for a year. -year-17742503

Meals one year in advance!!

I saw on yahoo news this morning, This woman that plans her meals one year in advance. She says she has a hectic schedule with 4 boys and their grocery bills were getting out of control. This helped knowing and planning to keep things calm at dinner time and with money. She also started stockpiling when sales hit, Which I already do and think is the best money/time saver anyway. I love the idea of planning your meals one year in advance, Unfortunately that would never work for us, With hubby on call 24 hours a day and most trips gone for 2-3 days at a time, I don't fix big meals when he is not here. But I was thinking how nice it would be to have a master list of all the meals we do like to eat. I could make our list with big meals we like to have and the smaller ones that I fix for just the kids and me with days mixed in for eating up leftovers. This would make a nice go to for me, for ideas for meals, and for shopping. For instance, This week at our local grocery store, Organic chicken breasts were on sale for .99lb, I bought 10 lbs, But when I got home realized that for that price I should have picked up 2 months worth, which for us is about 25 lbs (bone in). So on Monday I will go back before the sale ends and pick up 15 lbs more. If I had this master list made I would have known the amount before I left. I am going to make up my list today and add it to my binder, I love finding new helps for my binder, or my life as I like to call it. Happy organizing, Michelle

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Insomnia turned productive

I had insomnia last night, And was up until almost 5am. I have been loving making my own things, Making them tastes better and saves so much money. So I spent most of the night googling and swagbuck searching MYO, Make your own convience foods etc. I found some awesome sites with great ideas I never even thought of. Here are some that I found and checked out..... search convienence recipes

I have about 10 more sites to look at, but these I checked out last night and today and got some great recipes.

We loveeeeeeeee with a passion ranch dressing, I make it almost every meal. I use the bulk powdered from walmart, I think it is the same as 10 packets, And it costs almost $7, really expensive for us when we use so much. So I found a recipe last night for making my own. It took me only a few minutes to whip this up and I used ingredients I already had. I made the hidden valley ranch and my homemade ranch for dinner, We had a taste test and it was unanimous, Everyone liked the homemade better, More flavorful they said!!!!
Homemade ranch dressing (dry )
1/2 cup dry buttermilk powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor ( I used my little chopper) grind until a fine powder is formed. Store in airtight container. To prepare dressing..
Combine 1 tablespoon powder with 1 cup mayo and 1 cup milk.
* I saw recipes that added saltine crackers in this mix, I added 7 saltine crackers in before I put it in the grinder, I did this because we like ours thicker and thought this would help. And I believe it did).
Vanilla chai tea mix, My son and I are chai tea addicts. I like my old mix that I make myself, But it is quite pricey for how much we drink it. So I tried this dry mix and it was really good, Good enough that we are changing to this recipe.
Vanilla chai tea mix
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non dairy creamer
1 cup french vanilla powdered non dairy creamer
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp white pepper
Combine all ingredients in food processor, I again used my little chopper. Blend into fine powder, store in airtight container. Add 3-4 tablespoons mix to cup of hot water or milk. ( We used milk and it was great!!!)
I also made the homemade pancake syrup early this morning and everyone ate it this morning with the waffles my hubby made and all raved about it, Hubby most of all !!!!
Pancake recipe
! cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teas vanilla
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring/extract

mix water and both sugars vanilla and maple flavoring in saucepan, on medium high bring to boil, Let simmer for 15 minutes or until thicker. When done I wanted mine thicker, So I added 1/4 cup of corn syrup to mine, Then I filled an old pancake syrup container when the mixture was cool enough. Store in fridge. If the mixture gets gritty or hardens, Just pop in microwave for a few seconds to dissolve it.

Happy MYOing, Michelle

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Started my seeds today

Today I started my seeds, I am starting early so I get nice big plants to transplant this year. We are building raised beds next month, to get ready for spring planting, I am using my entire backyard for planting this year, Except the side where we are putting the chicken coop. Last year was my first time for a garden, And with all things considered I did okay, It was my learning year, This will be learning year #2 haha. I am planting alot more things this year, Quite a few herbs. I had 5 tomato plants last year and did not get one tomato off any of them, The squirrels took every last one, I spent last year trying every trick in the book, nothing worked. This year we are fencing in the tomato plants completely. I am definetly planting banana peppers this year, Last year my 6 plants gave me tons of them. I can't wait to start planting again, I never thought I would love gardening so much, and to bring in your harvest that you grew yourself is very gratifying. We are going to plant some fruit trees this year too, Apple, lemon, pear. I am hoping to get a nut tree also. We are going to purchase an already grown blueberry bush, blackberry bush, raspberry bush from online. I live next to the neighbor from heck, So the trees will go along the north side of the house where she lives, and block her out a bit, Also help with the wind on that side of the house in winter. It is really wide so should be able to plant right down the middle, far enough away from the house, far enough away from her property line to get in no trouble. I hate so bad living next to someone who hates us, even though she does not know us. She did not care for us from day one, Said we had too many kids, We were weirdo's because we homeschool. She is the street gossip. I don't gossip, Don't have time for it. Noone on the block speaks to us, except the people across the street, Not because they don't like us, But because they are afraid to get caught and have her gossip about them. What kind of way is that to live???? Well I won't do it. I love my house, I am not going anywhere, And quite frankly I don't care what any of them say about me, I just go along my merry way.....Well except for once this summer....She said something really bad about one of my kids, I mean filthy bad.....I had had enough, So I took a poster board a sharpie and wrote "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Things quieted down for a bit after that haha. We are hoping to purchase a piece of property way in the middle of nowhere this year. We have been researching some books on "How to build a log home for under $15,000", and container housing. We want to homestead and live with no real close neighbors. So that is our financial goal this year, Pay cash for 5-10 acres. And start building our home. With the goal that by 2012 we can move there. That way we don't go back to paying a mortgage again, We would have no payments. Then we can move and sell this house. We would use some of the cash from the sale of this house to dig a pond on the property and go off grid and purchase animals. The rest would go into savings. AHHHH I love dreams and hopes!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

CT scan results are in

Dr. just called, and CT scan shows no cancer, It is thyroglossal duct cyst. He has to have surgery on the 28th of January. It is minimally invasive. They go through his neck, remove the cyst, a part of the thyroid bone, so the cyst does not grow back, clean out any smaller cysts. The surgery lasts 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. He will have to be on thyroid medicine for the rest of his life. I am still freaked out about this surgery, But am so relieved it is not cancer! Thank GOD!!! I am going to spend the rest of the day just loving on him. Have a blessed day all !!!! MIchelle

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekend projects to keep busy

I have planned some weekend projects to keep busy, And not focus on the baby's CT scan. Today we have an upstairs bathroom closet with a hole in the wall, We had to cut the hole in the wall when the pipes burst, So we are repairing that. With the hole being patched we might as well organize the closet, It is where all the Christmas stuff goes and the extra clothes. Hubby is doing most of that, And I will be baking. I am out of bread and cookies. I am just making a farmhouse white bread, The cookies will candy choc. chip cookies. I purchased 30 bags of the crunch like chocolates at walmart last week for .20 a bag. I am just gonna smash em up a little and use those like choc. chips. I have not made cookies since before Christmas and since I don't buy them, Everyone is real antsy for cookies!!! I am making everyones favorite chicken dish for dinner, Chicken and Rice:

6 chicken breasts or thighs
4 cups rice (instant or regular)
4 cups water
2 cups milk ( powdered or regular)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 carton of sour cream
4 tablespoons dry parsley flakes

Pour rice in large casserole dish, pour in water and milk. Inseperate bowl mix together cream of chicken soup, sour cream, parsley flakes. Place washed chicken breasts on top of rice once liquid has somewhat absorbed. Spoon the cream of chicken mixture on top of chicken and rice. Sprinkle or use as much as you want of the paprika, We like lots so every inch is covered on mine. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes on 350 or until chicken is done.
I have not done this in the crock pot, But am going to give it a go today, I will let you know how that comes out.

Tomorrow's project is the boys room. We have the 5 year old twins and the 2 year old in the really large bedroom upstairs. It was the 2 teen girls room before my oldest moved out. It is quite girlyfied. We are patching and primering today. Then tomorrow we will be painting. I have some baby blue paint, almost a gallon. I will water it down a bit, Since it is really bright anyway. ( we only purchase the mistints) I am hoping it comes out a sky like blue. After it dries, I am going to combine their two favorite things, Disney cars and trains. I am going to stencil trains and Cars characters on the wall, Like a border around the center of the wall. I am also going to do a bright sun in one corner, Some clouds dotted here and there. Then I am going to write some inspirational quotes on the empty spots. We also bought those new star lights at after Christmas sales for $1.40. One string has 10 big stars, They have settings to go fast or chase or fade in and out etc. We already moved the plugs to the top of the walls, So no one can reach them. So my hope is that there is enough to hang them in different spots on the ceiling like stars in the sky. They have no window in the room so I think they will like this. The ceiling fan I am going to remove the blades, Clean it up, paint it dark dark blue, and stencil glow in the dark stars on it. Next month when we get the state taxes back, We are going to buy some clearance carpet that they put out at Lowe's and just lay carpet down with attaching it, except just tacking it down in the corners, The weight of the beds will keep the rest from moving. They have nothing but their beds and toys in their room, Dressers are at the end of the hallway outside their room. The 2 year old is a terrible climber, And since this is also the playroom, Where they play while I am downstairs, This works for me. We used a leftover piece of the kitchen counter we had left to make the TV shelf. They have a small tv/dvd player so they can watch their movies. We also have the heater up on this shelf, Which in about 7 ft up the wall. With the plug way up right next to it, I don't have to worry about anyone touching these things. Other then getting the 5 year olds new beds next month also. That will be about it. This really won't cost much, Other then the carpet and the beds. I have the paint, The stencils I will make myself on the computer. The carpet will cost about $25. And the beds just the price of lumber, As we are building our own, Just 4 basic posts, and a plywood piece on top, Then painted with paint I already have.
I don't foresee us getting this all done in one weekend, But more like 2. Hubby is lower man on the engineers pool, So he does not get to pick his vacations, He got the January vacation this year, And all at once. He started on the 10th and it ends on the 24th. So want to jam pack as many things as possible into that time frame. He doesn't work that much regularly, Only about 10 days a month but it never fails we start a project and he gets called for work. Kind of like a firefighter, Same call hours, could be gone for a few days. But to work like that, and drive the choo choo which he lovessssssss and get paid $90,000 a year, We live with it lol. Have a happy weekend all !!!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

CT scan done

Well the CT scan went well, I was so worried about the anesthsia, But he came through with flying colors. He had to have the iodine dye injected via IV and vomitted after but that was the only problem. He was so brave and the nurses said if all the babies were as good as him their days would be cake!!! I am supposed to call the Dr. office after midday on monday to see if they have read the results yet, and get the answer to what we are dealing with. I am betting I am a bit anxious this weekend, But going to try not and dwell on it. I know all mothers who have kids with problems say no not mine, And I am going to add myself to that list. Even the least worst case senario, Thyroglossal duct cyst requires surgery, sometimes invasive and to be put on thyroid medication for life, But that is non life threatening. I will take it. I did not sleep at all last night, researching all growing lump in neck stuff, Which I never should have done, But I did. I feel a bit informed anyway. Just wanted to say he is home and back to his wild crazy self. And I will post asap when I get the diagnosis. Thanks to all who thought of him today, Michelle

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Banana bread

I bought 40 bananas last week when they were .19 lb. I let them get all ooey and gooey, The kids this morning were poking them, So I figured it was time to make the bread. From those banana's I made 2 pans ( cake size pans) and 5 bread pan sizes and one pan of muffins. Not one person in this house does not like banana bread, So when I make it I make a lot. I gave one bread pan to my daughter to take home for lunches. We ate one pan with dinner and the little ones ate the muffins up this afternoon for snacks. I had some hamburger buns that needed to be used up and some hamburger that I cooked up and had frozen, So I made taco burgers for dinner. This was an easy, quick and simple dinner. We have to take the baby 50 miles for his CT scan early tomorrow morning. They think he has thyroglossal duct cyst, But want to rule out cancer. He has to have anesthesia and I am a little scared about that. But we have to find out so we can do what has to be done. If it is thyroglossal duct cyst, He will have to have surgery, quite soon. As it is growing quite large to where he can't put his neck to his chest. Pray for him to have the thyroglossal duct cyst, It requires surgery and thyroid medicine for life, But the alternative I don't even want to think about. My oldest is coming over in the morning to watch the twins while we go, So we can concentrate on the baby. They say he will be grouchy after they wake him up. Poor baby. Anyway wish us luck and pray for us please. Michelle

Taco burgers
hamburger buns ( store bought or homemade)
hamburger meat cooked
taco seasoning(packet or homemade)
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce

Banana bread (simple no nut recipe)
2 cups flour
1 teas. baking soda
1/4 teas. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
2 1/3 cups smashed bananas
The recipe has steps for the bread mixture, I throw everything in, then mix it with mixer.
The recipe says, mix dry ingred. set aside.
cream brown sugar and butter, mix in eggs.
mix in banana's, then gradually add dry ingredients. Bake for 1 hour at 350. Ovens and pan sizes vary, Some of mine took over an hour.
Sweet dreams to all tonight!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mandarin orange cake

My family's favorite treat and so easy to make, Mandarin orange cake. I got this recipe from my 5 ingredient or less cookbook.

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
2 small cans mandarin oranges with juice

1 tub of cool whip
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box instant vanilla pudding

Mix cake mix, eggs and mandarin oranges with juice, Mix with mixer so oranges get chopped up. Grease cake pan, Add cake mix, bake 350 for 30 minutes or until done. Cool cake.
For frosting, Mix cool whip pineapple with juice and vanilla pudding, mix well, set aside to set up.
When cake is cool, top with topping, This cake is good without putting in the fridge, But it is super best when refrigerated for a few hours. This cake is so moist. MMMM good, I need a piece if they left me any!!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Holy stockpile batman!!!!

Before I start, I apologize for no pictures, I have not bought a new camera yet, I have $44 register rewards saved up for the camera I want, I will have enough by next sunday to get my camera for about $10, Kodak 10.2 megapixel ($99). I promise the minute I get it, Pictures pictures pictures.
My love of stockpiling runs deep. I love love love it. I love it for many reasons.

#1 by shopping only sales and using coupons and getting things free or close to it, I shop for my storeroom not necessarily what I need.

#2 Having a store at home saves money, by not having to run out for one thing and coming home with 10 things.

#3 I am rarely out of anything.

#4 If anything happens, job loss, sickness, natural disasters We have enough food to get through about 3 months, 6 months if rationed slightly.

#5 The security feels wonderful.

I do not have a pantry big enough for my stockpile, We plan on building one, But have not decided where. I had it at the end of the hallway upstairs for awhile, But little mice (children who all have rooms upstairs and ours is downstairs) would help themselves and mess it up. Before that I kinda had it everywhere and that made me crazy. We have the biggest room in the house downstairs, It is the coolest room temperature wise, And we only had our bed and a dresser in there, So made perfect sense to take a corner and put it there. This worked out perfect because it is just across from the kitchen, and noone goes in there. This is good for me now. Of course if we have any more children, Who I always keep in our room until they leave the crib, It will have to go then. But we are rebuilding our laundry room in the spring and are going to put a small bathroom out there. Right now our second bathroom is in the under the stairs closet, We will take that out and make that the pantry which is the perfect size.
My stockpile/store in the bedroom consists of all food items, and paper products and home fix it items. I also have a bathroom stockpile/store in the super large upstairs bathroom, That is all personal items. Then there is a 10x4 closet behind the bathroom that is used for any other items, Gifts, after holiday sales, end of season sales, clothing storage.
Yesterday we took some extra money I had set aside and we took advantage of some of the New Year sales, The local hardware store put out an advertisement with some great deals, So we added 3 heat bulbs, 2 jars plumbers putty, various pipe and pipe insulation, hand warmers, spackling, etc. This kind of stuff we use often while fixing up this old house and some at 1/2 normal price are nice to have on hand. I also got my coupon order in the mail yesterday, I went and got several of the items that were on sale with these coupons and spent very little.
There are a ton of websites out there on building a stockpile, The LDS sites are the best, I am not LDS but they have the best info. I started this about 2 years ago, And would never go back. Happy stockpiling!!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

GRrrrr, snarl, curse, curse, SMILE

OHHHHH what a week in the 110 year old drafty ol house!!!! We had temperatures around -25 with wind chills, snow almost everyday for 2 weeks, This is not the kind of weather we get around here. Yes it does get cold, But not this kind and we just have little bursts then back to 35-40 during the day. Well this cold has done a real number on us and the house. We froze last year when it would get around 15, So this past summer we insulated here and there, blocked up cold spots, sealed floors, windows, doors etc. As we have no heat except for one kerosene heater and some small electric heaters, We had to get things sealed up tight. I also have doorways everywhere and huge high ceilings, So at each doorway, We put up closet rods, and I purchased 2 sheets for each doorway, cut the top open and hung those up, So they look pretty decent and Each room is a much smaller area to keep warm and the warm stays in that room. We have already decided that we are going to purchase with the income tax refund one more kerosene heater for at nights upstairs, These cost less then electric and we have stockpiled plenty of kerosene and they heat far larger areas, and are hotter. Now to the parts we did know to get to as we are still learning. We have been without running water for approx. 9 of the last 14 days. Pipes froze up, We insulated as they froze, and had to purchase heat tape for 3 areas that the insulation was not working. My washer has been froze up for the last week, It is in the laundry room which is just a covered porch. We are going to work on that tomorrow as I have so much laundry piled up and we are running out of clothes!!! The water heater froze up a week ago, We knew we needed the water heater blanket and just plain forgot, So purchased one of those and insulated those pipes and no problems since. Now tonight we were eating dinner and with 8 of us it gets kinda loud, I told my oldest son to go into the kitchen and get a spoon for me, and he starts yelling, OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH. We go running in there and darn itttttttttt, The pipes in between the first and second floor right under the upstairs bathroom, Which also runs directly above my pantry. The water is 1/8 inch deep in the kitchen and everything in the pantry is floating, I saved almost everything in the pantry so that is good, Anyway we shut off the water, And went to walmart to fill up all three 5 gallon water bottles, To flush toilets and have water to drink and do dishes with , Until tomorrow. Thank god hubby started vacation today, Because he will be busy tomorrow, He will have to replace that pipe and then we will insulate it to be prepared for next year. With all this water and freezing, I had to have a small hissy fit, Just everything was getting to me. I said some things I did not mean, Like I hate this house, Which I don't. This house has afforded us alot, with no house payment and the ability to do whatever we want to it, I love this house, I really do. Just have to work out all the kinks. Well after my hissy fit, When I went to walmart, I overheard a couple talking about how last night there were 2 house fires here in our little town, Neither homeowner had insurance, So they lost everything and now have nowhere to live. My little water issues did not seem so worth having a hissy fit over anymore. That is another add to my list of to do's this year, No matter how bad things seem...It could always be worse or.........Someone somewhere has it so much worse then me... I need to be thankful for what I have even when it is not perfect. Life is never perfect, And is was sheer luck that we found this house for $5000. We have heaters to worry about, We can afford our water bill and have water even if problematic. We have a roof over heads, We have lots of good food, Hubby has a great great job he loves. All my kids and the two of are healthy. Sure puts things in perspective. So as I stood in front of the pantry after I got home, I laughed a little and said.... I really did need to dust those shelves off and put in new shelf paper anyway!!!!!!! Keep warm and SMILE.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

19 today.

My oldest is 19 today. Where in the world did 19 years go, And how in the world did she grow up so fast. I have to admit, I really never thought about her being 19 when she was born, Probably because she was my first I was so focused on that, But I sure think about that with the other 5.
When she was born, I tell people that she walked right out, And she did!!! The nurses were in amazement that she keep trying to stand up when we were holding her. I remember one nurse saying that she would go go go her entire life, and would want to do everything. Boy was she right! This kid has never ceased to amaze me. You can throw anything at her, she deals and deals quite well. She in all accounts is completely different from me. She has turned into a very respected worker at her job, She is friendly to everyone she meets, A very good listener, But is careful not to get to involved or get in on the gossip part. She is honest, brutally at times, Calls a spade a spade. She is never afraid to go toe to toe with me, But comes to any debate fully loaded with info, Just how I like it!!!! hahaha. She hit the road on her own, Practically days after she turned 18, Just like I always knew she would, And she has done perfectly just as I always knew she would. We have had troubles establishing our relationship out of this new status, She instantly wanted to be an adult, And I was no where emotionally ready to let completely go. But we have been working on that, And it is going much smoother, We are becoming great friends. I always told her she could tell me anything or talk to me about anything, ANYTHING. And she does, We have no secrets, And without going into detail I mean none. I love that, and at times am mortified at what she tells me, But I act like I am not, lol. She is extremely happy in her own skin, Which was big one I wanted my kids to have, Since I was taught to never be happy with myself. I bask today in the fact that I helped raise a great kid and member of our community, But I mostly bask in the fact, That she did so much herself. She wanted to be let go at 14 with homeschooling to do her own thing. I was hesitant but she had learned almost all of what was necessary, She chose great things to pursue, Some just for her, But she went with the alpha omega curriculum and made the right choices. She has continued to make good choices since then, Even when mistakes were made, She eventually knew how to correct them and she did. She did eventually have a "rebellious period" right after she moved out, With a boy. We had many arguments over this boy, I see now that my ultimatums lead to her staying with him longer just to irritate me, Although if I had it to all over again, I would do everything exactly the same. She eventually knew I was right, pulled out of the rebellion, Realized I only did what I did because I cared so much, And said to me, Why did you not make me realize my mistake sooner, bahahahahah, kids. My favorite phrases are Hate me now love me thank me later and Everyone is just dumb until they hit around 30 and they have that epiphany of Holy cow I knew nothing and everyone older was right!!! The kids love me saying these too, Yeah Right!!!!
I did and raised her exactly the way I set out to . Unfortunately when I made my list of how I would raise my children, No one told me that one formula does not work with all children, In fact they each need their own formula. I have had to learn that the hard way over the years. She is good, She will be okay, She will make it. Today I let another little piece of her go, And move on to the next kid, Who will be 18 this year, A boy, totally different then her, completely different then her. But It still feels good that I have one that I did not do too bad on raising, And still lets me raise her a little now and then to make me feel good. She will always be my baby, always. I will always fiercely protect her like she is still a child. I will never forget the feeling I had when she was born and they handed her to me, never. I won't ever forget how she loved the camera and would sing for hours upon hours in front of it, Using up all our video tapes at 3 and 4 years old. I will never forget when she went to kindergarten, And she saw me peeking in the window of the classroom with tears streaming down my face, The teacher finally let her come outside, To which she told me go home, But make sure you come back 15 minutes before school is over so your not late!!!! I will never forget that at 11 years old after scary movies or during storms, she would still crawl in bed with me to be safe. I will never forget having to put her on a plane at 12 to go to meet her dad, and literally running through the airport crying to watch her plane until I could not see it anymore, And crying all the way home, And crying for 3 months while she was gone that summer. ( I am a crier). I will never forget the excitement of her packing up her stuff at 18 and moving out on her own, The same excitement we both shared. I will never forget to never forget the memories. Happy Birthday Kriztina, I love you. Mom

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Library day!!!!

I don't go to the library that often, Maybe once every 3 months or so. My hubby takes the 3 little ones once a week, to read, play, check out books and movies. This is my time to clean or do anything I want without interruption. But I have a list of books I have heard about or wanted to look at, So today I went. I had a list of around 50 books that looked interesting to me. They only had 3 of them, But I ordered about 25 from other libraries, So should be here within a week or so. I do not like reading fiction, Have no interest whatsoever. I just enjoy learning things, gaining some knowledge. So I got the tightwad gazette, I love flipping through this book every so often reminding myself of frugality. I also got a square foot gardening book to take a look at, I want to do my garden different next year ( year 2) because I did not yield much this year, I need to learn alot about soils and planting. I also checked out 1,628 country shortcuts, Because it looked interesting, And so far it has not disappointed. I actually flipped through this at dinner and everyone got a kick out of hearing some of the ideas, and some we even wrote down to use, Some we already used and the 5 year olds were just amazed that this book knew what we did.
I hopped on the computer a bit ago and the top story on yahoo was about a couple that just won the lottery for 128 million. I don't play the lottery, But it got me thinking......What would I do if I won the lottery, or came into money, Would I change how I live, Would I spend like crazy. I am going to ponder this overnight, Although I know the answer. Think about this seriously, What if anything would you change or do differently if you came into money, serious money???
Until tomorrow, Michelle

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Moments like these....

Last night was especially cold, Bitterly cold at 2 degrees with -9 wind chill. This old house is drafty despite our best efforts. Our water froze yesterday, So I think we have heat tape on every pipe in the basement now!!! We put the 3 boys to bed last night, They have a gate up at their doorway, We took the door off for safety and installed the gate for safety reasons. I put up a blanket on the outside of the door to keep the heat in the room, And it was toaaaasty in there. I asked them if I could lay down with them for a few minutes, The baby had a hard time going to sleep last night so hubby took him downstairs to rock him to sleep. I had the best time with the twins, We talked and laughed and snuggled for about 2 hours before we all fell asleep. I don;t remember much while sleeping except I must have been warm snuggled between two warm boys, Because I woke up sweating this morning!!! I woke up to both of them looking at me, And Jacob of course Jacob said, Mom this is my room, You can't live in here forever!!! bahahahahaha told me didn't he. I love it. It was nice though, With them having severe adhd, emphasis on the H, Most days seem like boot camp, As I am constantly on them to settle down, constantly watching them and calming them. I don't get much time to just be and chat and snuggle with them. As I know with having teenagers, Moments like these become non existent in the far too soon future. So I am adding to my New Years Resolution list. I have added at least one night a week to snuggle with the boys and chit chat and laugh, While hubby takes the baby downstairs to rock to sleep. Just mom and the boys time!!! FUN TIME!!!! Cheers to never being without a little one to snuggle with!!!!! Michelle

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun in the kitchen!!

I had fun in the kitchen today. Had lots of leftovers to get creative with and I love doing it. I have been getting my bananas really gross for banana bread and they were ready today, yummmmm , They came out perfectly wonderful.

I had left over turkey from New Years and wanted to do something different it this year. So I thought and thought and decided to create a turkey quesadilla. I took the turkey pieces and added a tiny bit of water and pureed them in the blender. I put the puree in a bowl added a can of green chili's 1 8oz block of cream cheese 1/2 of red pepper and 1/2 of green pepper ( I blended these in my mini chopper until shredded). I took this mixture and spread it on a tortilla then sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese, topped with another tortilla then fried both sides in the frying pan. I cut them into wedges and served on a plate with salsa and sour cream. I could not BELIEVE how everyone gobbled these up, They were begging for more!!!! I can't wait to make more of these, I am betting they freeze pretty well!!!!

I also have been reading alot of comments on about better meat for my family. I hate the taste of the meat we get (which is cheap) and I learned about the practices and the contents of the meat and am totally grossed out, Most sickened about that we are consuming it. So I found some local grass fed places around here, And have decided when the taxes refund comes in around the 15th of the month, We are taking enough money to stock up on meat for the next year and also to get about 20 dozen eggs. We will have to drive about 40 miles but this is worth it to me, And I can incorporate some other stuff into that trip, Like target shopping and aldi and others. ( we have to drive to tulsa, ok to get this stuff). So I will be blogging about my meat ventures after the 15th, I sure hope it tastes better then the junk we are eating now, Which quite honestly smells rotten to me. Wish me luck........Michelle

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!

My first New Year with resolutions. I am still working on them today, Yes procastination is on my list!!!! It was a busy time this last week with having Christmas 2 days late, So I am catching up. I am making a big turkey dinner tonight ( with the free turkey from my hubby's work). So I will work on this in between cooking. I have added some homeshooling ideas to my list, Some areas I want to delve into this year, that last year we did not. I also want to try the move again to herbal remedies for my 5 year old twins' adhd. We tried this early last year with poor results, But they are maturing more each day so worth a try. Changing from traditional to herbal medications is not a money saving choice. With insurance we pay about $40 a month for their meds now, Where herbal will cost us $119 for a month. Quite a difference. My hatred for the drugs they are on is what drives me. So that is big on my list for this year. Another top of the list item is savings. We stink at this. We honestly have no savings, And this bugs me. So I have started small. We need to get the small laundry room addition off of our house, And rebuild it. This will cost us about $2500 doing it ourselves. So this is the goal $2500 saved by April 15th. I think this is extremely doable with the income we have.
So even though I have added some tough ones to the list, I still think I can achieve them with a good plan. Which is what I will be working on this week to get finalized. I have to have things visual to keep them in my mind. So I have had my daughter draw plans up of what I would like the new laundry room to look like and that will posted up to be a constant reminder. I am going to plaster reminders of my resolutions all over the house!!! I also will be decorating my binder to remind me of these. Every little thing that is visual will help me to see these ideas each and every day at any given moment. Wish me luck!!!
What tips of tricks do you have that helps you stay on track with resolutions or plans??