Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mom Time- The Mission of Motherhood Chapter 6

Chapter 6- The Teaching Mother

"Before they can ever make right decisions, they need to understand what the Bible says about right and wrong."

"Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated."
You know, I had a mom moment a few weeks ago, where my child was being treated meanly by another child. We have always talked about being kind to others even when they are unkind to us. This soaked in and my child did just that--thankfully. This unkindness was moving to another level and he still did that. I was amazed at the emotional maturity that my child has exhibited during all of this. I don't feel I was as stable at his age. Not only did he treat the child kindly, he managed to quote scripture to me about why he should. Bless his heart!

"Right is always right even if no one is doing it! Wrong is always wrong even if everyone is doing it."
We often say doing what is popular isn't always right and doing what is right isn't always popular. But, how easy it is to just follow the crowd. What if you wanted to stand up for someone or something that you knew you should. But, you feared as to how you would be looked upon. Think about it next time you are faced with such a decision.

"It is only as we seek his ideals that we can best experience his fullest blessings."

.."we address Him as someone with whom we have a close, trusting, respectful relationship."

Our faith leads us through the dark times in our lives and fills us during them. In all times, it is our faith that will lead us though.

I can't wait to share Chapter 7 with all of you! It might end up being a multiple post.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Capture It-Learning to See the Light

Learning to see the light will take attention, patience, practice and being present in a way you have not been before.

Take time to sit and look at the way light hits objects, flowers, plants, and people. If you have ever spent time just looking at your child playing in a room you can see how the light hits their face and how soft their skin appears. Perhaps you notice how it makes their hair glow and shine, how it puts a twinkle in their eyes. That is the beauty of natural light hitting them just so. It's something that the flash on your camera can't recreate. You want them to bathe in the light and have it softly wrapping them like a blanket.

Try photographing in places around your house without the flash. (Windows, doorways are best for this). Move around and have your subject do the same. Watch how the light changes. Try it at different times during the day and you will notice the changes in the lighting. Learning to see the light will improve your photos.

Go and try and let me know how you do. Maybe moving forward and doing more tutorial type things, we can get feedback and help on your photos. I hope to share more of my photos with all of you as well.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inspire Me- I will follow

I will follow
This was a choice our Little Man had and he chose to follow Jesus for his life. He had to make that choice, we couldn't make it for him. I knew the decision I wanted him to make but, I knew it had to be his. As a baby he was dedicated and then at a young age he made that decision and he asked Jesus to live in his heart. We were glad but, we wanted him to really understand what he was signing up for. He really does and he was baptized Easter Sunday. What a blessing for us all. I am in awe of Little Man every single day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Money Saving Mistakes and Let's simplify....

You will find an article here. It touches on falling for free, overdosing at the Dollar Store, Buying in bulk, Excessive Couponing (I have warned my friends), fast food dining, etc. You might want to read this. While you are at it, check out these 16 money saving apps.

Now as far as the let's simplify, what on Earth do I mean? I mean we can all simplify our lives and homes. Take the house one room at a time. I am making my list. Though I have deep cleaned some rooms, I feel I may have held on to some things that I don't really need. Time to clean out! Tips on this will be coming! :) We are planning a garage sale to get rid of our extra clutter. Little Man (the entrepreneur he is) is planning on selling cookies and lemonade.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26th--The Future of the Blog

If you missed the money saving deals, check yesterday's late post. Sorry for the delay! BIG weekend here!!! :)
This blog is a huge work in progress and I am not sure where it is headed some days. Some days I am not even sure that keeping it up is worth it--just being honest.

Obviously, the money saving tips are a hit with people. I am still trying to figure out how I can serve everyone better in that respect. What stores to post, what to cover, how to cover it (links, lists, etc?) So many people do this so well, that I can keep pointing you all in that direction or would you like lists here?

Photo tips? I can see the stats rise on those days, so I think they are a hit. :) I hope to get even more tips, etc on there for all of you! My list is growing of things to cover there!

This blog is for my readers, so chime in and tell me what you come over here for and what you want to see continue on the blog. What do you want me to start doing more of, etc, etc. I am listening! Please chime in.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Money Saving Week of April 24th-Giant, Weis and a CVS deal

$1/1 Nutella Product, exp. 6-30-11 (RP 03/27/11)
$1.50 after coupon
$0.50/1 V8 100% Vegetable Juice, exp. 5-15-11 (SS 04/03/11)
$1.50 after coupon
$0.75/1 Uncle Ben's Whole Grain White Rice, exp. 5-15 (RP 03/20/11)
$.50 after coupon

$1.00 off Filippo Berio Olive Oil via Upromise Deposit
$1/1 Filippo Berio Olive Oil printable
$3.99 after coupon
$0.50/1 No Yolks Product, exp. 6-30-11 (SS 10/10/10)
$0.40/1 No Yolks Product via Upromise Deposit
.25 after coupon
$1/1 Sorrento Block Mozzarella Cheese, exp. 7-30-11 (SS 04/10/11)
$1/1 Sorrento Block Mozzarella Cheese, exp. 5-6-11 (SS 02/06/11)
$1.00 after coupon
$1/2 Nestle Coffee-mate Liquid Creamer, exp. 4-30-11 (RP 01/30/11 #2)
$0.55/1 Coffee-mate Product printable
$0.75/2 Coffee-mate Product Printable
$0.55/1 Coffee-mate Liquid or Powder Creamer Product printable
$0.75/2 Coffee-mate Liquid or Powder Creamer Product printable
$1/2 Nestle Coffee-mate Powder Creamer, exp. 4-30-11 (RP 01/30/11 #2)
$1.50 after coupon
use $1.50/1 Philadelphia Cooking Creme, exp. 5-31-11 (SS 03/06/11)
$.50 after coupon

Buy (2), get $6.00 off instantly
use $2/1 Enfamil or Enfagrow Large Size Powder, exp. 5-31-11 (SS 04/17/11)
B1G1 Air Wick 100% Natural Propellant Spray, exp. 5-29 (SS 04/17/11)
$.50 each after coupon
$1/5 off Scotties Facial Tissues, exp. 5-14-11 (RP 04/17/11 #2)
$.80 each after coupon
$0.40/1 Pillsbury Frosting, exp. 6-30-11 (RP 03/27/11)
$1/2 Pillsbury Frosting, exp. 6-30-11 (RP 03/27/11)
$1/2 Select Pillsbury Sugar Free Items, exp. 4-30-11 (RP 01/23/11)
$0.35/1 Select Pillsbury Sugar Free Items, exp. 4-30 (RP 01/23/11)

Buy (3) Pillsbury Frostings
use $0.40/1 Pillsbury Frosting, exp. 6-30-11 (RP 03/27/11)
and use $1/2 Pillsbury Frosting, exp. 6-30-11 (RP 03/27/11)
Get $3.00 Off Instantly
$.87 for all three
WEIS DEALS-Thanks to For the Mommas
On "Bigger Deal" - 3lbs or more (This is a stock up price for this item)
Use $1/1 Wisk Laundry Detergent printable
$2.99 each after coupon 
Use $1.10/3 Stouffer's Single Serve Entree printable
$2.14 each after coupon WYB 3
Use $1/1 California Pizza Kitchen, exp. 4-30-11 (RP 02/20/11)
$3.50 each after coupon
Use $1/1 Select Kraft or Cracker Barrel Products, exp. 6-12 (SS 04/17/11)
$1.99 each after coupon
Use $1/2 Dean's Dip Product printable
or use $1/1 Dean's Pretzel Dip printable
As low as $.50 each after coupon
$1/1 Lactaid Milk printable
$2.29 each after coupon
Get $3.00 catalina when you buy 4
Use $0.55/1 Texas Toast Croutons, exp. 7-31-11 (SS 04/03/11)
or use $1/2 Texas Toast Croutons, exp. 7-31-11 (SS 04/03/11)
or use $0.55/1 Texas Toast Croutons, exp. 4-30-11 (SS 01/30/11)
As low as $.25 each after coupon
Use $1/1 Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese Dinner, exp. 5-17-11 (SS 04/17/11)
$1.50 each after coupon
Select Cereals - 18-25.5 oz. boxes
$1/1 Kellogg's Frosted Flakes printable
or use $1/2 Kellogg's Special K Product printable
or use $0.70/1 Select Kellogg's Cereals, exp. 5-8-11 (RP 03/27/11)
or use $1/3 Select Kellogg's Cereal printable
or use $1/3 Kellogg's Cereal, exp. 5-29-11 (RP 04/17/11)
or use $0.70/1 Kellogg's FiberPlus Cereal, exp. 5-29-11 (RP 04/17/11)
or use $1/2 Kellogg's Crispix Cereal printable
or use $1/2 Kellogg's Corn Flakes printable
or use $1/2 Kellogg's FiberPlus Cereal printable
As low as $1.99 each after coupon
Select Cereals - 8.7-12 oz. boxes
Use $1/2 Cap'n Crunch Cereal printable
or use $0.75/1 Cheerios Cinnamon Burst, exp. 5-28-11 (SS 04/17/11)
or use $0.55/1 Cheerios Original Cereal printable
or use $1/2 General Mills Cereal, exp. 5-7-11 (SS 03/27/11)
or use $0.75/1 Kix Cereal: Kix, Berry Berry Kix, Honey Kix printable
or use $0.50/1 Chex Cereal, exp. 5-21-11 (SS 04/10/11)
or use $0.75/1 Cinnamon Burst Cheerios Cereal printable
or use $1/1 General Mills - Multigrain Cheerios printable
or use $0.55/1 Trix Cereal printable
or use $0.55/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal printable
or use $1/1 Wheaties Fuel Cereal printable
As low as $1.00 each after coupon
$0.75/1 Kix Cereal printable
$0.75/1 Kix Cereal printable
$0.75/1 Kix, Berry Berry Kix or Honey Kix Cereal printable
$0.50/1 Select Kix Cereals, exp. 4-30-11 (SS 03/20/11)
$1.00 after coupon
$1/1 Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese Dinner, exp. 5-17-11 (SS 04/17/11)
$1.50 after coupon
CVS Clean and Clear DEAL
Buy $15 Get $5 ECB
buy 2 and use B1G1 Clean & Clear Body Wash, exp. 5-15-11 (SS 03/27/11)
or use $1/1 Clean & Clear Product, exp. 5-15-11 (SS 03/27/11)
or use $2/1 Clean & Clear Product printable
or use $2/1 Clean & Clear Product printable
or use $2/1 Clean & Clear Product printable

Deal Idea:
Buy 4 Clean & Clear Body Wash $6.49 each (prices may vary)
-(2)BOGO Free Coupons
-(2)$2/1 Clean & Clear Coupons
Pay: $8.98
Get a $5 ECB
$0.99 each after coupons & ECB

Friday, April 22, 2011

No time for Cake Pops?

For those of you that stop here for Capture it Friday, I am sorry as I will not be posting one of those this week. It will be back next week though! Keep sending the comments on what else to cover. I love the suggestions and I am adding them onto my list.

But, I won't leave you hanging today. Instead, I am giving you a cute short cut to the cake pops. Perhaps you looked at those adorable cake pops and said "No way, not me, too much time involved." Well, here is a cute idea I came across and thought I would share with all of you.
The hostess blog's Marshmallow treat pops
marshmallow treat pops
Photo from
These are super cute! Enjoy! All directions are over there. Go enjoy and just don't blame me when you get a sugar rush, OK?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inspire Me-The Motions

The Motions

10 Questions to Ponder:
Do you spend your days just going through the motions?
Do you live in a way that you are proud of?
Do you stand for what you believe?
Do you follow along with others even when you know what they are doing is wrong?
Do you live life with passion?
Do you give everything?
Do you give up on something that you believe in if you feel you might be looked upon differently for it?
Do you speak when you are called to or do you hide because it might be uncomfortable?
Who are you living for?
What if you were to live for something greater than you?
Just some questions to ponder today. Ponder them, consider your answers, make changes where necessary...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bonus Easter Treat To Make for your kids....

Want something fun, cute and creative to make with your kids?Check out the Easter Pops over at bakerella!
You'll love it over there and become addicted to the creativity! WOW! :)
I made close to 30 of these. I however just did dots for the eyes. These eyes are so much cuter. Wish I could have found those circle whites that I could have used. Next time...
Easter Bunny Cake Pops
Photo from Bakerella's site...are these not the cutest bunnies?

Recipe Round Up- Monkey Bread

YUM! No monkey's involved I promise! Besides, I now have a little boy who feels sorry for the chickens when we pass them in the store whole, so monkey's would be totally out of the question. :)
Here is the link to the Monkey Bread recipe that will make your mouth water...
Just go here

Here is the short list for the store incase you are in a hurry to make these or something. ;)
  • 3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (the Non-flaky Ones)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar
Go enjoy and forget that I sent these pounds to your hips, OK?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Clean with Me- The week you will love!

Take a week off this week. With the wonderful holiday upon us. There will be no deep cleaning this week for me. So, I suggest you do the same. I told you that you'd love this week! :)

After spring cleaning, I will be using this time for organization forms, tips, tricks, etc! How does that sound everyone?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Money Saving Monday! (4/18)

Oh my! Let's see, We have stocked up on things that we knew we were getting at rock bottom prices and we can still stock up a bit more. This will save me money in the long run, but it makes this month harder. I promised for a round up at the end of the month so no challenge discussion now! Let's just say we are coffee snobs (well a bit) and we found a good deal. But, dang coffee is not cheap! I should just give it up all together. But, I try to rationalize it's one cup a day and I drink it black! Before I go on any more ranting...
Deals to know about:

Darrenkamps has some pretty good deals on a few organic veggies. There is no chicken deals that I see in the next 2 weeks. Hope you got that last $1.69 deal at Country Table to hold you over a while. If anyone sees the boneless, skinless chicken for $1.69 or less, leave a comment. Again, reduced sections help when saving money and Darrenkamps does a nice job with them! TruMoo milk is cheapest at Darrenkamps right now. I know because we are still stuck on that.

Because you can actually do a printable shopping list from For the Momma's here is your weis link

You will also want to check over at For the Mommas for the Giant deals as well.

I don't want to waste your time, when it can be well spent making a list as you see the deals. I am here to be a time saver for you. I'll find you the best links and post them. This way, you can count on saving time. :) We can all use a little more of that in our days!

My menu for the next 2 weeks, will consist of items from our freezer, pantry and then we will add in our fresh items. Yes, I am trying to use what we have to save money. I have great idea plans, but they are staples that we like or love and so quite boring. We are having people here Easter weekend because this Easter will be BIG at our house (more about that later), so I know our entertaining that weekend will eat away at the food funds then some. Can't wait to pull the final report together for you. I am allowing money for the entertaining. I can put the boring menu up if you all want, just let me know. No new recipes these next 2 weeks.

As far as those of you trying to Eat more organic can I point you to organic deals. It seems to list deals on organic items. Hope it is helpful.

Don't forget to check the Money Saving Page for updates on articles and tips.

Since we all love FREE....
Register Your Tree
Stop into your Local Lowes on Saturday, April 23rd for your free tree. Photo from site. See site for details.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mom Time- The Mission of Motherhood Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - The Disciplining Mother

1. "It's so easy to get caught up in the petty comparisons and unimportant issues and lose sight of what we are really aiming for as parents!"
Isn't that true? Don't you see it and feel it? When you do, do you take a step back to realize what you are doing? We've all been there at one time of another on one end or the other. As for us, we truly try to focus on the gifts that Little Man has been given. I feel that all kids are blessed with their own gifts and talents. We try to remind Little Man that his gifts should be used to glorify God in any way he can. When he compares himself to someone else and feels that he is falling short, we try to point out that God gave each person different gifts and talents and that's what makes ours so special. We choose not to focus on comparisons, instead to focus on his gifts and talents and ways he can use them. We choose to be joyful for others gifts and encourage him to do the same. I don't think comparisons make anyone feel good. We are all here for a purpose and a purpose that only we can fill. Why not focus on that instead?

2. "Our culture still seeks success through these three areas- the intellect; power and status; and riches."...But, "All that God requires from any of us is a desire to serve him and a trust that he can make up the difference for the things we lack." ... "He will use our willingness and our efforts, then fill in the gaps of our inadequacies, to prepare their hearts for what he has in mind."
True and enough said. :)

3." If families today would focus first on accomplishing God's purposes and developing godly hearts, then society would be filled with righteous people in the next generation. This means that our leaders would be righteous, our government would be righteous, our newspapers would be righteous, our movies and media..."
You get the point and I will let you ponder on that as I did. What a different place this could be....

4. While our children are young, we need to monitor carefully the people and ideas to which they are exposed.
She uses a young tree as an example and it's such a fitting one. That tree needs some stakes to hold it in place while it grows strong roots. Just as our little ones need us to be there to help them grow strong roots of their own. We need to be sure we are feeding those roots the right nourishment. Obviously, we can't protect them from everything and doing so could do more harm. As, sometimes we learn our greatest lessons down in the valley.

Your thoughts??

Friday, April 15, 2011

Capture It- Questions

My next topic deals with light in a photography, but before I jump to that topic (which can last a few weeks of posts), I wanted to touch base and get feedback on what else you want me to post in dealing with photography.

Please list for me your suggestions of topics to cover. As I am happy to cover what the needs are for each of you. Reading via email, be sure to chime in on the blog. Reading this and thinking someone else would love to learn more, pass it on and they can join in.

My hopes is that getting the pages set up will make joining in for specific areas that much easier.
So, leave a comment while you still remember! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Link to help you save on Gas...

Gas Buddy
Type in your zip and find the lowest price. Hope this is helpful!

Inspire Me-There will be a Day!

This is one of my favorite songs. I wanted to share this with you in hopes that it inspires or provides words of comfort to you today. For...THERE WILL BE A DAY!!!!!

There will Be a Day Jeremy Camp Shares his thoughts on his hit song.
There will be a day (The Song)

I hope that you will send me your stories, songs, or words of inspiration. You can reach me by comments or email. I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gadgets for under $25 that might actually be helpful...

"Upgrade Your Life Gadgets"
I have to admit those jumper cables sure do look appealing. Funny, as I watched the video, I thought about people that I know that could use each of these. Perhaps this is a start to the holiday list. Oh my, did I just say that out loud? Trust me, I am not rushing past summer! I can't wait for it to arrive and when it does, it's welcome to stay as long as it likes!

Talk about Talent and Skill

Check out this gymnast! Every once in a while I come across some pretty cool videos and feel like I should share them. This guy has skills!
Tumbling Machine

Recipe Round Up- French Puffs

Yum. These are yummy. Of course, they are a once in a blue moon treat as you will be able to see why once you see the ingredients. I will tell you ahead of time, I am sorry if I am introducing these to you for the first time. I am very sorry. Your mouth will thank me for the yummy goodness though! If you are  a sweet lover that enjoys cinnamon and sugar goodness!

French Puff Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line cups with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar and shortening. Beat in egg. Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture alternately with milk. Beat well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  4. Remove muffins from oven and muffin pan. Immediately, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted margarine, then into the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Or just forget that calories and fat grams are counted and dip the whole thing in there! Repeat with each muffin, until all muffin tops are covered. Serve warm. You MUST serve WARM! :)

I am not sharing the calories or fat on here with you. For that you can see this recipe, minus my comments over here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Updating The pages...

I have been updating the pages. Updates this morning went to Money Saving and Stockpile prices. Be sure to keep checking those pages as I hope to keep updating with more useful information. Or should I say, hopefully useful information! :)

Spring Clean with Me-Kids Rooms/Spare Rooms

This week, we continue along with the kids rooms/spare rooms in your house. So, how is it going? What has been the hardest part of their rooms? What successes have you found? What are you still struggling with?

I made a list of clothing items for Little Man and we went through his clothes. This way, I can always know what he has and what he needs. Plus, I won't be getting an excess of things. Mine is just done in word format and I will keep it in my planner. This way, I can check off and keep track. After all, we can only wear so much. Do any of you all do this? Thinking of it? How do you track it?

I figure if we all share, we can all get so much more out of these posts. (Which means those of you that read via email, need to chime in over on the real blog.) I hope you all will join the conversations. Don't leave a girl feeling like she's talking to herself. ;) You can always post without a name.

Monday's Post made emails appear and questions rise...

Apparently Mondays Post had some people questioning what they are doing wrong at the store and what they could be doing to improve. Well, I want to help all of you with your questions. So, here is what you need to do. Leave a comment asking your questions and I will go through each of them one by one and help you. Then I will be the questions as blog topics for a few days or as long as it takes. Remember the only silly question is the one you don't ask. Because, perhaps you think it's silly or easy. But, others may have the same question and never ask because they don't want to appear silly. Remember you don't have to tie your name to the question. Just post as an anonymous poster. I am OK with that.

We are all learning (myself included) and we need to be there to support and encourage each other. I am ready for the comments. So, send them along and keep them coming!

Also, have a store that you want covered in the Money Saving Links? Let me know, I will do my best to get that store added.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Planet Box- My review

You can find it here
We finally bought Little Man one and have had it for a few weeks.  Well over a month now, probably going on 2 months really! So, I feel I can now say what we think of it and share my thoughts with all of you.

I LOVE this lunch box system. If you have a kid heading to K next year, this would be worth your investment! Yes, it is an investment. But, It's so easy to pack a healthy lunch in here and it makes everything say in place. (That really matters to Little Man.) It washes up in the dishwasher just great. I feel like there is plenty of room. We did get the big dipper and little dipper as well. Yes, they do stay shut. The seal is great. There was a time that our sweet janitor had to help Little Man get it open it was that tight! (Little Man is not a weak kid.) Our janitor is such a nice man and Little Man likes him. :)

This lunch box will certainly be our lunch box for years to come and I am certain it will last that long too!  To me, totally worth the investment. Did I mention that Little Man thinks his Dad needs one?

Money Saving Monday-April 11, 2011 & Money Saving Tips included

Money Saving:I am listing the links to where you can find the deals for the week.  Since, I am going to share a few tips of what I have learned and what I am doing to save money besides coupons.
CVS: here
GIANT: here
WEIS: here
DARRENKAMPS: circular here
TARGET: here

Tips-Sorry some of these may be repeated from before:
1. Look carefully at those On-Sale Items.
Sometimes a sale isn't really a sale. It just looks like a sale. Plus, sale prices can be very different store to store. This is where it is important to know the stock up prices!

2. Bulk Shoppers Beware

 Figure out the price per ounce. Those bulk items may not save you money. Plus, if you only use 1/2 of it before it goes bad is it really a savings? But, sometimes you can really score some great deals in the bulk section.

3. Look High and Low
Scan the whole shelf. Often good deals are higher or lower and not at eye level.

4. Shop the Outer Perimeter First

Prepackaged foods usually sit in the middle of the store. For your health stock up on the perimeter of the store items first. It's better to spend your budgeted amount there than on those packaged items.

5. Spend wisely
Simply think about what you need versus what you want. Consider the amount of calories and nutrients you're getting for the price you are paying. You'll find that perimeter becomes your friend quickly.

6. Remember that not all food is created equal! When you think about your food budget, think about the foods you are putting into your body. It's an adjustment to move away from processed foods and although we have some in our house, I am making an effort to move us even further away from them. (In doing so, I think the budget may need an adjustment, not huge, but a tweak.) Watching the labels and mostly buying foods that don't require a box/label (you know those good for you whole foods). We are a work in progress at our house--not everything in my fridge is organic and neither is everything on my shelves. But, I'm working on watching what we are putting into our bodies and improving that for my family.

7. Buy in season, on sale and locally I am excited that spring is here and summer is upon us. This means more items at the local markets and that will be our first stop this summer when produce shopping. At least that is the plan.

8. Plan ahead If you set good plans, most of the time that will help you. Go into a store without a plan and you will leave with more than you need. Take a look at your freezer, refrige, shelves before you go. What do you really need?

9. Shop the reduced section I can't tell you how much money this has saved my family. Of course, this is hit or miss and you can't depend on it for the savings. But, when you do get a good deal, it just makes your bill even lower!

10. Stockpile, but know when to STOP! Honestly, stockpiling is a good thing when you get the rock bottom price. You can save a lot of money over a period of time that way. But, you have to know that price (hoping to put more work into the stockpile page for you all) and know when your stockpile is getting too big. My stockpile and food shopping would not win me a spot on the newest TV show, but I am more than OK with that. Stockpiling is for more than food. Think shampoo, hairspray, etc.
The $20 Challenge update:
Instead of posting my weekly $20 challenge results, I will post an end of the month wrap up. I feel you all could get quickly board of my ramblings. So, I will do a wrap up post. Does that sound about right? We can do a check in with eachother. I will say I overspent this week. But, it was worth it.

This week's menu-Little Man helped to plan it:
  • Chicken Fajitas (I know they were just last week, but I was begged to make them again!)
  • Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)-Egg Fiesta (eggs with peppers and onions), sausage (for the boys), whole grain toast, sliced apples
  • Sloppy Amy's ;) (Think healthier version of Sloppy Joe's)
  • Mexican Fiesta, fresh veggies
  • Fish, Potatoes, fresh veggies (We didn't have that last week--we had pizza instead!)
  • Pork Chops, Rice and Salad (This has been on the list before, but always booted off for leftovers or something.) I'll grill up some Chicken for me this night.
  • Spaghetti with meatballs (for the boys) I'll have leftover chicken instead. Served with fresh fruit
Last week we also didn't have one of the new recipes (BBQ Breaded Chicken Tenders) as we ended up with more leftovers than I thought. So, that will be put into the following week as I have the ingredients on hand for it. I'll let you know how it turns out.
The Sweet and Hot Pepper Chicken was OK. Not great. Not spicy that's for sure. I did adapt a few things in the recipe. But, it's not a home run, so not worth sharing really. Not even sure I'd ever make it again.

I wish we had a Whole Foods market around here. I hear it's quite the place! Anyone know of some good Natural Food Stores around here? If so, PLEASE post them for me! Also, please post your favorite Farmers Markets. Do you have favorite venders? Know of organic venders? This will help all of us.
I am done with the Mega Post. Happy Monday!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mom Time-The Mission of Motherhood Chapter 4

The focus of this Chapter: The Servant Mother-Mothering with the Heart of Jesus

She wrote a quote in this chapter that deserves a post. "If you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all!"

There was also a discussion about the way we respond to our kids and how that gives us the best chance of winning their hearts. It's so true. Yes, we all fall short sometimes and wish we would have responded differently in situations. I've felt that pain before, not just with my child but with others as well. However, by making the repsonses to everyday things something that is my priority, I will help win his heart. I want my child to have intergrity, honesty, patience, love for others, the list goes on. But, if I want him to show those things, they must be modeled to him. If I approach him with a servants heart and show him those small things in everyday life, I have a far better chance of influencing him to do the same.

I can say, that being a Mom has always been my hearts desire. I want to let Little Man know every single day that he is loved, cared for and valued. That none of those come with conditions. I want him to know that he has unconditional love from me. I think that is important.

I look daily to truly reach Little Man's heart. I know that to do that, I have to model the behaviors, character, and values I want him to have. I need to lead him, not by just telling him, but by showing him. Sometimes it is easier to tell than to show, isn't it?

I believe in putting my family first and Little Man's needs above my own. I don't view this as bad. Quite the opposite, it's an honor to have Little Man to do that for. An honor to be raising him and being his Mom. I think sometimes the pain that I have been through, makes me view motherhood differently. Not different in a bad way or better way, just different. I find my perspective on things can be different sometimes from the "normal" masses. (Not saying my different is better--I want to make that perfectly clear!)

To me being a servant mother is an honor and what I strive to do daily. I realize that I am a work in progress and I am open to the fact that God is not finished with me yet. I am thankful that when I fall short, I am forgiven.

How about you? What did you take away from this chapter? Do you struggle with being a Servant Mother? How many of you are following along in this book reading? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Do you see those tabs at the top of the page?

I am on an attempt to make this blog as user friendly as I can. Do you like the tabs? Do you feel it will be easier to find what you are looking for?

What do I plan to do with those tabs? Well, simple, I plan to put links on those pages that will take you the the post on my blog or other sites that have information for you on that topic.

Do you have any other suggestions? I want this blog to be as helpful as possible. But, I need feedback to make that happen.

By the way, I heard from one person that they like the menu's. So, for now I guess I will keep them coming. However, I do think in order for them to really stay, I need to know that they are really wanted.

Happy Friday!

Capture It-The Program Modes

Afraid of Manual? Trust me when you learn it, it will be your best friend. Until then there are other modes on your camera. Let's take a look at those...

Full Auto Mode: Your camera is in charge. Really? You want to let that be in charge? I guessed not, that's why you are reading right?

Portrait Mode: That tells your camera that you want your subject in focus and the rest can be out of focus.

Sports Mode: Faster shutter to freeze action.

Landscape Mode: Long depth of field. You want it all in focus.

Macro Mode: Very close up shots. (Short depth of field)

Shutter Priority: You choose the shutter speed.

Aperture Priority: You choose the aperture.

Manual: The KING of them all. You are in total control. (I'm a control girl, I admit it.) You set it all, aperture, shutter, ISO the whole works.

You want to get to Full Manual mode?  Keep checking in on the Capture It Series. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inspire Me!

This weeks inspiration comes in the form of a song. Are you even just having one of those days, you know the ones. You look for your keys, can't find them. Then, you wonder where you phone went, so you call it. (Tell me I am not the only one that has done that!) If so, then this may help put a smile on your face.  Remember, it's just stuff and HE is using this STUFF too. :)
This is the Stuff - This upbeat song, puts a smile on my face and I hope it does yours as well.

What are some of your favorite songs?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipe Round Up- China Style

So, I had said that she would be here with a guest post. Here it is all the way from China!
The recipe actually can be a little criptic at times when you are making it. We often had to remember what we saw or learned at the class. I guess they do that so people have to come to the class to really get it right verses a recipe being circulated around to all your friends. Anyway, we did make the dumplings at home and they turned out pretty good. Still no comparison from the 'experts' who make them everyday. As far as the art/technique of making the actual dumpling into its shape...that is hard to explain but I am sure the folks could google that part and try it out. (Note: My personal notes in are in italics.)
For the Pork Skin Jellly
500g Pork Skin
1000g Chicken Feet
500g Lean Pork, Leg Cut
5 Shiitake Mushroom (Dried Variety), soaked
3Kg Water
50g Spring Onion
50g Ginger, Fresh
80ml Yellow Rice Wine
1 tsp Salt

Blanch the pork skin in boiling water. Rinse with flowing water to clean. In a pot, boil 3kg water; add the cleaned pork skin and cook for 2 hours. Add the spring onion and ginger and yellow rice wine (our notes: all remaining ingredients are added except the salt) and cook further until the pork skin is almost mashed. (Use a cheesecloth to strain to get the broth). Use a blender to blend. Bring it back to the pot, add salt and cook more. Transfer to a container to cool down. (Takes about a total of 6 hours. After jelly is set, you can cut into squares and freeze for approx. 6 months.)

For the Dough:
200g Wheat flour (medium gluten)
100ml Cold Water
Combine the flour with cold water to make a smooth dough. (Let it rest for 30 minutes and knead again. Repeat the process 2-3 times for best results.)

For the Filling:250g Ground Pork, the belly cut
100g Pork Skin Jelly
30g Minced Ginger
5g Salt
30g Sugar
Dash White Pepper
Chicken Stock Powder, as needed
18ml Soy Sauce (Dark Variety)
Dash Yellow Rice Wine
100ml Cold Water

the ground pork in a big bowl. Add ginger, white pepper, salt, sugar, chicken stock powder and soy sauce. Use hand to whip in one direction until it becomes spongy. Add the cold water, little by little, and whip into the meat. Add the chopped pork skin jelly. Sit in fridge for 30 minutes before wrapping into dumplings.

Roll out dough (in a long piece about 1 in diameter) and break into small pieces (10-15g each). Press to flatten each piece and roll with a stick (small wooden rolling pin) to make a round wrapper. With the center slightly thicker than the edges. Hold a wrapper on the palm; put 20g of pork filling on the wrapper. Pull the edges to the center and pinch them together one by one to form nice and even pleats.

Place in a bamboo steamer and place in a pan of boiling water. Once steam is rolling from the bamboo steamer, let cook 6 minutes. Ready to serve.

Hope your bloggees enjoy at least a good read of the recipe and maybe even give it a whirl for the more adventurous!
Photo Sent from China-The Chicken Feet and the reason this will not be made in my house!
So, if you are adventurous and make this. Let me know, just don't invite me over that night Ok? :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interesting Article...

11 things you should buy organic
Just wanted to pass this along for you all to read as well.

Spring Clean with Me-Kids Rooms

Ok, so it is the week to attack those kids rooms! :)
Oh the kids rooms! That's where the fun is. Seriously, guys the fun is there.
When attacking your kids rooms.
1. Get them involved if you can.
2. Go in with Donate, Sell, Save boxes

First, go through the clothes. Weed out clothes that are too small. It's spring. A great time to do this. You can donate or give them to friends that can use them. Perhaps you can hang on to them and sell them at a garage sale. It's OK to hold on to special clothes, but don't hang on to everything! I am making my list for the seasons and what Little Man really needs. So that we don't buy excess.

Check through the toys. Toys that are broken and can't be fixed or have missing pieces need to go. That's easy. Next, think about and evaluate what toys are not played with. Consider selling or donating them.

Can't bring yourself to throw away art projects? Take a picture of them to keep. Or consider sending some to family members as gifts. What better gift for a grandparent.

Think about the space you have and find storage solutions that will work for you and your kids.

Don't waste space. Think about all the space and what the best use is. Perhaps installing extra shelving in the closet can help.

Once you get organized, you have to show them how to maintain it.

Think outside the box for storage and space.

Any tips you have to offer? Want to share a before and after picture? Chime in. I'd love to have you guest post on here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Money Saving Monday (April 4th) The $20 Challenge Update & Deals

The deals this week (Shortened version, due to posting late. Sorry you all!)
Giant Deals: here
There are some great dollar doublers! For instance:
Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Bread - $3.99 BOGO, use $1.00 off 2 coupon. That doubles to $2.00 off. Which means 2 breads for $1.99. YEAH!
If you held on to your Kool-Aid coupons, you can score some good deals there as well.
Tropicana had a $1.00 off coupon and that doubled. Plus, you can use the paper one. Which means 2 things of Tropicana for $2.49.
Don't forget to scan your bonus card and see if there are other coupons you can use. I was able to score an extra .50 off my order. I know .50 doesn't seem like much, but I will take it for pushing 2 buttons! :)

CVS Deals:here are the match ups for the week of 4/3 Thanks to For the Mommas!

Weis Deals:here

Darrenkamps has bananas for .44 lb this week. I think long gone are the .39lb days. Sigh!
The sales flyer is located here

My $20 Challenge update
Oh and that $8.00 I saved last week was spent the one time I asked my dear husband to stop and pick up one thing at the store. I had run out of time to make homemade applesauce for our guest and asked if he could pick up a jar on his way home. My mistake as you know when you send a husband in for one thing, he has to pick up something else. :) He was a dear to pick that up for me and I am only 1/2 joking about picking up other things. Because, yes he did and yes, it did eat up the $8.00 I had left, plus about another 0.40.

We also stopped in one more time to take the cereal deal. We did it twice. 8 boxes of cereal for $6.00 out of pocket and 2 Free milks. Now, here is something I learned. When using coupons at Giant. Say you have 4 of the same coupon and you are buying 4 of the same things. The system is made to pick up the first coupon and double it, the rest are at face value. So, the double coupon thing is only on one if you have 4 of the same. YUCK! Meaning in a cereal deal, find 4 different coupons so that they can double them all. You learn from my mistake! So why buy all the cereal, we got a good deal and when we come across good deals we feel that you can always donate if you don't use them!

This week, I came in under $60. Yes, food shopping and menu done. So, for the last 2 weeks, I should have spent $120 to stick to my budget. I have spent $119.93. So, hanging in there. Has anyone else been doing this with me? Are you all also including your eating out in that budget?

My Menu: (Does anyone still want to see this?) Chime in or it's gone. As I don't want to post things that are not helpful or wanted.
Chicken Fajitas (YUM!)
Grilled BBQ Chicken Flat Bread Pizza (My Family can't wait for these again! We have not had them in a long time!)
BBQ Breaded Chicken Tenders (New recipe), carrots, rice
Turkey Burgers, salad
Fish, potatoes, salad
Chicken Sandwiches done on the grill, salad
Sweet and Hot Pepper Chicken (Kind of a Chinese or Thai thing. It's new, we will see how it goes!) If it goes well, I will share the recipe here. Because like I said, if I can make it, you certainly can! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Mission of Motherhood- Chapter 3

Words of wisdom from this chapter: The Undivided Heart

"...motherhood, especially when it is carried out according to God's design, is more than a full-time job."

"Children do not accidentally become righteous leaders or emotionally healthy and productive adults...someone needs to take responsibility for their nurture, protection, nourishment, intellectual development, manners, recreation, personal needs, and spiritual development. Someone needs to commit time and energy into staying close to them as they grow, encouraging and correcting and teaching."

"Loving my children, protecting them, and building them into a godly heritage is a life's work worth far more than any money or status I might find in a career."

She also speaks about her miscarriage in this chapter. My heart ached with her and I know all too well that ache that she felt both the pain physically and emotionally. But, from this she learned lessons and I learned things from all of ours as well. They truly do change you.

As you sit and ponder these points. I wonder what do you all think about them? Do you think our society focuses on the family or are people too busy climbing to the "top"? Do you feel good about your point in motherhood right now or would you make changes?

Chapter 4 next week....As a show of hands, who is reading along? Who wants to read this book now?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Capture it! Review and extra tips

Here are 3 things you need to soak in for future posts. These are links to my previous posts and a few other tips.ISO
On sunny days your ISO will be at 100. But, on overcast days or indoor you will have to be higher 200 + depending on the lighting that you are working with. I notice that with window light (depending on how much I have) I shoot with 200-400 for my ISO. Unless I have some strong window light.
I tend to like my photos to have a focus on the subject and blur out the background, so I tend to shoot with my aperture lower or as they say, shooting wide open. :)
Shutter Speed
Tips on what your shutter speed should be:
Sleeping baby- depending on the lenses length you can do 1/60 (on a 50mm) to 1/125 for this.
But the other end of running, swinging, etc. you will need 1/500 and up. Remember your camera will detect camera shake. So, keep yourself steady. You can make your body into a tripod. :) I like that better than bringing one along. ;)

Take these all in to prepare you for the future posts to come. :)
Do you have questions on these? Ask away. Because next we will be moving on to program modes and what they can be used for. Then we will move on to light, etc. etc. By the way, chime in on what you want the etc. etc. to be. :)

I came across this quote and thought I would share...ponder this when you pick up your camera next time.
"Photographs are not made by cameras, which are only tools. We make images with our hearts and minds. What must be brought to photography is an ever-open and seeking mind." - Arnold Newman

Do you all still want me to share my boring menus?

Just checking as I want this blog to be as helpful as possible. If you say, no you certainly won't hurt my feelings. So let me know via posts. To post the menu for the week or not? Chime in and let me know.
By the way, there is a post for Capture it this week, but you have to check the blog. :)