Saturday, February 28, 2009


I can't believe it. Yesterday it was sunny and warm. I was in short sleeves and sandals. Now we are under a winter storm warning. It's a cold cloudy day with the possibilty of snow and sleet...yuck!

I've posted a great recipe below - perfect for cold weather.

I'm so ready for warm spring weather!

So, here we are - 4 kids, 11 cats (yes 11!) and 2 dogs all inside on a Saturday.

Hmmmm...gotta find us something to do. Any ideas?

Have a great weekend...

To those who are still experiencing winter - stay warm!
To those who have warm weather - go out and enjoy it for the rest of us!!

Nacho Potato Soup

Here's a great recipe to keep you warm on cold days. If you like Rotel Cheese Dip, you'll love this soup. Plus it's really easy to whip up....

2 pkgs augratin potatoes (the kind in the box)
2 cans corn, drained
2 cans Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (or store brand)
2 cups water
2 cups milk

In a large pot put the potatoes along with the packet of sauce mix, corn, tomatoes & green chilies, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile cut the cheese into cubes. When potatoes are tender, add cheese and milk. Cook until cheese is melted. Serve in bowls - enjoy!.

This makes about 8 servings. It's easy to double if needed for a large crowd.

I usually make this once a month and sometimes more in the winter months.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nothing much......

Today is going better than yesterday. Yesterday, I felt I was being attacked from all sides. It was just one of those "bad" days. But ya know....every once in awhile you gotta have one just so you can appreciate the really "good" days. I am so glad God is in control!!

It is quiet here this morning...Blake is doing his Biology right now and I'm taking a little break from mopping the floors.

I usually grocery shop on Friday, but my husband is off today and we have plans a little later on, so I will go tomorrow morning.

I have "bloggers block" today....and really can't think of anything. Maybe I'll be able to write a little later.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Yesterday I did manage to make sourdough bread, chocolate chip cookies and 2 pizza crusts. The dough for the second batch didn't turn out and I had to scrap it....will make another batch today. Wasn't able to make the cinnamon rolls because I didn't have enough milk...

As some of you know, I have three stepkids. I love them very much, but being a stepmom is a struggle. There are so many different boundries there that are not present with your own kids. It can be hard and I'm struggling to determine where I fit in in their lives.

I woke up this morning (late) because I stayed up late last night to see my husband, so my morning has really been pushed stresses me out. I forgot to get the mail yesterday, so I got it this morning - just bills (uggh) - another stressor for me right now.

Two days ago I recieved a notice from a chiropractor I had seen 3 times in May 2007. It stated I had a large unpaid balance and that I needed to take care of it within 10 days. First....I had never received any kind of billing from this office. Second, I had insurance at the time and never received an EOB from them.

I called the office and they said they were having some problems in the billing office. The Dr. called me back and said that I owed a different amount (about $500 less). I explained about not receiving a bill, etc. He said he was sending me a ledger page, which I opened this morning. Nowhere on the page does it show how he arrived at the amount he says I owe. So, on the phone again this morning. No, they do not know if they billed the insurance; no, they do not know if invoices are sent to the patients; no, they do not know how the amount due was arrived.

So, politely as I can be, I explain that I am unwilling to pay them until everything is straightened out and I know exactly how much was billed and for what and what the insurance paid. I figure if they have waited two years now, they can wait a little while longer while this is straightened out.

What can I say....just one more thing to deal with........

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Encouragement

Words are powerful. Once spoken, you cannot take them back....they are out there.

When we are down and someone speaks encouraging words to us, it lifts us up. When your husband has a bad day at work, let him know how much you appreciate the hard work he does to support your family.

When your child has a messy room, but makes an attempt to make up his/her bed, praise and encourage them on their not concentrate your words on the rest of the messy room. Your encouragement, not nagging, will result in your child wanting to please you by doing more.

When your neighbor/friend is in financial or emotional stress, offer to pray with them and let them know that even though you don't understand fully what they are going thru, God does and He is with them.

My challenge to you today is to find someone who needs encouraging and then DO it.

May God bless you.....

Baking Day

Today is baking day. I try to get most of my baking done on Wednesdays. Here's what I'm baking today:

4 Pizza crusts for homemade pizza on Friday

cinnamon rolls

1 loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread

batch of chocolate chip cookies (I made the dough earlier in the week)

Here's the recipe for the pizza crust dough. It will make 2 thin 12 inch crusts or 1 thicker 12 inch crust.

7/8 cup warm water
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil (olive or reg)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I just use my bread flour)
2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast

Put ingredients in order in your bread machine. Set to dough cycle. When done, remove dough from machine.

If you are making two crusts, divide dough in half. Punch down. Coat a bowl with a small amount of oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl and place in warm area for about 20 minutes.

On your pizza pan, put a small amount of oil to coat pan. Take dough and pat down onto pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake dough for about 7 minutes and take out.

If you are going to use the crust at a later date, cool and remove from pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer or fridge. When ready for use, thaw(if in freezer). Top with favorite toppings and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

If you are not going to use later, follow above directions for ready use.

My son says he likes this pizza better than take out!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making a Weekly Dinner Menu

Yesterday I shared how I make my grocery list. You really need to start with a menu for the week. If you have never done this before, let me encourage you to will simplify your shopping and you will not have those days when it's 5:00 and you are wondering "what will I make for dinner?".

Take a sheet of paper out and make a list of meals - not in any order at all. Try to come up with at least 20 dinner meal ideas. Here are some of the ones on my list:

chicken spaghetti
spaghetti and meatballs
stuffed meatloaf
roast w/veggis
hamburger steaks w/gravy
stuffed bell peppers
enchilada ravioli
nacho potato shoup
chili w/cornbread
white chicken chili
spinach lasagna rolls
chicken spinach pita pockets


I won't list everything, but you get the idea. Right now, I have 47 meal ideas listed and it is kept in a notebook for easy reference.

After you have your list, get a can print a free one off at Use your meal list and write down dinner meals on your calendar. Do this for one can increase it to more than one week once you are comfortable.

Do not forget to take into consdieration your families activity schedule for the week. If kids have things scheduled that day, it might be a good day to schedule a meal cooked in the crockpot.

Having a planned menu has helped me greatly...also the kids do not ask every 15 minutes "What's for dinner?"

This and That

It has been one of those mornings when I have had all sorts of thoughts about what I want to write. Just having trouble narrowing things down a bit

I got a late start this morning and so did my son...but we are back on schedule now. So far today I have done my Tuesday cleaning routine, unloaded the dishes and loaded what was in the sink, have brownies in the oven baking(mmmmm....they smell good) and have worked with Blake homeschooling (most of the subjects he does on his own, I'm just there if he needs me...and I check and grade his work).

I still need to sweep/vaccum which I will do after my husband wakes up. He works second shift so I cannot do the "loud" stuff until later.

Lunch today is just mac-n-cheese and sandwiches. Dinner tonight is barbeque chicken bites with sweet potato fries and a veggie (not decided).

I'll post again a little later once lunch is done and cleaned up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My beautiful granddaughter Remedy Grace

My 14 yr old son made this video of my granddaughter Remedy. She was 18 mos in the video - she is now two years old. We recently moved and I don't get to see her as much as in the past ---really missing her.

I think Blake did a great job with the video.

How I Make a Grocery List

I had originally intended to write about something totally different, then I visited one of my favorite blogs this morning - Keeping the Home. The blog author, Candy, has moved on to become a Christian Homesteader and will no longer be keeping her blog up. While I was saddened to find out that she would no longer be blogging, I was excited for her and her family's new adventure. May God bless them in this new step in their lives.

Candy's blog was such an inspiration to me as a Christian, a mom, wife, and homemaker. One of the tips I learned from here was how to streamline my grocery list so I could be in and out of the stores much quicker. I have to say that it does work...not only does it help to get in and out of the stores quicker, you have less of a chance to miss something on your list. I am now able to make my list in record time and be in and out of the stores in 30 min to 45 minutes.

So I thought I would share with you how I make my list based on Candy's tips.

First things first, make a menu for the week. If you have never done this before, give it a try. I'll go over details in making menus on a separate post.

Once you have a menu, list the ingredients you will need that you do NOT have in your pantry/fridge/freezer.

Write down other items that you will need to does not have to be in any particular order at this time. Be sure to check for things that you will want to keep stocked in your pantry and don't forget the non-food products like toilet paper!!

Once you have your list written down it is time to organize it. You will need four different color, blue, red, green. I have one of those pens that have all 4 colors and you just click to change colors.

Looking at your list, put a black mark next to all the NON-FOOD items. Put a blue mark next to all your "dried" goods such as boxed mixes, canned foods, pasta, chips, crackers, etc.

Now on your list, put a green mark next to all the fruits and veggies.

Now your list should just contain meats, dairy and frozen. Put a red mark next to all of these.

The next thing you do is just transfer everything to a separate sheet (or the back). Write all the non-food items in black, write all the dried goods in blue , the produce in green, the frozen, dairy, meat in red.

If you are going to more than one store, choose a different color pen and write the first letter of the store next to the item. That way you know where you are to buy that item.

I would love to show you my list in the different colors....however I am new at blogging and just don't have the hang of doing different colors, so below is the best I can do.....(This is my current grocery shopping list)

Listed in BLACK
air freshener
cat food
toilet paper
laundry detergent

Listed in BLUE
5 lb wheat flour
barbeque chips
potato chips
2 cans italian diced tomatoes
2 6 1/2 ox jars marinated artichokes
2-9 oz pkg cheese tortellini
taco shells
refried beans
saltine crackers
chesse crackers

Listed in GREEN
coleslaw mix

Listed in RED
16.9 ox pkg potato & onion pierogies
2 frozen pizzas
2 pot pies
3 burriots
2 ham & cheese hot pocets
2 t.v. dinners
1 cream cheese
sour cream
2-3 pkgs ched. cheese
string cheese
1 moz. cheese
5-6 yogurts
5 lbs. ground beef
1 1b polish sausage
1/2 lb. crab meat

Questions and comments are welcome.

I'll try and check back later....time to start my Monday chores and homeschooling. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Current Cleaning Schedule

As a child and then a teenager, I had no desire to do anything remotely connected with cleaning. My mom used to joke that she couldn't remember what color my carpet was in my room due to the numerous clothes that I kept lying on the floor. I did not help out with any cleaning or cooking around the house. My mom did it all. While this was great (at the time), I did not learn the why's, what's and how's of house management.

It has taken me a number of years to get to the place where I feel that I do a pretty good job taking care of my house. When my kids were little and I worked full time outside the home, cleaning was not a priority. Many a time my mom would come and let me know how dirty my sinks were. I never thought that sinks really needed to be have times changed.

I thought I would share my current cleaning schedule. I am a "schedule" type of person - my husband jokes that I have a schedule for everything. Having a schedule helps me to stay focused on what needs to be done. I have not included other daily tasks in this schedule like laundry, as I will get to that on another day.

Everyday(morning)- clean out sink - empty/load dishwasher
wipe down kitchen counter
sweep kitchen floor
wipe toilet seats (very important if you have boys!)
do a quick wipe of the bathroom counter

Monday - Clean all kitchen appliances:
Clean out inside of refrigerator and freezer
Clean/wipe down outside and top of refrigerator
Clean stove and oven
Clean out microwave oven
Clean and wash coffeemaker and coffeepot
Clean off and wipe down the washer and dryer

Tuesday- Dust throughout the house:
This includes wall pictures, end tables, fireplace mantles, dressers,
ceiling fans, etc.
Clean ALL computers and ALL tv screens.
Wipe down all tables and counters

Wednesday- Clean/disenfect kitchen and bathroom sinks
Clean showers and tubs
Completely clean inside and outside of toilets
Clean bathroom mirrors
Change kitty litter

Thursday - Sweep and mop all hard floors

Friday - Vaccum all rugs and carpets

Friday, February 20, 2009

Potato Bread Recipe

I have been making this bread for sometime now. It is a favorite of everyone. Whenever I am visiting someone they always ask me to bring them a loaf of this bread. I mix it on the "dough" setting in my bread machine so it can do all of the work. I would hopefully like to, in the near future, get a stand mixer so I can make more than one loaf at a time.

What you will need:

1 1/2 cups warm water (70 to 80 degrees)

3 Tbsp. of oil (I use veg. oil, but I know some might prefer olive oil)

7 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp. mashed potato flakes (the kind you buy in the box)

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 tsp. active yeast.

Put all ingredients in bread machine in the order above. Set machine on the "dough" setting and push start.

When it is done, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile butter or lightly oil your loaf pan. When dough is finished resting, shape into a loaf and put into your pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When dough is finished rising, bake in oven for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and rub butter on the top for a nice light brown, soft, glossy crust.

Let cool, remove from pan and slice or wrap to store. This is a good bread that can be put in the freezer for later use. Just take out of freezer and leave on counter to thaw.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Work or Stay at Home

Today is a busy day for me. I have some personal business to attend to out of town that is making me nervous. For one, it is out of town and I am driving by myself and not quite sure exactly where I am going. And second, is the nature of the personal business itself.

I am sure everything will be fine and I have been praying a lot!!

On another note, I had really been considering going back to work full time. The additional money would help. I asked my husband what his thoughts were and he said he was o.k. with me going back to work. I was apprehensive about it because I do homeschool and I wasn't sure how I would manage to get everything done along with working. Also, my husband works second shift and there would be little time to spend together. I sent in several resumes and prayed that if God would open and close doors as He sees fit.

Well, no response to any of the resumes I sent it. However, about that time I did find a lady who was looking for a sitter for her little girl and her soon to be baby boy. We met and everything is looking good...I am to start babysitting on 3/9.

I truly believe this was God's way of telling me to stay home....what I do is important and he will provide.

You see, I had been feeling really down on myself lately. I do not have any lady friends that are stay at home moms/wives. My friends work or are in school obtaining a degree to work. I was feeling like what I did - did not matter and since I was not bringing home a paycheck that I was no doing enough.

However, I absolutely LOVE being a homemaker - a supportive wife to my husband - a stay at home mom to my son!! I cannot judge my life by someone else's life. As long as I am doing what is pleasing to God is what matters.

O.k.....I've gotta go and get the oil changed in my vehicle before I leave today - ughh! (There are few things that I hate doing --taking care of the vehicles, putting gas in the cars, changing the kitty litter, cleaning the blinds/shutters)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Today has started off great. I actually managed to get up a little past 7 am and what a difference it has made. Everyone is still asleep and the house is so quiet. I got everything done on my "to do" list from yesterday except make the hamburger buns. I probably won't get to tackle that today and will have to do tomorrow evening. If you are wondering how to make the hamburger buns, check out and look at the recipe section for Fred's favorite rolls.....they are great and my hubby was really impressed.

O.K....on to today. So far I have managed to make out my grocery list and color code it (I'll do a separate post later on how I make out my list), start a load of dishes, and wipe down the kitchen and bathroom counters along with wiping down the toilet. I do this everyday.

My husband is off work today and has plans for us, so we will probably take the day off from homeschooling and pick back up tomorrow. That is one thing I do love about homeschooling which is the flexibility it allows. Tonight we are picking up my stepchildren - they are out of school tomorrow and will be staying thru the weekend. So it will be a busy weekend here, but I love it.

I have been thinking of some topics I want to "blog" about and hopefully will start getting serious about them next week. Right now I'm just trying to get back in the swing of being in blog world.

I will write again later this evening. Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stuff to do today

I got a really late start this morning and did not roll out of bed until after 9am! I hate sleeping that late, but wanted to spend time with hubby when he got off of work - he works second shift.

He is off of work tomorrow and wants us to drive out of town to look at something (secret). So, I am going to try and get today's and tomorrow's to do list done today.

Here it goes:

Wednesday laundry (I do laundry on Mon.Wed.Fri)
Clean all sinks (including kitchen), tubs, showers,toilets, bath mirrors
Mop all floors (we have hardwood and tile throughout - so I will be doing whole house)
Put away clean dishes and load any dirty dishes in dishwasher (I'm so grateful I have a dishwasher!)
Homeschool with son
Make brownies (hubby's request)
Feed sourdough starter
Make hamburger buns for later this week
Look and complete menu for next week so I can plan grocery list
Sweep kitchen floor (before mopping)
Fix lunch for everyone
Pack hubby's dinner for work
Fix dinner for rest...
Clean up kitchen
Take out kitty litter (ugghh - I hate this)

What's your day like?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spring Fever

Today has been a beautiful warm day. Its just one of those days where the sun is shining and you just want to be outside. I really have "spring fever". I am sooo tired of the cold wintery days and am longing for the warmer (not hot) weather to arrive and stay. It's about this time of year that I start going to stores and looking at the beautiful flowering plants that I want to put in my yard. I also look at seed packets and try to decide what I want to plant.

This year we are going to try and put in raised beds in our back yard and try utilizing the square foot gardening plan. I really would like some fresh grown veggies this year. We will probably do tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and beans(maybe). I have checked out some books from the library to get me on my way. We will be starting small and maybe expand next year. My mother in law has given us two acres in the country and I am hoping to be able to use it next year.

Well, gotta go start dinner.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's Been Over a Year - WOW!

I know it's been over a year since my last post. During the past year, things had been so hectic that I just lost interest in blogging. So, what did happen during the past year? I started babysitting a wonderful little girl; my oldest son moved back home and along with that my granddaughter was around more, my middle son moved out; my husband changed jobs - twice; my 3 stepchildren came to live with us (temporarily), I started homeschooling my stepchildren along with 2 nieces - whew! Near the end of the year we moved out of Collierville to Jackson (approx 85 miles) and here I am.

Its a new year and I'm looking forward to it. We are renting a wonderful house right now. Just my youngest (14) son lives with us. Things are much more quiet and I am able to be more organized. I put together a Home Management Binder, and if I can get a camera, I'll post pictures. I am cooking/baking more from scratch and I'm just loving it - so is my husband!

So, in previous posts, I wrote a lot about getting out of debt and my progress..blah blah blah. Well, I am happy to report that with our tax refund, we will be able to be debt free!! This includes some medical debt we just incurred October of last year.

This leaves me to consider...what is the focus of this blog now? Who knows...for now it will just be a place for me to come and write my thoughts down on whatever I choose. Again, hopefully I will be getting a digi camera soon and can include some photos as well.