Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blessings to our grocery budget!

It's been an interesting year, becoming debt free (except for our house), learning to live cash-only and plan ahead for all a nutshell, "acting our WAGE." (Kudos to Dave Ramsey!) I've really stuck us to a strict grocery budget and I enjoy showing you all the small victories in getting more for less via couponing with sales. It's really hard to stick to sometimes, but the financial stability is such an awesome reward!

Here's this week's snapshot. The cereal was 90c/box, the pasta was 19c/box and the rest of what you see in the picture (plus two more gallons of milk not shown) was ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! (There's around $100 of regularly priced groceries there.) Woohoo, I do think it was my best week yet!

Mini blizzard

We had another mini blizzard last weekend. They prdicted up to 14 inches, but in reality we only got 4-6 (though some of the drifts got up over a foot). Sadly, since it was 65 degrees 36 hours before the snow and almost 70 degrees 36 hours after, it didn't last long. This first picture is our backyard late in the day on Saturday...

And this picture is on Monday, all that snow was just about gone...but Carter wanted to play in it just a teensy bit more...all the while we were wearing FLIP FLOPS and TSHIRTS cuz it was so warm!

Trevor is on a roll!!

Trevor participated in his first science fair this past week. We had quite a bit of fun putting his project together over Spring Break. He chose to do a project that asked the question "do you get more time to run a yellow light in a quieter intersection or a busier one?" We actually discovered in our investigation that busy/quiet doesn't matter, but speed limit does! And the awesome part of this is that Trevor got SECOND PLACE! We were honestly surprised since this is his first science fair...and SO PROUD!!

And as if his science fair ribbon wasn't enough to make it a great week...

Trevor scored his team's first goal of the season on Saturday at soccer!!! GO TREV!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Couponin' and Cookin'!

Just thought I'd share some couponing fun from this week.

This picture was all for FREE! From some place or another online, I've requested free product coupons, and here's the freebies that showed up in my mailbox.

And this picture was CHEAP! Most of it was free or pennies...and along with tax the entire haul added up to $1.90!! My favorite is the java chip ice cream...can you say YUM?!?!

And look what I've been up to in the kitchen...

I have never, ever in my life made lasagna. I love lasagna, I've just never tackled it. But I ended up with some lasagna noodles for free with my couponing a while back, and I ran across a recipe that looked easy and that looked like I could alter so it fit in with Joshua's Weight Watchers point I went for it. And I do have to say, I'm pretty darn impressed with myself. It was easy, it looked like lasagna is supposed to, and best of all...Joshua LOVED it. Yup, I got a "this is awesome!" from my chef husband...the ultimate compliment...woohoo!!!

Here's the recipe if you're interested. I'll put my ingredients down, and the fuller fat alternative in parenthesis.

1 lb 93% fat free ground turkey (or ground beef)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t basil
1 t oregano
26-28 oz jar pasta sauce
salt and pepper
1 c low fat chicken stock/broth
8 oz fat free cream cheese (or full fat), cubed
2 cups 2% fat shredded mozzarella (or regular)
6-8 no boil whole wheat lasagna noodles (or regular)
1/2 c grated parmesan
2 c frozen, thawed, drained spinach

Heat oven to 400 and grease 9x13 pan. Cook the turkey, garlic, herbs and seasonings in a skillet until done, making sure to break up well. Stir in pasta sauce and heat through. In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil and add cream cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir with a whisk for about 6 mins, until smooth. Spread 1/2 of meat mixture into bottom of pan and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Top with 3 or 4 lasagna noodles. Spread spinach evenly over noodles. Pour the cream cheese sauce over the spinach and noodles. Add another 1/3 of the mozzarella. Arrange the remaining 3 or 4 noodles on top. Spoon remaining meat mixture on noodles as evenly as possible. Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Bake covered for 35 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool 15 mins to set. Cut into 10 servings (under 6 Weight Watchers points per serving).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 69


Yesterday I started reading in the New Testament...woohoo for the book of Matthew! I'm in awe of the Old Testament and so excited to read about the new covenant. And the coolest part is my NT reading falls right in line with the Easter Season. I'll be reading thru the Crucifixion and Resurection as we are getting ready to celebrate it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Countdown to Cancun!!

Just a quick post to say...LOOK UP!

I've added a ticker at the top of my blog page so we can keep an eye on exactly how long we have until we head off to Cancun. I'm excited to go, and Joshua is sooooo NEEDING the break from the craziness of work. Cancun, here we come!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Renaisance, Stained Glass and Running

Emilee's class had a day long "Renaisance Festival" on Friday. All of the kids dressed up in period costumes and participated in activities and games. We bought the dress at a local costume store, but Emilee made her maiden headpiece!

Carter enjoyed hanging out up at the school for a while, especially since he got a cupcake for breakfast!

These are Emilee's friends. The four of them had a "store" in the "mideval guilds" portion of the day. We made dragon scales (a type of cookie) and the girls sold them, along with handmade bracelets and keychains. The girls had a blast selling and even made a small profit. I want to toot Emilee's horn here for a minute. The girl standing directly beside Emilee is blind (I'll call her Mary). Mary is mostly in special day classes, but is in choir with Emilee. Emilee has befriended Mary and has put TONS of effort into taking care of her every chance she gets. Mary's aide was sharing with me on Friday what a blessing Emilee has been to her and Mary. Emilee includes Mary in school in ways Mary has never been included before. Emilee often takes Mary from place to place at school, and sees to it that Mary is safe and knows what to do during choir (prior to having Emilee as a friend, Mary wouldn't let go of her aide's arm to do ANYTHING). At their guild store, Emilee brought Mary up to the front and had her doing the cash register. She helped her take the money, told her the kind of bill it was, and talked her through counting back the change. In this trying season of pre teen selfishness we've been dealing with lately, it was really touching to sit back on Friday, and watch Emilee be so kind and conscious of someone else.

Emilee's awesome history teacher also gave an extra credit project last week...find a church with stained glass windows and write a summary of the scene depicted in the window. First things's HARD to find a church with stained glass windows nowadays. Many churches are in newer buildings now, built more "warehouse" style, and the time and cost of doing stained glass windows seems to have been skipped. We did find a local catholic church that had many beautiful stained glass windows and here are two of them.

This one is a scene of young Jesus in the temple with the teachers after he's "lost" to Mary and Joseph. The caption to this one was "Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?"

This one was of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. The caption read "Joseph took the child and his mother by night and retired into Egypt."

And today was the 5k run put on by our school district. Joshua ran in this last year, just a handful of weeks after he made a resolution to lose some weight and get in shape. This year both Joshua and Trevor ran the race as Trevor has joined his school's Running Club, and his entire club ran it.

Before the race started...

Trevor making his sprint to the finish...

Joshua and Trev after finishing...

Trevor ran the 5k in 32 mins, 28 secs. Joshua came in right behind Trevor at 33 mins, 31 secs. Joshua kept a steady pace, running the entire race and he cracked up because Trevor would sprint some and then walk some...and Trev still managed to come in just ahead of him! Poor Joshua is wiped this afternoon and Trevor is going strong like nothing at all happened this morning. Ahhh the resilience and energy of children hahaha!