Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've Not Posted In A While....

Well, as you can see I haven't posted in about 10 days. They have been an exhausting 10 days. I've not been at the computer much lately at all. We have been working on our addition to our house. It is really looking better!! Thanks to my DH and Butch(my Dad, one of two), my sister's boyfriend Scott and my DH's best friend Dennis. They have helped to get this project back moving again. I am so grateful to all of them. I need to explain about my grocery budget though.....

While having 3 grown extra mouths to feed I have busted my budget unexpectedly! I had wanted to keep the target goal but haven't been able to. I appologize for not doing this. I wish that I had been able to but I didn't see us having 3 grown men for meals. I wanted them to have a nice home cooked meal for all of the help that they have given to us. We really appreciate their help.

I will post pictures later of the work. They have done most of the drywall, moved some electrical, put in the vent fans for the bathrooms, moved some plumbing so that we could create a closet in one room, moved the doorway creating a hallway, done some insulating under the addition w/regular insulation and with the foam boards onto the block foundation to help keep underneath warmer. I know there is more but I can't think of it right now. I have helped insulate around the windows to keep the cold air from coming in and the heating bill sky rocketing! I was cramming those spaces full of insulation. I also helped DH clean up after the drywall mess was coming to an end. We only have the little bathroom and the closet I believe to get done. Oh, and one piece in the kids room needs to be hung. We started this project over 3 1/2 years ago.......we will be so glad when it gets done!

So, I hope that I didn't disappoint you by failing to meet my own challenge. I didn't expect to need to feed 10 people at our meals (5 of which are bigger eaters!) Oh well. I will have to do better for us this month. It's really hard to put a cap on something like this though not knowing what the future holds I know that for sure. We still have plenty of chicken that's for sure.

Hugs to you all. Get out and vote next Tuesday! I am ready and know who I'm voting for.....Do you? If not then give me a call and I'll tell you who to vote for and why!! BIG BIG GRIN!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I tried my hand at decorating a cake. I'm no professional....

Here's the cake that I decorated for Little Missy. It's a chocolate cake and I made the icing and added some pink coloring to it. I made two 9" cakes and iced in between them. I'm hoping that it will taste good. I did forget to cross my "t" in Birthday, Bulldog pointed that out to me. LOL It takes a 7 year old to let you know you've done something wrong! LOL

Anyway, I didn't think I did too bad considering that I don't normally do this. I got the edible image from my friend that works at Dairy Queen-it cost me $3.18. Not too bad for something like that I thought. Considering going to Wal-Mart and getting a cake it a min. $20! If I would have gotten the ice cream cake there at DQ it would have been like $30! So....$3.18 is ok for me! I made the icing and had the cake already so it was CHEAP!

I need to subtract that $3.18 from my last bit of food money for the rest of the month.

Well, I just wanted to post my cake. Not professional but at least I can tell her when she grows up that I made her 1st Birthday Cake myself. DH said just go buy her the cake! I said no, I want to do this!! I really felt good making that today. I wish that I would have done this with the boys. No reason why I didn't I just didn't. I wish I would have.

Well, it's someone's bedtime so I'd better get her ready. The boys need to get in the bed too. We have church in the morning.

Hugs to all. Hey-if you've read anything on my blog.....don't be afraid to post a comment. I LOVE COMMENTS! That tells me SOMEONE is actually reading!! LOL LOL

God Bless.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Challenge Update!

I went by the store today. I picked up 2 cake mixes and a package of butter cookies for little Missy. She had to go to the Dr. today. She's not feeling well. We were up most of the night. She has an ear infection and coughing so hard it almost makes her get sick to her tummy. So, I was thinking of her birthday which is Sunday and thought I'd better pick up some cake mixes if I'm going to make a cake. Really only needed one but now I'll have an extra.

Anyway, I spent $2.74 on the cake mixes and butter cookies. This leaves $17.55 left for the rest of the month. I still have bread, flour, meats, veggies, tea, sugar, eggs, milk, cereal and juice so we're good to go....I hope! LOL As long as DH doesn't spring anything on me. Then I'm good.

Next month I want to do a challenge with extras. You know toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, paper whatever, soaps, dish soaps, detergents, razors, the list goes on and on and on! This kind of stuff really gets my budget too. Actually I think we spend more on the extras than on food. That really stinks! So, I hope to come up w/a figure for next months budget for extras.

Hope you'll take my journey with me next month too. We'll see how that goes too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Work For Today....

Today I made some more bread. It turned out wonderful! I will be making this again soon. I'll post the recipe for you. Please do yourself a favor and try it sometime. DH and the kids loved it so did I. The color is dark but very pretty and the taste is good. I got the recipe from The Taste Of Home.

Shredded Wheat Bread
Best of Country Breads
Try a FREE ISSUE of Taste of Home!

The recipe for this low-fat bread came from my grandmother. It's now my husband's favorite. Nothing makes the house smell better than the aroma of molasses as this bread bakes.




TIME: Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling

2 cups boiling water
1 cup crushed Shredded Wheat cereal
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons shortening
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Melted butter, optional
In a large bowl, pour boiling water over cereal. Add the molasses, shortening and salt. Let stand until mixture cools to 110°-115°, stirring occasionally.
In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cereal mixture and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with melted butter if desired. Cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

This is the Poppy Seed Chicken that DH requested for tonight's dinner. It was very yummy once again. Just wanted to share the final picture with you. Here's the recipe for it as well. Hope you'll try it and the bread. These are both winners in my book!

Poppy Seed Chicken

4 C. Chicken Breasts, cooked 16 oz Sour Cream

2 Reg. Size Cans Crm Mush. Soup 8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 SleeveRitz Crackers 1 Stick Butter

1-2 tsp. Poppy Seeds (optional)

Spray bottom of casserole dish. Shred Chicken and put into casserole dish. In a bowl mix together the sour cream, soup and poppy seeds. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Cover with soup mix. Top with crushed crackers and pour melted butter over crackers.

Bake at 350* for about 25-30 minutes.

Menu for the week.....

I don't really assign a day for the food. I just pick it the night before. This is also subject to change because of different things. The kids don't have school on Thursday, Friday or next Monday. So, that will also have a little to do with it too.

We are having camp meeting at church this week so we may eat at church too. Everyone brings different things to contribute to the meal. So, I have to get that stuff together and take by Wednesday. I'll be making a cake to take as well. It's a German Chocolate Cake. That is my FAVORITE!! YUM! (I think I'm suppose to have that for Friday so I'll wait on making that....I don't want to take it on Wednesday and it sit there.) I'll post the cake recipe. It comes from a regular cake mix but it's made different. Very moist! You'll have to try it. I'll make the cake, take a picture and post the recipe.

Here's the menu.

Veggie Soup and Grilled Cheese
Tacos w/lettuce and cheese, chips and refried beans
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole, mashed potatoes & peas
Pork Loin Chops, baked potatoes w/sour cream, corn
Chicken Sandwiches, mac n cheese and chips
Chicken....Chicken.....Chicken......since we have a ton in the freezer!

I don't put what day because I never know what day we'll have what. I just decide the day before.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Challenge Update!!

Here is what I bought at the grocery. I still have some $ left over to buy a few things toward the end of the month. I'll tell you what all I got and how much I spent for each then my total and my leftover $ for the month. I think I did pretty well.

4-4 lb bags Sugar 4/$5
5 lb bag Flour $2.88
Sour Cream $1.38
Butter $2.50
Dale's Seasoning $2.68
Store Brand Corn 2/$ .88
Store Brand Peas 2/$ .88
Store Brand G.Beans 2/$ .88
Store Brand Crm Mush Soup 2/$ .98
Stove Top (treat & Sale!) 2/$3.00
4-Loafs Store Brand Bread $ .83 each
1-Kraft Singles $1.66
Santitas Chips (very good!) $2.08
Steak Buns for lunch tomorrow $1.58
Total Amount Spent $29.71

Amount Allowed for the Remainder of the Month $50.00
Amount Spent So Far $29.71
Leaves This Amount For the Rest of the Month $20.29

So, what do you think? Think I can do it? I bought the four & sugar so I can make bread & tea. That will help out a lot. I'll keep you posted on what I spend the next time I have to.

Dinner tonight was Mummified Chicken, Corn and Stove Top. It was very good. I forgot to take a picture. I wish I had, but we were quite it went on the plates as fast as it came out of the oven.

Until next time, stay safe. Oh! Speaking of staying safe, we went to pick up the van yesterday & they are going to have to fix some things that were not right so week 3 without it!


Friday Night Dinner In.....

Here is our dinner from last night. We had Grilled Pork Loin Chops (they were so good!), Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans w/potatoes (didn't think about having double potatoes-it was good anyway)

I was trying to figure this up to see how much it cost for the meal and how much per person. I figured it to be appox. $11.45 ( $7.20 for chops for 8, $.50 butter, $.25 for milk, $2.00 potatoes, $.50 green beans, $.12 1/2 slice bacon and $.88 for marinade (Tomato, Basil and Garlic-Grill Mates) This breaks down to $1.91 per person (for 6 people) Not too bad I think.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Here is a picture that is worth a thousand words. My husband got the idea to write on the twins (we call them Bear and Bull Dog) when they were about 3 years old. I love that picture!! So, I had it put on their cake for their 7th birthday. Can you see why I love that picture so much? I just had to share it with everyone. My little guys are just growing up on me now! This is them on their birthday with their new bikes in Feb. They're still acting silly!

This is our oldest son we call him Bub sometimes or LT. He loves the New England Patriots! He got this hoodie for Christmas and just loved it. He is such a big help to us and we really appreciate that he does like to help out.

This is our youngest one we call him Lo Lo or DH likes to call him Biggest Guy! My friend made his cake for him and he just loved it! He turned 4 in March and he said it was his best birthday ever! He was so happy that day. So sweet!

We love our boys. We didn't know what it was like to have a girl for over 10 years! Now it's really nice, we have our boys and our girl and they all love to do things for her. She will never have a date.....never get married......they'll take up for her forever I believe! HA!

I have to get started on our Christmas gifts shortly. I think Bub and I have decided to do something for his teacher. We are going to do a Scrap-Cookbook of his favorite recipes for her. This is his last year in her class. He has had her for a teacher for 3 different years. She's an awesome teacher and I wish everyone could have a teacher like her. He had her for 1st grade, 5th grade and now 6th. Just a great teacher!

Bull Dog and Bear and I will have to come up with something for their teacher. Not sure what to do for her. Lo and I well, he has 3 different teachers so I'm not sure what to do for them either. I know I need to get going on it thought that's for sure.

Gotta run and get some things done.


Just 10 days till our Sweet Baby Girl turns 1 year old!!

I took some pictures of her after church tonight and had to add them here. I just loved them. She's just so pretty. DH and I look at her all of the time and are just amazed at how pretty she is. We went through so much while I was carrying her that we truly know that each one of our children are a blessing from God. Please hug your kids and let them know you love them. One day one of you won't be on the other end of that hug. When you talk to your children/parents/loved ones let them know you love them by telling them. Don't just think they know I love them, tell them and show them by just a hug......a hug that they will remember you gave them. It means so much.

Anyway, sort of got emotional there. Here are pictures of our sweetest baby girl. Can you tell she likes the remote? Let me tell you she loves the telephone too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I have been accepted to carry the Foodieblogroll on my blog!!

I signed up to add the Foodieblogroll on my blog and they replied yes. So....that was something I was very excited about! YIPPY!!

If you don't know what I'm talking about go and check it out. It's just awesome! If you blog you may want to add them to your blog as well.

Just had to spread the excitement!! That's So, go and take a look and you'll love it just like I do.

Big Hugs!

These pictures are of our addition that we started 3 1/2 years ago. It is going to be our master bedroom, bathroom, another small bedroom for one of the kids and a 1/2 bath. So, DH (pictured in the middle), my Dad and my Sister's boyfriend have been working on the drywall recently. I will take some updated pictures this weekend and post those too. Just wanted to show the semi-before pictures. We just can't wait until this project is behind us and we have our room on the mail level of our house. At the moment the we are using the bedroom in the basement and the boy's bedrooms are on the main level. Anyway, enough of that......

The Bread that I made.....looks pretty-I think! Recipe included.

I got my bread made. I wish I would have let it cook as long as the recipe said. Our oven usually cooks things faster and of course I got very anxious to see and taste the bread. So, I pulled it out too early. So, I had to put it back in the oven. The kids really liked it. They love bread I think as much as their Dad and I do. I'm adding the recipe to the bread here so if anyone wants to make it they can. Just remember to let it finish baking....don't be like me and be impatient! I got it from Sugar n' Spice that posts over on the Taste of Home bulletin board. I have other recipes that my friends over there have posted for me to try. I can't wait to make them all.

Basic White Bread

2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups water
6 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons shortening, softened
Dissolve yeast in water, in a large bowl

Add half the flour, and the sugar, salt,and shortning.

Blend at low speed, then beat 2 minutes at med speed.

Mix in remaining flour by hand.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Stir the batter hard for 30 seconds.

Spread into 2 8in greased loaf pans (batter will be sticky).

Let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.

Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and done.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our Doings for The Day!

This morning I got up and made Omlets for breakfast. Took the kids to school w/their lunches in tow. Had to run by the bank for my Dad, which is over helping DH hang drywall in our addition. (I have pictures to post later) Ran to Lowes for the screws they sent me for. Came home and made DH a Chicken Patty for his breakfast-he doesn't care for omlets and my Dad had already eaten an omlet!

I just got the baby to sleep so I am going to go put her in her bed and hope she sleeps for a bit. I have Rolls to make, Tacos for the boy's lunches to make and dinner will be Chicken, veggie and rolls.

I hope to get the rolls made, take a picture and post the recipe w/the picture. I have lots to do in the kitchen so I had better get going if I want to get it all done before the boys get out of school. We have Karate starting at 5 tonight so it's rush rush rush!

Need to make some bread of some sort. I used 2 pieces earlier for DH's sandwich and I'm getting antsy about running out! So, I'll be looking for a good bread recipe. When I find it I'll post it on here along w/a picture.

Hugs!! I'm off racing.....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A challenge for the rest of the month.

I was reading in my Reader's Digest an article that really set my wheels turning!! "My Family's No Buy Experiment" So, here's the jest of it. This family set a $100 budget for one month (for have to have items) to live on. You only pay the things that have to be paid, lights, house payment etc. No extras! They didn't even pay their internet. I'm not going to go to that extreme though. We've got a package deal with our internet, cell phones and house phones. We have to have the phones for our business. This family saved more than $2000.

So,I am challenging myself to spend only $50 on groceries for the rest of the month. I just went to the grocery last night. I only have 1/2 a loaf of bread left but I can make some-hopefully. So, keep reading and see what we're doing and how it's going. I am starting this as of today. These two shopping trips are not included. I'll post my next trip to the grocery. Hopefully it won't be for a while. (unless I break down and buy the bread! LOL)

Here's my groceries for this week. I did spend more that what I wanted to but I hope to not have to buy anything else except maybe some bread if I don't get some made. This picture is for Thursday. I didn't take a picture for my shopping visit last night. Too tired, I came in and put it all away without even thinking about taking my picture! Whoops!

Thursday Oct. 2, 2008: $26.31 for a few groceries. Was right there and picked up a few good deals
2 cases water (not shown) $2.98 each
8 cans chili beans $.50 each
1 can pumpkin $.79
bag of grapes $1.18 lb
8 lbs potatoes $3.98
6 cans biscuits $.78
1 jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce $1.68
3 boxes of Velvetta Shells and Cheese 3/$5.00

I think I did pretty good to have only spent $26 and some change and gotten all of that. Everything that I got except for the pumpkin was on sale and I got the store brand that was only $.78 compared to $1.xx so still a good deal!! Planning out my menu with what I have and need to get just a couple of things.

Saturday October 4, 2008: I still needed to do a grocery run for some things that we so needed like toilet paper, Tide and toothpaste. If you run out of either of those in our house it would be such a tagedy! LOL So here's what I spent $64.87 (this is with a $2.00 off coupon for the toothpaste that I got)

Here's what we got:
2-Bags Santitas Chips $2 each (these are so good, and much cheaper than other kinds)
Orange Sherbet $2.64 (a treat that we normally don't get)
2-Big Bags of Popsicles $1.50 each (yet another treat)
1-Loaf Store Brand Bread $1.16
1-Large Roll of Sausage $5.18 (2 lb roll)
2-cucumbers $.64 each
2-Roma Tomatoes ($.98 lb) $.35 (for both)
Celery $1.48
Kraft Cheese 24 slices $4.58 (the kind DH just has to have!)
2-GV Kidney Beans $.64 each
2-GV Peas $.50 each
2-GV Green Beans $.50 each
3-Field Thick Slice Bacon $3.34 each
Tide Liquid $10.00
Toilet Paper $6.57
Glad Plug In Refills $5.12
Toothpaste $4.23 (amount without coupon applied)
100 Count GV Snack Size Ziploc Bags $2.48 (I put all of the kids snacks in these for school lunches and it saves us from having to buy chips, cookies and things at school)

So, I got all of that and that should do for quite a while. I have plenty of diapers for at least 2-3 weeks, we have the necessities I do believe. So, I hope to not spend more than $50 on groceries for the rest of the month. Can I do it? Yes, but will I do it??? That is the question. We have plenty of food in the frig and the freezer so......we shall see. I'll keep an update of what I spend. So, care to take the journey with me? Do it if you dare......!

I'll post what I am planning on cooking later.