Saturday, September 29, 2007

5 Things

Cute 5 Things that Christine did on her blog, then tagged me to do:

1) Snorting almost every time I laughed
2) Wearing glasses & braces (Perhaps that's why we get along so well, Chris. We suffered together.)
3) Playing the cello every day, starting with a new teacher who had a coat made of dog fur (she wanted to preserve the memory of her dog...I'm not kidding.)
4) Sleeping over at the Thadens' house and thanking heaven that they loved candy & junk food as much as I do
5) Living in Heidelberg, Germany

1) Go to church (done)
2) Complete this post (doing)
3) Eat cookies (Yep. I planned specifically to do that. Done.)
4) Clean house
5) Do more pictures

1) Bread with peanut butter
2) Baby carrots
3) Apple juice (Chris, I LOVE Capri Suns....for whatever reason, we always had very normal "boring" juice boxes in our lunches. So I, too, love Capri Suns and have them often to make up for feeling deprived.)
4) Fritos
5) Chocolate chip cookies

1) Wonder Pets theme song
2) Amazing Grace
3) ALMOST Hey There Delilah
4) If You Could Hie to Kolob (It's my favorite hymn--sounds amazing on cello)
5) Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Yes. These five were the best I could come up with. I'm actually horrible at deciphering--and remembering--lyrics of many of the songs I love.)

1) Pay tithing :) and then put 60% of what was left into a high-interest savings account
2) Make savings accounts for the kids
3) Buy a house
4) Go on vacation with the family; visit family everywhere
5) Buy some new clothes and perhaps two or three amazing cameras, then let Phill have at it. :)


1) I sleep too much and don't wake up kindly or gently(I wake up like a bear, too, Christine. There's actually a name for that....where you wake up psycho and hating the world for at least the first twenty minutes....ah! Sleep inertia! That's what it's called.)
2) I criticize myself too much
3) I bite my nails if I'm bored
4) I throw my clothes on the floor if my room's already dirty, and I leave clean loads of laundry around so long that they eventually can't be identified from the dirty laundry.
5) I yell way more than I should.

1) My black D.A.R.E. tee shirt that I wore for about 50% of sixth grade
2) Plastic shower curtain rings for earrings (Hey. I was 5.)
3) Extremely wide-legged jeans (Christine, I'm beginning to think we influenced each other horribly with our bad fashion ideas....)
4) Polyester shirts with bright flowers on them (Some pseudo-hippie phase in seventh grade.)
5) Plastic glasses frames with bits of confetti inside them. (Yes. I'm blushing furiously right now, because I actually wore them. Some time I'll find the picture. And burn it.)

1) My sock monkey sewn for me by my brother Reed, given to me for Christmas when I was 3 or 4. I named her Frogbone. She is currently residing in Japan, after a failed relationship with one of the other stuffed animals made her desperate to leave Utah.
2) A bear I've had since age 3 or 4. His name's Jason, and he used to be in love with Frogbone. (See #1)
3) I always loved Christine's trampoline. And any other trampoline. I was one of those kids who would gladly pretend I liked someone if I could just use their trampoline. (I promise, Chris, that I loved you right from the start. I didn't use you for your trampoline.)
4) My camera
5) My books

Abby and Marie, if you're reading this, tag! Your turn!

Friday, September 14, 2007

2 Things

All right!! It has taken me a while to get back to my blog--I've been knocked down by a cold since Sunday, and only just now feel up to doing this! I've been writing this blog in my head for about a week. *As for links, I'm having a problem posting them in my blogs in a way that's usable. I don't know why! It won't let me. So....the Favorite Things Swap link and Pam Dana's blog are both under "Bloggity Friends" and "Links of Interest".

I participated in Crystal's Favorite Things Swap, and my partner was Pamela Dana. She absolutely outdid herself!! The package arrived on Saturday, just when I was beginning to feel quite overwhelmed and exhausted from the day. (Perfect timing, Pam!) She sent the best stuff! Included in the package: A Scentsy--I had never heard of this, but it melts the scented wax with a tiny lightbulb, so you have the ambiance of a candle (light through the holes) and the scent from a nice candle (the wax). But it came with six different blocks of wax--so it's really like six scented candles in one. Also in the package: Dirty Dancing (woohoo!), The Giver (I know this is a classic, and although I haven't read it, It's on my huge list...), The Secret Journal of Brett Colton (I've started it already and can't put it down--great story!), a Cherie Call CD, and Mary Kay exfoliating wash & perfume. See what I mean when I say Pam outdid herself? Thank you, Pam!!


And now, for those of you who asked, here's my two-week menu. It's really nothing glamorous or ambitious. I wish it was, but obviously not enough to make it so. :) Really it's a one-week menu repeated. I'm sorry this picture is so crappy--I scanned it. I don't know if it's possible to provide a link to a Word document....if it is, obviously I'm having the linkage problem. So. That wouldn't work. Notice I've added ideas for snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. I did that because I'm often as confounded about what to make for those meals as I am for dinners. They're just ideas. I don't always do this by the T. Sometimes when Phill isn't here, we have lunch ideas for dinner. I follow it pretty closely, though, when Phill is here. It's just helpful. And we bought everything for these meals and snacks (for two weeks) for $150.00. (Of course, that has lasted us longer with Phill being gone since last Sunday, not set to return until the 21st of this month. Army stuff....always.) So--$300.00 for a family of five to eat for a month. it is. Finally.

I should mention that the lasagna listed is not homemade. For convenience, we buy a Family Size Stauffer's frozen lasagna. Looks small, but ends up feeding all of us and then some! And the salads are usually those Caesar kits. I feel lazy admitting that....but it's pretty hard to be lazy when you have kids. Too much effort to not make an effort. The tacos we make are pretty boring--and sometimes they're actually burritos. Just ground beef with taco seasoning, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, olives, onions, a hard taco shell or wrapped in a tortilla. The Homestyle Bakes are by Banquet or Betty Crocker. One meal in a box. If we're really hungry, two boxes. But usually one box does it. The pork chops we do on the grill, the mashed potatoes aren't always homemade, and the veggies are usually frozen. And the spaghetti is also pretty straightforward. I'm sure I'll choose some more involved meals once I've got down the whole idea of a meal plan and budget. The whole idea was very daunting at first, which is why I went for easy almost-ready-made meals. Oh--and the rice? Best idea ever--10-minute boil-in-a-bag rice. I love it. And the pancakes for breakfast? Yep, you guessed it. Just add water! And instant cream of wheat. And just for the record, I think I'll change up the menu a little for the next two weeks. I don't want to repeat seven meals four times. Some of them are keepers, but tacos for times a month? That doesn't really appeal to me. Maybe I'll share my new menu once I have it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Our Day (yesterday) + Grocery budgeting

Guess what I did yesterday? I made dinner. Now, I make dinner a lot. But this was a nice dinner. And involved a little more than my usual dinners do. And I let Reed help me. We made macaroni and cheese, using my Mom's recipe, although I exchanged the 3 cups of sharp cheddar for 2 cups Colby and 1 cup Monterey Jack. (I'm not such a fan of sharp cheddar...mild is good, but I also like trying the recipe with different cheese.) It was sooooo good and sooooo pretty that I had to take pictures. I have more pictures from that day, including Jaxon's face when he ran outside for his daily viewing of the Choo-Choo that passes, and Reed and Jaxon putting sticky notes on the back of the couch and calling them "NFL pictures." (Football season started last night...) And I'm posting a couple of pictures of Savanna from that day as well.

I'm really proud of us because, just like my bloggity friend Christine, we've been applying a grocery budget, and a menu, and it's working! Or I guess I should say we're following it. We had food stamps before Phill got this job. And we were allotted a huge amount, which we carelessly used every month. But in preparation for not having that luxury, we decided to make a budget of $300.00 per month for our family of five. (Four of which actually eat the food, the fifth gets it in milk-form.) We shop for two weeks at a time, except for produce and bread (and sometimes snacks), which tend to need replacing every week. So we plan seven meals and just repeat them in the second week. And so far it's working well. And we're not stuck with the question of what to make until 7:00p.m., when we give up and just put hot dogs in the microwave. (Which is okay....but gets old after the third night in a row.) We've also budgeted a specific amount--kind of tentative for now, seeing if it will work--for fuel, fun, and household things (diapers, cleaning supplies, etc...). I must have some Planning & Efficiency bones in me, after all! :) Sometimes it's fun to be somewhat regimented. Hmm...spoken like a true Army brat and Army wife.