Saturday, March 29, 2008

Waiting and Watching

I am not even sure where to begin.

The boys had vaccinations and dentist appointments on Wednesday. They both were feeling lousy for a couple of days. I suspect that they knew something was transpiring as well. Jesus was getting ready to bring Maw Maw home.

Thursday my mil was getting worse. We had all seen this before and on many occasions and she had always turned it around. Not this time though. Thursday night my Hubby got in from work about 7pm and called to check in on his Mom. His three sisters were there and had been that day. She was getting worse but the sisters encouraged him to stay with me and the boys and get some rest he had worked an 18 hour day. He stayed and at 5:30 am Friday morning his Dad called (he will be 80 next month). He could barely speak. I asked if if there was time and he said hurry. Hubby made it with 10 minutes to spare. His Mom passed at 6:06 am. I hurried up there after grabbing 20 biscuits at Jack's and dropping the boys at my parents. I got there about 7:45am. She suffered the last half hour or so. She basically drown in her own fluids. It was so hard for Hubby to watch his Mom suffer like that. She was looking at each of her children with pleading eyes. She had not eaten a bit of food in a long time. She had been non responsive in the last 24 hours of life.

There were eight deceased ahead of her. That is why we are waiting. The visitation will be Sunday night. The viewing will be open casket for the family and then closed. The funeral will be Monday at 2pm. She will be cremated.

We ordered flowers today and I am getting clothes ready. I had other errands to run today. Yesterday i spent the majority helping my three sil's clean my in-laws home, doing laundry and receving visitors. Hubby stayed the night with his Dad last night. He is home tonight.

I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this time. I am truly exhausted. I did nap today will the boys napped. Thank you in advance for your understanding of my lack of posting. I have been reading your blogs but just cannot comment right now. I hope to catch up with you all soon though.

Please say a special prayer concerning the my sils, my fil and my Hubby. There is some tension right now and i cannot go into details but Hubby is caught in the middle. the sils are half siblings to my Hubby and taking care of my fil seems will fall to Hubby and I. Enough said......please just pray. Pray God will change hearts.

I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart. God is so good!!!! Praise HIS name!! Blessings!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gone But Not Forgotten

Marilyn M. 1-9-44-3-28-08. In loving Memory.......

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today's Journey

Today the boy's will see the paediatric denist and the pediatrician for their 2 year check ups. I also have a few things to take back to Target. We will probably go see my mil. We need to go to the post office and maybe swing by CVS and Winn Dixie. Hubby has taken off to take the boys to their appointments (thank you Lord). i am looking forward to a day with all three of my guys.

Hope you all have a wonderful day. Now I am off to finish breakfast and get every one's clothes ready.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What's Left

We have been in the orchards most of the day. Our county agent and another one (from Morgan county) has been with my Daddy and brother as well as my Dad's cousin and his son most of it.

We got hit about as hard as expected. The farm we live on was hit quite hard. It hit 25.2 degrees around 1 am and stayed below freezing for about 8 hours.
We lost: 100% of the plums, 90% of the nectarines. It is hard to tell about the pears. we will have to wait a day or so and cut blooms then to see if the pollen is dead.

The same for our lower farm. it hit 26 degrees there about 1:30am. It also stayed below freezing for around 7 hours.
We lost: 100% of plums, 90 % nectarines and 30% of peaches. Now there are about 25 or so varieties of peaches. Two varieties were a complete 100% loss. The rest will not need all of the thinning typically done.

If we have another hard freeze we could loose the rest of the peaches. We have seen late freezes as late as April 15th.

So, that's it in a nutshell. We are just thankful that we are not looking at the site we saw last year. It was a 100 % loss on everything last year and a 70% loss on apples.

Thank you Lord, praise your name! Blessings!!!!!

Saving at the Pig

Around these parts we call The Piggly Wiggly the Pig.

I ran in for a few items that we needed and came home with a cart full.
I would pst pics but by the time i got it set up to take a pic and got my boys situated the groceries would have gone bad. So, please use your visual imagination.......

6 - 1 # bag pict sweet veggies $1-$.50 coupon $3
5lb. bag frozen cinnamon raisin biscuits $3.99 reduced for quick sale
3 # ground round $4.14 reduced for quick sale
baby back pork spareribs 6# $8.29 reduced for quick sale
3 - 1# smoked sausage weiners $.75 each
3 # old fashioned slaw chopped and prepacked $2.97
1 # smoked sausage polsa kieblsa $1.50
3 - 16 oz. Kraft dressing $5 -$.75 coupon
2 Liter Canad Dry Cranberry Gingerale $.59 reduced for quick sale
3 # Golden Delicious apples $2.19
5 # bag of russet potatoes $2.39
gal. milk $3.99
bread $.99
BC butter pecan cake mix $.79
4 Campbell cream soups $.77 each -$.35 coupon
head of lettuce $1.39
3 # bag of lettuce mix $1.59 reduced for quick sale
Celery $1.29
bunch fresh turnip greens $1.50

total after coupons $46.77 and after tax $50.91.

I was tickeld & saved a bunch on the reduced for quick sale (about $25)


Edit to PART 3 The NICU

Here are a couple of more things I forgot to add to part 3.

Tiger had an iv to infiltrate in the top of his hand. He has a scar all the way across that part. It is more so on the wrist, put the top part. We saw a plastic surgeon for that for six months. He also had at home physical therapy to help with making his hand mobile.

The boy's had to have caffeine the first 5 days of life to stimulate their hearts. Straight caffeine in an iv. Kind of scary, but necessary.

I'm sure I remember more as time goes on. I will post it here when I do.

Buying Frugal Birthday Gifts for Our Boys

We spent about $70 on the boys for their birthday.
Leap Frog Word Factory video $4.99 (on sale from Leap Frog site)
2 John Deere Texture and touch books $5.27 each
2 Leap Frog books for their First leap pads $3.90 each (on sale at Leap Frog site0
2 Magnetic Farm Books $7.27 each
2 Puzzle Farm books $4.48 each
2 Dirt Devil Brooms w/ dustpans $2.88 each
John Deere combine toy $6.99
John Deere gator toy $6.99

We usually spent a little more, but with the party uping the cost we didn't. We had planned on getting them a battery operated Gator they both coulf ride on, then my parents wanted to ge the tractors, so we opted to let them get the big gift for them this year.

How do you shop for your kidds' birthday's? Do you have a budget you go by? Blessings!!!!

The Party!!!!

Here are some pictures of the boy's John Deere birthday party. They had a blast.

I tried to stay within $200 for the party and gifts. We had 31 guests. We had soft drinks and water served ice cold in the metal wash tub. We had cake, nuts and chips and dip to eat. We purchased the boy's their own separate small cakes and one larger one to serve from.

Here's the breakdown:
Food and drinks $55
Decorations $55
Thanks you's, invites and postage $20
Gifts $70

The pedal tractors and wagons are from my parents. That is them in the picture with the boys.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hurting Tonight

We have had a very hard week and it looks even more bleak tonight. We have lost 2 cows this week while birthing calves. We lost the calves as well. We have another cow that delivered today and she and her calf are not doing well. We got the fist cow and calf pairs buried today.

Tonight we are going to hit about 25 degrees. That will wipe out our plum crop, most nectarines and some peaches. They say the wind will be very light. We need the wind to stay up throughout those hours to keep the frost at bay. They say the temps will deep below 32 for 6-8 hours.

Last year we lost all peaches, plums, nectarines, pears and some other crops. Read about Our Farm Life here.

My parents have already started putting bloom spray on. That is several thousand dollars alone. Please pray!

Tonight I ask that you lift up farmers that will be affected by the weather tonight. A freeze like this will drive grocery prices even higher. My parents did not earn a dime off of their fruit crops last year. They are in need of a good year. Please ask for the Lord's will to be done.

We love farming and the joys it brings but we need prayers tonight. God is so good...............



My stay lasted from the 22nd of March until the 26th. I had an allergic reaction to some pain meds and was very sick for 2 days with high fever and ant bite whelps all over my body. I saw a dermatologist for 4 months afterwards because the scaring was so severe. So many toxins had built up in my body I gained 21 pounds in 48 hours. I was miserable. I could barely get up and I was in such pain with the 31 staples keeping the front half of me together (literally).

I was hurting so badly for my babies and did not even get to see them the night they were born. I did however get up at 5am the next morning and was wheeled over to see them. I could not stand at all. What I saw was so heartbreaking. My two miracles were so tiny. Tiger was bruised so badly and was on a ventilator. We were not allowed to touch him. It would not comfort him, only cause him pain. He had iv's from everyplace. A g-tube up his nose to feed by. Leads coming from several different monitors and wires everywhere. Preemie diapers were too BIG for him. He was septic and had a severe brain bleed. He was on the vent for the first 10 days and that night they took him off of it and put him in my arms. I called him my little warrior from the beginning. I told him to fight. The first time he felt his Mommy's arms he crashed. I watched in disbelief as they revived him and he was then put on a c-pap (for 3 days). He developed jaundice and his counts hit the 20's. Normal is 5-6. He was under 6 Bili lights and on a Bili blanket. He had many ups and downs during his 31 day stay in the NICU but we finally got him home. He also had the most severe reflux. He went home weighing 5#, 1oz. He could not remember to suck, swallow and breath all at the same time. Trying to get him to take one ounce of formula every 3 hours was so difficult.

Monkey was a site to behold as well. He never needed anything but room oxygen through a nasal cannula, monitiors and iv's. He had a brain bleed as well. He stayed in the NICU fro 30 days and came home one day before his brother. He also had the jaundice, not as critical as his brother though. He came home weighing 5#, 3 oz.

My husband was laid off during this time. Our pick-up sustained $4000 worth of hail damage. We got it out of the shop on a Friday. On that Monday morning while on his way to work (when he still had a job) 2 deer ran out and hit his truck doing $2400 worth of more damage to it.

I thought the hardest thing I would ever do was leave them in the hospital and go home without them........boy, would I be wrong............

TO BE CONTINUED................................

The Yuckies.......Once again

Saturday morning the boys got up not feeling well. They were sneezing and rubbing their eyes like they were itchy. We had some prescription meds for them and I called the pharmacy to see if it would work for allergies too. It would. I thought great! After the party was over we went to eat with some friends from out of town. When we got home we had two yucky feeling little boys.
Saturday night Hubby spent the night with his Mom to help his sisters see after her. I was not feeling so good and the boys were up most of the night too. Did I mention that I depise staying by myself?
Sunday morning's Easter church service was a no go. We were tired and sick. The runny noses started and the fevers and the coughs......need I go on? Nor did we hide and hunt eggs. I called Hubby and he came home about 10am. Last night I slept in the boys bedroom floor and my body aches from that this morning. My throat is so sore and swollen and red. I am drinking my vinegar, honey and lemon juice rememdy. It helps only for a short time. I am worried that I might have strept or something.

The boys fevers have subsided, but ther noses are still pouring. They are not eating well and just plain out do not feel good at all. So the yuckies are back once again.

Update to my mil's condition: She is not far from death. So is getting worse and they have started continous care for her through Hospice. Organs are starting to show signs of shutting down. She has not had a bite of food in her mouth in over a week now. She is completely nonresponsive. Please keep my Hubby in your prayers as well as his family.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter! I will get to PART 3 of the boy's story in a day or so. Also get the party pics up and the details to go witht them. Many blessings and have a great week!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Blessings!!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful day with your family and the memory of our Savior. Many blessings to you and yours on this special day!!!!

Thank you Lord for sending your Son to save us!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Labor and Birth (PART 2)

I need to explain first that my ob/gyn has been my doctor for almost 16 years now (since I was 16). I love her dearly and trust her with everything in me. She is a wonderful Christian woman and doctor.
She told us we would have these babies in the next 24 hours. She was more right than you know. At 5:50pm I was a 4. I was in pain, but still no contractions showing up on the monitior. I was having all back labor. The cardiologist came in and said my bp was way too high. Baby A was head down and Baby B was transverse. I would have been allowed to delivery vaginally, except my bp was too high, 190/105 to be exact.

At 6:15 I sent everyone scrambling literally. I kept telling them I was hurting. The doctor checked me and they cleared the OR. I was a little over 8 by then. There was no time for meds. I was rushed to OR and given Nubain to take the edge off. Yeah right!!! Then a spinal (6:25pm). By then Baby A was starting to crown. The cardiologist said no. Keep him there. The nurse was actually pushing him back in. This is all happening way faster than you are reading. They could not get the transverse baby out. He was stiff. He was deprived of oxygen for almost 3 minutes. At 6:34pm he was finally delivered. He was 17 inches and 3#, 10 oz. you know it's bad when they ask if you have a name for him. I got to see him for a moment and kiss him. Exactly 47 seconds later his brother was delivered, crying. That was the most beautiful sound. A relief, since the first one was not. He was 3#, 7 oz. and 16 inches. I kissed him and they were taken to the NICU, witht heir Daddy in tow.

Now, I am going to divulge details. Please do NOT use their names in the future. Please continue to call them Tiger and Monkey after this little tidbit.
We did not have names picked out. We did not know the genders either. We had played around with a few but choosen none offically. My husband is John Gillis. My fil is Hoyle and my Daddy is Marvin. Two weeks before I went in labor my husband came up with John Harvin (after him and both Grandfathers) for the first or only son. For a second son he liked Mason Gillis. Mason after an Aunt that helped raise my hubby.
Now, back to it.............
My Hubby was with the babies and I was not feeling so good. I started asking the doctor what was wrong. She told me that everything was fine and she was working on my uterus to get it to contract. When I saw her up on the side of the table over me working I knew it wasn't good. I had already had a blood tranfusion and they were ordering more. I was given 3 units by now. Then I heard her tell the nurse to get my husband to sign those papers quickly. I was just kind of in and out. Little did I know that I was bleeding out and my husband had just signed for them to save my life and give me a hysterectomy. Before the nurse got back the bleeding was subsiding but my husband did not know this. He was watching the neonatologists trying to save our very sick firstborn. They finally got the uterus to contract and stapled me up. 31 to be exact. I was cut from bone to bone to get Baby B out. I was taken back to my room after a while in recovery.
My parents were there by then and several family members. My husband came back to the room. I knew it was bad, I kept telling everyone that. My exact words were somethings wrong with my baby. Tell me what's wrong! Everyone kept telling me everything was fine. My bp was up, way up and they were trying to keep me calm. I asked to see my babies but I was not doing well. They had to restrain me I was shaking so badly. The spinal was doing a number on me.
Both Grandmothers went with my husband to see the boys. I wanted to see a picture. Hubby showed me one of each. I was groggy and could not see the briuises and come to think of it I don't remember seeing the vent or the wires either. Just two perfect gifts from the Lord.
TO BE CONTINUED...............................

Happy Birthday Boys!

Today is our twin boys second birthday! We are having a John Deere party for them. I hope they have a wonderful day and many blessings!!!!!

Have a great day ya'll! Blessings!!!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Beginning (PART 1)

This is how God placed these our two blessings (miracles) in our lives.

Hubby and I were married for 7 years when our twin boys were born. We had tried for most of that time to get pregnant with no success. It actually seemed to make my cycles more irregular and cause me so many more female problems. We saw my ob/gyn and she refered us to their infertility clinic there in house. We met 2 of the most wonderful women (nurses) that took care of everything.
We had my work up the first month. It is actually called a poopy cycle. We learned that I was not producing eggs. When I did produce them they were not being released. We were learning more during the second cycle. That month I started Clomid. Nothing happened that month.
On month three we learned that my Hubby also had an issue. His levels (the semen) were way too high. The actual sperm "could not travel through it".
It was decided on the fourth month that we would have an IUI. The sperm is harvested by the male and then is cleaned and the best are choosen. It is rediluted and placed in the uterus via a very long cathiter. I am AWAKE during this time and it is VERY uncomfortable (and yes I would do it again in a heartbeat!). So after all the bloodwork, transvaginal ultrasounds, my clomid (by mouth) and an hcg shot we went in for the procedure.
That morning we had another transvaginal ultrasound. Only 2 days before there were 13-14 eggs. That morning there was only ONE left. We prayed right there with the nurse, a wonderful friend and we decided to go ahead.
It was all GOD. I was working 80-100 hours a week at this point on the farm. I was under tremendous amounts of stress. Usually it takes 3 or 4 tries with the IUI to get pregnant. We did the procedure.
Four weeks later I was anxious. I was 3 days late (nothing out of the ordinary). I was taking pregnancy tests left and right.....all negative. On a Thursday night I took another and it was negative as well. I crawled up in Hubby's lap and we prayed. I asked the Lord for one baby. I told him I would NEVER ask for anything again if he would just give me one baby. On Friday morning I took another test......negative. Friday at lunch I came home. I had one test left, I took it. I was so frustrated, I left it on the bathroom sink and went back to work. Hubby got home from work early and went to the bathroom. He called me and asked if i knew that there was a POSITIVE test on the bathroom sink? Can you say,"praise JESUS"? The next morning I got up and have never felt that kind of sick. I had to go the farmer's market and sale. I had no help and it was bad. I finally got the nurse on the phone and she called meds in. She said I needed to be in the office that Monday morning at 7.
They ran some tests and I was pregnant!! YAYYYY!!!! The doctor's office called me back the next day and asked me to come back in. My numbers were on the high side. They should be around 4,000-5,000. Mine were already 21,000. At 6 1/2 weeks they did another transvaginal ultrasound. She (the nurse) asked how many babies we could handle? Hubby and I just beamed. She said, "here's baby A and his heartbeat and here's baby B and his heartbeat." I was crying from pure joy and shaking so badly. Then silence........... Here's a third sac but there's no heartbeat." There was unbelief. I was so scared.
We went home thinking I would never carry both to term. Less than 10 years earlier I had open heart surgery from rare birth defects. I was immediately put under the care of a cardiologist at that hospital (mine was at another hospital). We did fine and I even worked. then at 12 weeks I started spotting one Saturday morning. To make a long story short, I had a cyst to rupture, BUT all was WELL! Praise the Lord!
We made it on to 26 weeks still working and then I was put on home rest. At 29 weeks I had only gained 15 pounds BUT the babies were growing and doing well. Everything was right on target. However, my ob/gyn thought it was best to go on full bedrest. For the next three weeks the bed became my best friend. At 32 weeks I started swelling. I had gained another 15 pounds (from all of the fluid) in that last 3 weeks. I started having tests run. I also had the pregnancy rash and a severe case at that. My ankles were the size of what my thighs had been. The babies were also putting pressusre on the wires from the open heart surgery. It was so uncomfortable. I loved being pregnant. I wanted to make it so badly to go full term.
We had choosen not to find out the genders of the babies. We wanted that to be a complete surprise. We just wanted healthy babies, it didn't matter what the genders were.
At 32 weeks , 6 days I had gotten up and went to the fridge to get my breakfast. Hubby had packed my cooler by the bedside before he left for work, but my food was left prepared in the fridge. I noticed the coffee table was still dusty from the last housecleaning. I got the Pledge and wiped it as I was walking back to bed. As I was getting up from my stooped postion I felt something water had broke. It was not the big gush you hear of though. It was a steady trickle. My parents got me the hospital an hour away and Hubby met us there. I was examined and told I was as tight as a clam. It would be 2-3 weeks before I delivered. I would be on total bedrest until then, in the hospital. They started antibiotics to counteract any infection. At 2 pm we sent everyone home. At 4pm they took me (and Hubby) to ultrasound. At 5pm I did not feel right, we were on the way back to my hospital room. We got back and I almost fell on my face. Literally (if I had not been on a gernie). My nurse and I went to college together. As a matter of fact I had not seen her in 9 years. One of the last times I had seen her she was donating blood for my open heart surgery!!! God had sent her there!
The monitiors were not picking up any contractions, but I was hurting and BAD! At 5:15 I was dilated a fingertip. The doctor said she would check me after her 6:30pm scheduled c-section. Let's just say that scheduled c-section got bumped for twins..............................


Good Morning All!

I am feeling pretty good about things today. I am so excited for the boys. They are going to have a blast at their party tomorrow! Sunday is Easter and God is so good!

Yes, my mil is still in grave condition but I have to keep things as normal as I can for my sons! I have many things on the to do list for today.

My parents are keeping the boys for 2 hours so I can get the details of the party finished up.

Hubby is at his parents again today. He and I talked it over and we are going ahead with the party. He is with his family and I am preparing for tomorrow. I will take supper (2 loaves of garlic cheese bread, seven layer salad -5lb., and spaghetti (7 lb.) up to my in-laws late this evening. My Mom made 2 huge peach cobblers and a caramel cake yesterday for them. I made 7 qt. potato soup and Amish broccoli salad (4lb.) for their supper last night.
I need to be back in time to get my Daddy (and we'll take the boys) to my nephews basketball game.
My friend C.T. is going to help me get the Fellowship Hall decorated in the am so that will be out of the way. Then the party is at 2pm.

Today I need to pick up the cakes, check on balloons, get table clothes, get chips and dip as well as nuts. I also need to get the wash tub for soft drinks and water bottles for tomorrow. Oh and get the key to the fellowship hall from my aunt. Also check the mail as the boys tee shirts to wear tomorrow are not here just yet!

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day. Also, if the moon comes out tonight I promise you that I am going to get the first part of the boys story posted. Of course, I do have to get it wrote first!;)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Tag!

Things have been rather hectic around here of late, so I am just now getting to my tag. My good blogging friend Nikki tagged me several days ago.

Here's how you play. Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog of ten weird, random things, facts or habits about yourself. At the end, you choose five people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them to be tagged. Don't forget to leave them a comment saying "you're it" and to read your blog. You cannot tag the person who tagged you. Since you cannot tag them back, let him/her know when you've posted your blog so she/he can read your answers.

So here's my 10!
  1. I can change the oil in a tractor.
  2. I had open heart surgery at 19.
  3. I loved being pregnant.
  4. I was pregnant with triplets (there was no heartbeat at 6 1/2 weeks). Now we have twins.
  5. My feet are HUGE (size 11 to be exact)
  6. I love to go fishing.
  7. I do not like amusement park rides at ALL!!!
  8. I live within 1000 feet of the river.
  9. I love classical music.
  10. I am Pentecostal

I am tagging Melinda, Mimi, Nico, Southern Seven and Mom to Twins. I would love to know more about each of you!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whirlwind of a Day!!!

We have been so busy today. My friend and housekeeper C.T. came this morning at 8 and we started 'Spring Cleaning" again. We hope to have everything done by tomorrow night. We did the kitchen, finishing the sitting area, did the dining room, did some touch up in the Master bath and bedroom and the retreat.

My mil seems worse, the Hospice nurse says 4 days or so. She already has the "death odor" and the "death rattle". Hubby is up there tonight and is off work tomorrow to be with his family. My Mom's back is still giving her fits, so I am here with the boys.

My hairstylist came today and gave the boys haircuts. They look so handsome and she does such a good job. I have cut their hair before and one was okay, but the other's hair turned out pretty awful.

Friday I am picking up their cakes and getting the balloons and extra table clothes I need for the party Saturday. Decorating on Saturday. Sunday is Easter (program at church, lunch somewhere?? and an egg hunt somewhere??)!

Praying for another productive day tomorrow! Blessings!!!!!

Stockpiling the Gift Closet

Here's afew pictures of my gift closet........

The very reason I stockpile a gift closet is so I will not have to be out an arm and leg when the need arrives and trust me it will arrive.

I buy gifts all year long, not just for birthdays and such but also for Christmas. I buy new things at yard sales and thrift stores. I also love clearance racks. After Christmas and after Thanksgiving Sales are good places as well.

I am not a crafty person by far, but I make gourmet mixes as a second income so I love to give those. I also do a lot of canning. Those types make wonderful homemade gifts. I get most of my baskets and other fillers at the Dollar Tree and yard sales.

I keep a card box as well. In there you will find birthday, blank, sympathy, anniversary and baby cards. I keep gift wrap and bags for all occasions as well thanks to the Dollar Tree. I recycle gift bags and bows as well by reusuing them.

I love freebies and have received some great ones for gifts. Some (freebies) of what I have given for gifts is books, cd's, stuffed animals and note cards .
I keep on hand at all times:
baby gift (one for boy and one for girl)
crossword books
coloring books and crayons
bath and body products
children's books
gift sets of various types
picture frames
crystal serving dish and/or crystal salt and pepper shakers
stationary sets
I also keep a lot of toys for my boys in there.

I like CVS for their cosmetics, bath and body products as well as their gift sets. Now, I only buy when I have Extra Care bucks, coupons and those products are clearanced or very much on sale.
The Dollar Tree also has great bath and body products. I like the semi-annual sales at Bath & Body Works. I always try and combine store coupons with sale and clearance items.

Some people keep a list of products. I don't, everything is pretty well visible for me in my gift closet. My gift closet is in my master bedroom closet/dressing area. We had the extra space and it just worked for us.

If you have a trunk you could use it for your gift stash or a spare closet, under the bed, etc. Do whatever works for you.

I hope this helps and explains how we stockpile gifts at our house. Stockpiling saves us tons of money and time, you do need a little space though! Many blessings on your journey!

Two Birthday's Approaching......

soon! Saturday my sweet twin boys will be 2!!! Here is a picture of some of the decorations. Can you guess what theme we are doing? :) More pictures yet to come.....over the weekend!

(This is the package I was waiting on from UPS last week!)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Well, I'm still here! Yay for that, I guess. I am trying to be positive, but I think Satan is having a field day in my life lately. I am cammanding him to leave me alone and I am taking control back, now. I am going to stomp him back to his home and I command him to stay there and out of my life. I am a child of the KING and I have the power! In his name AMEN!!!!!!!! (Yes, I am pentecostal).

Here's the low down.........

I have migraines really bad (usually involving squinting of the eyes (light hurts so bad) and severe vomitting). I have medicine and take it when I feel one coming on. Our insurance only pays for 6 of these pills every 30 days. Usually that is enough to last. Usually they are only brought on by hormones (MALE READERS STOP READING NOW!!!) . However, the stress factor is at an all time high. I am SEVERLY anemic and to treat that, I have to be kept on a bc pill that only gives a cycle every 3 months. After I had the boys I bleed from March 22 until July 4!!!! When my hormones start changing the week before the cycle begins all hades breaks loose!!! The migraines hit without warning and at the worse times! So, with all that (too much) info being said, I have had a migraine since last Friday!!! I am down to 1 migraine pill until the 28th!!!

My Mom is still down in her back. This is how my mil's cancer's started it's symptoms. My Mom is also a smoker. I am trying to persaude her to have some tests run just to rule that persauding is not too good ! Please pray for this situation.

Hubby is working from leaving for work at 3am and returning home around 7pm from work. He is exhausted. To make matters worse he is doing my brother's (he and his family are in Virginia skiing) job on the farm and feeding the cattle and so on so forth, when he returns home from his job.

We also lost (they died) a cow and calf due to laboring complications.

Yesterday morning on his way to work he stopped and gassed up his pick-up. The pump would not take his card outside. He went inside, the cashier ran the card 3 times and it was declined. It said to contact our bank. Thankfully he had just put $100 in his wallet for emergenices the night before. Hubby calls me. I check online. Someone had pumped $186.00 in fuel at a Texaco in El Paso, TX and charged it on hubby's check card number!!!! Hubby has his check card. The bank suspects someone used a card reader at somewhere like a drive thru and then sold the number. They say this is happening more and more frequently.........SCARY!!!!!! So we were refunded the money, card cancelled and new one issued.

I ordered the boy's birthday cakes Saturday! I also went to Shoe Show. They had the cutest black and red sandles for the boys clearanced to $5 per pair. I got them each a pair. I also got cute orange tee's for them at Wally World for $4.86 each that read "My parents are exhausted!" Too cute. I also CVS ed today. Savings are posted separately.

It has been determined that my mil had a stroke Thursday night and that is what put her in the comatosed state. She is again running a fever. They are saying 2-3 days once again. Noone really knows that, only the Lord. Please continue prayer for this situation.

The weather folks are predicting more tornadic weather tonight and tomorrow for us......please pray!

I also have been cooking supper for my parents almost nightly and I am so tired (and my head aches). I need to get offline and get busy working on supper for all of us.

I hope your day was blessed, have a great night! Blessings!!!!!

CVS Trip

Here's what I got this week at CVS:

2-12 pk. Coke $6 and get $1 ECB back
Maybelline Superstay lipgloss $8.99 and get $8.99 ECB back
5 - 1 ct. Life Fitness pain patches $1.99 each and $2.00 ECB back each
1 CVS toothbrush $1.50
6 Dove 2pk. beauty bars $15 and get $5 ECB back
2 Glade sprays $1.98-bogo man. coupon =$.99 and get $1 ECB back
6 CVS tissues $4.74
1 Venus razor $9.99 -$4 man. coupon and get $6 ECB back
1 Soleil razor $5.99 -$3.00 man. coupon and get $3 ECB back
1 Soleil 4ct. razor blades $5.99-$2 man. coupon and get $3 ECB back
5 Speed stick deo $9.95-$2.75 man. coupons and get $5.00 ECB back
2 Snicker s fun packs 2.58-$1 ,man. coupon and get $1 ECB back

Total $83.66-$13.74 man. coupons-1.50 CVS free tb coupon-$3 beauty coupon-$60 ECB from previous trips. Total oop $5.42 and got $43.99 back in ECB.

Yippee! I love saving money!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tornado Damage Pictures

Here are some pictures. We could not get in the worst places. A few homes were leveled. Here are the best ones, as we were in the SUV on the road, going about 30 mph when these were taken.

The tornado could have been far worse. No lives were taken.....praise God for that. The path was 15 miles wide. It seems to just have touched here and there, taking most all power lines and trees with it. Lots of pine trees down and torn all to pieces.

This is tin off of chicken houses. This is tin in the power substation.

Picture to the right bottom used to be another chicken house .

There is almost nothing left of the house in the 2 above pictures. We know the family that lived here. They are all fine and had left minutes before the tornado, to go grocery shopping. This is what they found when they returned. The back of the house is gone.

The picture with the dozier in it, is to scoop up the dead chickens. That is a flattened chicken house. Two of the chicken houses were completely leveled. The other six were totaled out as well. They all had chickens in them. MY in laws live 2 miles away and had chickens in their yard from these houses.

Picture above, the tin was peeled up on one side and laid on the other side.
This use to a barn (picture to left).

This is what use to be a carport.
This house had major damage all around from trees and tornado. Notice the far bottom.....a dish network dish. the picture to the left use to be a greenhouse.
Oh and i any you could possibly give me advice about putting up pics and getting the description beside them, I wojuld greatly appreciate it! The pics come up side by side when I down load them (I want them all on the left side). Then I cannot move them. When I write the description it looks crazy. Sorry about that.......
Blessings on you all!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tornado Damage Update

The damage is quite severe. My in-laws still have no power and no land line phones. Cell phones are finally going through most of the time. Their house is splitting down the middle. There are tarps over that area. It is contained to one end mainly. There is debris everywhere around their home and large trees down.

There is a single wide trailer near them, that is lived in by several Hispanic families. A tree split it through the middle.

Trees, power lines, phone lines, power poles and debris is everywhere. I am not sure about deaths. Everyone is fine at my in-laws. My fil's boss got an electrician and a generator to them to use for my mil's oxygen for time being.

My husband pulled up at our house about 5:30pm and I had never been so glad to see him in all of my life. Thank you Lord for bringing my husband back to me! I think he was glad to see me too.;)

Thank you for your prayers during this time. Blessings on you.........

Superwoman Has Left the Building

Lingering in God's Presence is the title for my devotion this morning. The verse is from Psalm 37:7, Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon him.

Glory! I needed this so much this morning. I am tired, who wouldn't be? I am only mortal. Last night my husband and I watched the the overtime of the SEC Tournament between Alabama and Mississippi State I was thinking about how short life is. Then the tornado hit the Atlanta where they were playing. So many people's lives were spared last night. How thankful they must be as they awake this morning. I know I do.
I am praising God that the storm and hail that came through close to our home at 2:30 this morning left without leaving behind destruction. I am thankful. He is good and I can get through this. I fall short........a lot of times, but his Grace IS Sufficent! He is Good!

My problem is that I try to carry the load, everyone's and all of the time. I have to do better and give it to HIM. He tells us to give ours cares and worries and burdens and he will carry them! What an awesome God we serve! I am strong........with him, without him I am nothing!

Asfor my mil she is hanging on. Nothing has changed much. When she is semi-alert she screams in pain and is having more hallucinations. She is not eating and at most has consumed about 2 cups of food in the last month. She has no iv's and is on a DNR order. She is taking water by syringe and very little of that. She has been drinking a ounce of Gatorade every few hours or as aften as they can get her to take it. She is combative and incooperative. She tries to get up and does not even know it. It is just a sad situation anyway you look at it.
Please keep praying!

This morning I made homemade blueberry pancakes and they were so yummy. I made about four dozen 4 inch pancakes. There was enough for us, my brother's family, my parents and for my husband to take to his parents (there is also his 2 sisters and a niece and nephew).

Fast forward 1 hr. 40 min. later...............

Just got homefrom my parents. A tornado has hit my husband's parents manufactured home. He was there. There is no power, lots of damage andtrees and power lines everywhere. Praise Jesus, everyone is safe at their residence! There are people trapped in mobile homes close by though........please pray!

I will update as I can. No telephone calls can go through right now, circuits are all busy. Another tornado, same storm has hit the town where we bank and buy groceries and go to CVS. please pray!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Not Much Time

All week there has not been much seems. I have run all week and am just give out. We've had 2 family friends to pass. My Mom is out in her back (as bad as I've ever seen). My Dad has to lift her out of the bed every morning. My boys are in the trying twos! Boy, are they trying me times TWO!!! They had speech therapy this week and we had two doctor's appointments as well. We had $40 tickets to go to a southern gospel singing this weekend for hubby's birthday and had reservations at a hotel to stay overnight.....well that isn't happening. My parents were going to have the boys over to their house. My Mom CANNOT even dress herself! Bless her heart! I went to Wal-Mart and CVS yesterday. I had the worst migraine ever!!!! No exaggeration! I vomitted 3 times and it just hurt even worse. I had to get my parents some groceries. I have been doing their cooking.....all of it this week. I also had to get my mom's medicines filled. My Dad has not been feeling great and his vision (had surgery almost 3 weeks ago) has NOT leveled out as of yet.

My mother's helper leaves for a 10 day class trip to Europe today and my bestfriend (C.T.) and her daughter leave for a 4 day trip to the Gulf today. These are my "backups". MY friend "L" and her hubby that have the b/g twins the same age as our boys are going to see Disney Clubhouse live, so that's out. We have tried to sale the tickets to no avail. Then there's my mil.........bless her Lord!

Hubby had to leave from work yesterday, she was so bad. There was no work for him to do today........the Lord knows these things and plans accordingly.

We got the call a little while ago. My fil told my husband, "there's not much time, you need to come on.". My mil is much worse and this morning almost seems in a comatose state. The Nurse siad after examining here yesterday maybe a couple more days. She is still at home, as there is nothing else that can be done for her.

I wish so badly I could be there with my husband......I hurt for him. He is not as close to his own parents as he is mine. But, it is his family and he needs to be there. He does hurt and has never had to deal with this type thing before. I am awaiting him to call anytime. I will keep you updated. Please keep them in your prayers.

Before I forget about it, one of his three sisters lives 14 hours away. She had a flight through Southwestern today and it was cancelled yesterday. All of their flights have been cancelled (as to what I was told). Anyhow, the soonest she could get here would be tonight and each ticket would be in the neighborhood of $1000.00. Her name is Sharon. Please keep her in your prayers in her journey.

This is so hard on everyone.............

Blessings on your day!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Random Pictures

We had some snow last weekend. Here's the boys out in it!

We took the boys to the playground for the first time yesterday and they loved it.

I love the colors of my new Easter outfit!

Here are the boys Easter baskets/ Everything seen here was only $22.00.

I had in mind posting a dozen or so pictures BUT blogger had other plans! Just my luck!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Target Savings

I had my hair highlighted and cut yesterday. I also went to Target. I had been planning the trip for a week or more and i made the best of it!

7 pk. Pampers sz. 5 (30 ct.) diapers on sale for $9.49
7 pk. Pampers (231 ct.) wipes $5.99
I had a Target $2.50 coupon when you bought a diaper and a wipe
I had 3 $1.50 and 4 $1.00 man. coupons on diapers and 7 $.50 coupons on the wipes

6 Broccoli and Cauliflower were on sale for $1.50 and I had 6 Target coupons for $1.00 off each

6 Market Pantry saltines were on sale for $.97 a box and I had 6 Target coupons for $.50 off each

4 Nature Valley Granola Bars were on sale for $2. I had 4 $.75 Target coupons and 2/$.75 man. coupons.

Total before coupons , but with tax was $142.98. Total of coupons was $43.00. Total after coupons $99.98. It sounds like a lot, but that WAS a lot of stuff too!

Tell us about your latest savings! Blessings!!!!

Everyday Blog Reading

I am just curious, how many blogs do you read on a daily basis? How many do you actually leave comments on? For all of my lurkers out's time to delurk and let me know that you really are there.

I read 35 each day and leave comments on about20 of them. Whew! That's a lot!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nada, Zero, Zilch

That would be today's energy level! Do you think the fat free frozen vamilla yogurt I ate for breakfast cancels out the 6 Oreo's I had with it? Just curious.........

I have a highlight appointment for my hair today at 1:30pm. Before hand I am going to run to Target and pick up a few things. My parents are watching the boys.....THANK YOU LORD!!!!!

The little ones are quite the hand full these days. The one in the toddler bed will not nap in it and he wakes his brother by not napping. No naps since Saturday!!!!! Lord help me!!! The little one kept rolling out of the toddler bed last night, so I will also be picking up a safety rail today. I have to hurry and get back though. I need to pick up hub's b'day cake from my friend. Thanks for volunteering to make the cake C.T. Then get supper cooked and we have to go the in-law's then back to my parents or they may come over here. My mom is down in her back, but is insistent on keeping the children today.

I also have to get the ground chuck cooked and put in the freezer from not getting it done yesterday and make my list for Target. Oh and get hub's birthday cards. I need a Dollar General for that though.

The UPS made it yesterday. We will not go there, at least not much. I tracked the package around lunch time and it said "in transit". It also said the receiver had MOVED! Also said again deliver to ALTERNATE address. However, the same address was on there!!! GGGGGRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! I call and get to talk to 4 different folks then I'm told that the driver will call me within an hour. IT turned out the terminal manager called 2 hours later and said he could not get in touch with the driver. I then ask him about the computers in the brown truck (Qual Comms). He then asks how I know about them. I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday......most commerical vehicles have them! Duh!!! I could go on and on!! This man had apparently never dealt with an intelligent WHITE woman before. No sterotyping on ANY race intended!

So at 5pm I still do NOT have the package, so I call custoner service. Oh and did I mention that I see the brown truck go down the road (I live on a U.S. highway) back toward Birmingham (where the UPS distribution center is)? So at 5;15pm the driver calls on my cell. Is this Mrs. _____? Yes. Do you live at __________ Orchards? Yes. I'll be there in about 5 minutes. Okay. Oh and Mrs. _______ , I called on your cell because your home phone is disconnected. UHHHHHH! So we hang up. As he is coming up my driveway, I call his cell from my home phone. I tell him that I'm calling from the disconnected phone........that has NEVER been disconnected!!!! I know I am a smart eleck. Just had to do that though! I will NEVER deal with UPS again. Oh and did I mention this......... The terminal manager said that he would be just as glad for me to receive my package as I would. I told him he would not have to worry about my business in the future. He told me that they have companies that only use them to ship. I told him that I did not have to use those companies!

I have got to get the invites done and out today! I need to go and get started! Hope you have a blessed day!

Happy Birthday Honey!!

Today is the Mister's birthday. He is 32 years old! I love you sweetheart and I hope you have a blessed day.

We are going to a Southern Gospel singing Saturday night and out to eat at Outback to celebrate. The boys are spending the night with my parents! Yeah!!!!! I hope you enjoy yourself honey!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend Happenings

The weekend was a good one. Saturday morning we awoke to snow and it was so pretty, although it only lasted 2 hours. The sun came out and it was gone quickly.
Hubby was home and did not have to work so I took advantage of it. C.T. and I have been Spring cleaning on and off for a couple of weeks now.
This is what we have accomplished:
Master closet and dressing room: Blinds, window, curtain down, washed and ironed, shelves cleaned, door, lights cleaned and floors done Still like the cabinets (cleaning out)
Master bath: light fixtures, door, flowers and pictures down and cleaned, crown molding, blinds, window, all curtains (washed, ironed and rehung), fancy towels (decorative) washed and rehung, all rugs washed, floors done as well
Master br and retreat: Blinds, doors, windows, curtains, baseboards, crown molding, cleaned pictures and decorative items as well. Still like steaming and shampooing the carpets.
Sitting room/computer room: ceiling fan, curtains, blinds windows, baseboards, crown molding, pictures and decorative items. Still like the carpet.

We modified the nursery into the boy's bedroom. Tiger kept cribbing (I should say falling) out of his crib. We converted his crib into a toddler (daybed type) bed. Went back and childproofed their room again. Put up a new childproof gate. I am checking with a lady on EBay about making some John Deere .things for their room.

We also got a new 32" television at Wal-mart Saturday night. We went with a less expensive model, it was $276.00. It will go into the retreat. We are saving for a larger model for the LR later this Spring. It fits just right and I was happy with the price. We also out out at Pizza Hut and it was so good!!!! We have not eaten there in well over a year!!!

Yesterday (Sunday) church, visited with my in-laws, home, supper, cleaning up and planning the week.

  • Pay water bill
  • wait for UPS
  • make phone calls
  • cook up ground chuck
  • blog/email
  • Get milk
  • got the post office
  • make a broccoli salad
  • do invites for boy's b'day party
  • iron curtains and boy's clothes
  • divide cookies and snacks into baggies for hubby's lunch
  • cook supper
  • unload dw
  • do 5 or 6 loads of laundry

I also want to give a shout out to Southerner for her expert budgeting ideas and my mention. Thanks Southerner!

I also have a friend that just started blogging. Check out her blog at Mom to Twins. We met when I got some books from her on Ebay when I was expecting my twins.

Hope you all have a blessed frugal day! Blessings!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Monthly Budget

I have had a couple of you ask about how we set up our monthly budget. Here it is and what comes out. Check out Thrifty Florida Mama for a really good budget set up and debt snowball repayment plan.

Here it is in the raw. Not all of these things are paid monthly, but we put back for them monthly.

Savings $200
House ins. $59
Electric $200
Water $37
Cells (2) $85
Home phone, cable & Internet $132
Trash pick-up $17
Groceries (including cleaning, paper, wipes, diapers, etc.) $350
Eating out/Entertainment $45
Gas for both vehicles $440
Vehicle repairs/oil changes $25
Clothing & Cleaners $20
Doctor, Dentist, eye dr. $60
Life Ins. $109
Sitter/mother's helper $40
Housekeeper $100
Toiletries, hair care, cosmetics $13
Subscriptions/dues $5
Gifts & Christmas $35
Vacation (not currently funding)
Blow $$$ $90
Tithes $300
Postage/ Batteries/Pictures (printing) $30
Gas card (balance $600ish) $300
Visa card (balance $2600) $100

Our home and both vehicles are paid for in FULL. Thank you Lord! Those are payments that we do not have. Once the gas card is paid off then the $300 will be applied to the Visa. If we have more then we pay more.
I will be going back to work part time starting in June (if we have a crop) so that will help a great deal. The sitter category will increase then.
We have our Emergency fund of $1000 set up. once we pay off our 2 credit cards we will set up our other emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses ($7,000-$14,000).
Then we will start all of the other Dave Ramsey steps. We are going at it somewhat backwards, though it was before we found Dave that we did that.

Tell us about your debt and how you are paying it off. I would love to hear from you.....ALL!


Stress Reducers

here are some easy ways to reduce stresses in our lives. Enjoy!
  1. Pray
  2. Get an adequate amount of sleep
  3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed
  4. When possible delegate tasks to others
  5. Simplify and unclutter
  6. Remember than less really is more
  7. Allow extra time to do things and get places (especially if you are dealing with children)
  8. Pace yourself
  9. Take one day at a time
  10. Live within your budget
  11. Eat right
  12. Get organized, so you know where everything is
  13. Laugh
  14. Slow down
  15. Talk less, listen more
  16. Every day, find a minutes to be by yourself
  17. Write down thoughts
  18. Develop a forgiving attitude
  19. Remind yourself that you are NOT the general manager of the universe
  20. Use the Golden Rule, all of the time
  21. Every night before bed, think of one thing that you are grateful for that you have NOT ever been grateful for before

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31


Just a while ago...........

as I was getting over being So Mad I got a call from UPS. He proceeded to tell me that the driver called my home while he was here yesterday and our phone had been disconnected (I am feeling the bp sky rocketing). I asked him to tell me how he thought he was talking to me then? I also told him my phone had NEVER been disconnected. Then he asked why I asked for the package to delivered to an alternate address, but the address was still the same. After 20 LOOONNNGGGGG minutes he finally got it all straight and I should have my package Monday. Pray........I have my package Monday! This is one mad momma!!!!

Okay so today I have spring cleaned the highchairs and made our bed. Loaded the dw and washed a few other dishes. I've been lazy! We are suppose to get 2" or so of snow tonight.........please!!!!! Hubby is off tomorrow and I want to go back to CVS......I would love to play in the snow better though!

Hope you all have a happy Friday and many blessings!!!!!!!

So MAD!!!!!!!!!!

GRRRRRR!!! I am kind of hot!!! I ordered the boys birthday party supplies including invitations a couple weeks ago. The invites were out of stock and are hard to find. So, I waited and waited. Finally they emailed me Monday and said they were shipping it all out by UPS. I was suppose to receive it yesterday. I took the boys in the stroller to my parents for a nice LONG walk.

While there I see the UPS truck at my house. Keep in mind they have left my stuff at the used car lot next door, my brother's house, my parent's house, my neighbor's house and my parent's business (when it was closed for the winter) before!!!

We do not have our street # up on the highway because it was mowed down last week by the state bush hog. We receive our mail at a PO box as well. He delivered a package to our neighbor (at her business, across the road from my house) after mine yesterday (as a matter of fact if he had asked she could told him where I live. She is buying a house from my parents just up the way, so she knows us all quite well!

HE didn't leave my package!!! GRRRRRR! He did however put in his computer that it was the wrong street number!!!!!! IT WAS NOT!!!!!! It was correct! So I call UPS and they say they have to confirm it. They email me and say it is incorrect. I see the UPS truck at the neighbor's business this am and then he goes to the car lot. He does NOT come here. I am mad!

I call UPS and they say because my PO Box was also listed that it fouled up the delivery. I am really hot by now and then imagine what I wan to say when they tell me it will be Monday before I receive the package! CRAZY!!!!!!!! He does not even have it on the truck!!!! I am told I can pick it up today at the UPS center, am hour and 15 minutes away, if I need it that bad. I am HOT HOT HOT by now. There is nothing that can be done. It will be delivered Monday. I wanted to get the invites mailed out today!!! I will wait....But, I'm still furious!

I know it's petty, but how stupid is that?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CVS Savings

This week was a great one at CVS!

Here's what I got:

24 ct. Naproxen CVS brand reg. $4.49, free w/ CVS coupon

10 ct. CVS acid reducer $3.99 ,free w/ CVS coupon

8pk. D & 16 ct. AAA Duracell batteries $8.99 each-$1.50 coupons, got $5 ECB back

5 Colgate 4oz. Total toothpaste $2.99 each, free after ECB & $3.75 in coupons (made profit)

100 ct. Excedrin $9.49-$3 coupon, 50 ct. Excedrin$6.99 -$2 coupon, 24 ct. Excedrin $4.49-$2 coupon and got $10 ECB back

Fusion Phenom razor $9.99-$4 coupon and got $6 ECB back

3 Life Fitness pain patch 1 count $1.99 each, got $1.99 ECB back on each (free)

5 Gillette Mach 3, 3 pk. razors $7.99-$3 coupon for each and got $5 ECB back on each

Grand Total was $118.29 before coupons or ECB or gift card. I had $39.73 in coupons, then a $4/$20 for updating my email. The total then was $74.36. I used a $30 gift card and paid $43 in ECB from before. I paid $1.36 out of pocket!!! I also got $66.92 back in ECB for next time!!!!

Yippee! I am so happy!!!!!! I love a great deal!!!! Tell us about your latest shopping experience! Blessings!!!

Gardening 101

I have put together a few things for those interested in having a home garden. It is by no means a set in stone article. It is just a farmer's daughter writing out some helpful tips for those not familiar in this area. Happy gardening!
  • Plant you garden at the correct time of the year. We always have a late freeze here in north central Alabama around the end of March or the first of April. Not all plants need to be set out at the same time. Some require longer germination periods than others.
  • Make sure your plot is exposed to full sun.
  • Test your soil for lime and fertilizer needs. usually this only needs to be done every 3 years. For most vegetables soil pH should be 6.0-6.5. Long season crops like tomatoes, peppers and okra require more fertilizer than short term crops like squash. Make sure to get the fertilizer under the plants, as it will burn your foliage up.
  • If you are planting seeds and transplanting, use only the healthy, stocky plants. Always water transplants to settle soil around the roots.
  • To control weeds we use an industrial grade plastic mulch. Chemical weedkillers (herbicides) are not recommended for home gardens. They more so than not will also kill what you have planted.
  • Water is essential for a top notch garden. Use light, frequent watering/irrigation early of a morning. Watering mid day will burn up your plants. Watering late evening will actually spread certain foliage diseases.
  • To maintain control of diseases rotate your garden area from year to year. Always use clean, fresh seeds (if planting them directly into the ground) or healthy plants. Plant early, this helps avoid many insects. Another key factor is to plow under old crop debris from last season. Chemical fungicides have proven to me to give more control over leaf diseases of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and melons.
  • For a successful garden insects must be controlled also. We use insecticides for this purpose. Please keep in mind we farm on a large scale and these are the things that most efficient for us. We are under strict guidelines by the FDA and USDA. Such as, we are not permitted to use chemicals withing a two week harvest time. When using any chemicals always follow the directions on the label to the T!
  • When harvesting your bounty remember supply and demand. If you stop harvesting, your supply will be non existent. We prefer to harvest in early morning before the produce has the chance to absorb the full heat from the sun. Vegetables' shelf life are extended by doing this. Also, make sure your vegetables are mature before picking. You will get more bang for your buck so to speak. If you are going to be away for a few days get a neighbor to keep your garden picked. If you tire or just have surplus remember to can and freeze for those months that are long and cold and no gardens are to be found.

My goal in writing this is to help those out that are interested in gardening. This is by no means a have to do it any certain way plan.

May your gardening adventures be blessed!!!!!!! Blessings!!!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Working Wednesday

Today has started off full of work. The boys have been so ill and needy the last few days. Needless to say after a day or two of that things pile up. I did 4 loads of laundry this morning and made a pot of cheesey potato soup. I haven't gotten much else done, but there's lots on mt list. The boys are going to stay with my Mom while I run to town and pick up a few groceries, find an Easter dress and run by CVS. I also need to straighten the house, take some pictures, make some phone calls and can peach salsa. We'll see how all of that works out.LOL!!!!

The boys appointments went fine yesterday. Lungs are clear! Yeah!!!! They still have colds though. Monkey still has some swelling from the cir revision. the other incision has healed fine though! Praise the Lord!!!

We are also shopping for a television. We had two, one went out before I had the boys and the other caught fire a few weeks back! so any suggestions. There are so many models and things these days. The letters and the numbers are quite confusing, because there are so many different ones! We are looking for a 27 inch for our retreat off of the master bedroom. We also want to purchase a larger one later for the living room. We are currently borrowing a 15 or 19 inch from my parents. They will need it back in a couple of months though. We want a 27 inch because that is what we had previously. It is just the right size to what on the couch or the bed. So, any suggestions or ideas?

We also are gearing up for spring cleaning. More on that later though.......

That's about all today. I have another post in my head and hope to get it up tonight. Have a wonderful Wednesday and may your day be blessed!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Messy Tuesday

Last night we had winds, rain and lots of thunder and lightening move through. thankfully no tornadoes in our county. It is still drizzling this morning and the temps are falling. The wind is still pretty gusty at times too! Most schools were postponed an hour to two hours this morning due to the fact that there would probably still be tornadic weather this morning. The front came through quicker than the weather men predicted though.

I had an appointment to see the dermatologist this morning but canceled it. It was at 8:30 and seeing as how it is an hour's drive one way to get there and the weather, well, I just didn't go. Monkey has a post op check up at 11:15 with the peds this morning. I am taking both of the boys so the doc can listen to their lungs and do a chest x-ray to check for issues. Since they both had issues with their lungs due to being preemies we have to be very careful. My mother's helper that is the college student is riding along with us today. It is a 45 minute drive one way. Can you tell I live out in the country? Anyhow, if the boys are feeling well enough and we have the time we are going to run by a CVS or two along the way. There are only 4 on the drive!

We went and saw my mil last night and her mind is all but gone. My Mom went with us. She asked Marilyn if she could eat a peach cobbler, if so she would make her one. My mil (Marilyn) said I don't know I have never had it. She has made and eaten peach cobblers all of her life. It is so sad. She now can have morphine as often as every 15 minutes if needed. They give it orally right now. She has to be reminded how to drink from a straw and swallow to drink anything. Same for eating. The nurse seems to think that within 48 hours she will be in a non responsive state (in a coma). Her toes are already bluing from the fact that the message of blood circulating is not getting from the brain. She is very yellow as well. Please pray for her, my husband, my husband's 3 sisters and my father in law. This is so hard on them all.

I hope you all have a blessed day, are warm, dry, stomach's full and healthy. God's blessings to you all...........always!!!!!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

March Menu Planner

This will probably be revised a little each week. No time to thumb through the cookbooks for new recipes like I usually do. I am running a little behind as well.
  1. OUT
  2. chicken enchiladas, re fried beans w/ cheese and salad
  3. leftovers
  4. ribs, potato salad, baked beans
  5. roast w/ gravy, biscuits, scrambled eggs w/ cheese
  6. bacon wrapped steaks on the grill, salad, fries
  7. candied pork chops, fried apples (oven style), green beans and rice
  8. homemade wings, pizza, cheese dip
  9. rib eyes, salad, baked potatoes
  10. chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese
  11. Happy Birthday Honey! venison country fried cube steak, gravy, mashed potatoes, biscuits, green beans and German chocolate cake w/coconut pecan icing
  12. fried chicken, left over veggies
  13. chili cheese dogs, cheese dip, homemade potato wedges
  14. fried chops, cream corn, peas (pink eyed), cornbread
  15. OUT (we are going to a singing and probably will eat at Outback)
  16. chicken tenders, mac & cheese and crock pot pintos
  17. Pork loin, fried apples, creamed corn, green beans, fried apples
  18. chicken and dumplings
  19. Santa fe soup, cheese dip
  20. leftovers
  21. spaghetti, garlic cheese bread and salad
  22. Happy Birthday Boys! We will eat out this night
  23. chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese
  24. tuna salad sandwiches and chips
  25. chicken and dressing, ham, cream corn, green beans, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie
  26. leftovers
  27. fried pork chops, eggs, hash browns, gravy, biscuits
  28. ribs, slaw, BBQ beans, potato wedges
  29. leftovers
  30. steaks on the grill salad, baked potatoes, rolls and homemade strawberry ice cream (my parents are coming for dinner)
  31. chili, cornbread and salad

Desserts will be the German chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, homemade vanilla and strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake, pineapple upside down cake and strawberry pretzel salad.

I will make cookies and rice krispy treats and muffins for snacks.

Well, that takes care of March! I hope you all have a great month filled with wonderful food!!!!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Monthly Menu Planning

Different things work for different folks. This is what works for me.
I prefer to monthly menu for sake of time and convenience. I only have to do it 12 times a year compared to 52 times a year.
I try to be flexible. There are times when things come up and I need not cook and those planned meals are saved for the next month. Although, that rarely happens.

How I compile my menu is by taking stock of my pantry, freezers and cabinets. I am a stockpiler. We always have enough food for about 2 months on hand at given time. Keep in mind it may be several of the same things. I do shop every week. I always look to stockpile. I shop loss leaders at my local Piggly Wiggly. I shop at Wal-Mart but only with comp ads and coupons. Every week we buy milk, produce, some snacks, bread, cheese, sandwich fixings, Gatorade and various other items. I also shop at Aldi and Target every two weeks.

We grow many of the things that are found in our freezers and jars in the pantry (home canned). I highly recommend having a garden if at all possible.

I have lots of cookbooks. I am a collector, although a smaller collector than I was a couple years back. I am down to about 200 or so now. I make it a rule to try at least one new recipe a week. If it's a keeper it goes into my online file, if not it's tossed.

I also use lots of tried and true recipes. These are things like vegetables with cornbread. Taco salad, tacos, spaghetti, crock pot meals, Brunswick stew, chili, enchiladas and Santa Fe soup.

I like to cook meat ahead of time and divide into freezer bags for later use. I try to always do this with large quanities and fresh (not frozen) meats. This saves a step and time for me. Time is precious when you have multiples or a large family.

I have found even though it can sound complicated that menu planning is just a matter of assembling an inventory list, matching up recipes and setting up your planner.

I hope this helps and answers the questions you've had. Please let me know if I can help in other ways. Many blessings!!!!!

Confession Time

I have a deep dark secret that hardly anyone knows. I am about to reveal it for all of the world to read! I can cook anything. I have won contests and cooked for some famous people before. I even have a gourmet mix and food business. I have received more compliments for my cooking skills than I ever have anything else. Are you ready for this........

I cannot make homemade biscuits to save my life!

So, now you know my dirty little secret. The few times that I have attempted to make them they have been hard as a rock. Funny story........ The first time I made them several years ago they were so hard and my husband could not even cut one with a knife. So he throwing them out for our little dog. She went running when she saw the biscuits flying. Unfortunately she got in the line of fire and hubby accidently hit her in the head with one. Hard enough that she stumbled around a bit. Poor doggie!

Now, I want everyone to give me tips, recipes and suggestions........PLEASE!!!!!!! I love homemade biscuits, but need help!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ordering Seeds Online

Here are a few sites that we have used or currently use for veggies and flowers. There is also one for herbs. Here are the links. (herbs) (roses) (vegetables) (wildflowers) (organic seeds) a.k.a. heirloom

I really recommend checking with your local extension office before starting a garden if you have never planted one before. They have all types of tips and info. They can tell you what, when and how to plant. Most counties also have Master Gardener associations that will help you get started. There is also this link ( to the National Gardening Association. They will send you emails with info for your specific area. The emails contain valuable advice, techniques and recommendations from the experts.

I will post more about gardening and our farm as the season progresses. If I can help anyone or anyone has any questions please feel free to email me at or leave a comment! Blessings!!!!!!

Beautiful Day!!!!

It is a beautiful day outside today. A sun filled, cloudless sky with a temp of 65 awaits our arrival outside today. We have had a busy morning so far.

I did and put way 6 loads of laundry.
Got all of the waste baskets emptied and bags to go outside ready.
Striped the boys sheets and blankets.
Cloroxed everything in sight.
Cooked pigs in a blanket for breakfast.
Cleaned out both fridges.
Baked a cherry pie.
Hubby went and picked up the angel food and I put it away.
Swept the kitchen
Cooked fried green tomatoes, homemade cream corn, butter peas and roast for lunch

Hubby is gone to his Mom's for a couple of hours. When he returns we are taking the boys to my parents place and play outside with our toys for awhile. We will return home for bathes and a nap and then go out to eat with my parents tonight.
I am feeling much better and the boys are on their way. I think the fresh air will do us all some good. It has been a productive day and I'm looking forward to relaxing a little this afternoon.
Hope you all have a wonderful day!!!
How's the weather in your neck of the woods? What are your plans for the day?