Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Questions Answered to Peach Salsa Recipe Post

Southerner wanted recipes for canning grenn beans and PEPH Pink eyed purple hulled peas).

I love the Ball Blue Book. I get 75% of my recipes from there. You can buy it at Wal-Mart for less than $7.00! I bought mine over 10 years ago.

Now, both vegetables mentioned above are low acid and they must be canned in a pressure canner not water bath, to preserve them and keep bacteria out.

I will post the recipes separately. (Later today)

Mrs. Darling asked (I am paraphrasing)

Why do you can 300 quarts of green beans a year? when I was growing up we had 11 in our family and we canned 400 for a family of 11.

Do you eat 300 quarts a year? That's almost one a day.For my family of four I can about 40 quarts a year. I'm very curious as to why all the green beans?Or is this for more than a year?

I guess the same thing goes for the thousand jars of salsa and such. Am I missing something? LOL Is this all for you and your hubby and two toddlers?

I can and freeze about 500 quarts of stuff a year for a family of 4. So what am I not getting here?


Thanks for your questions Mrs. Darling!
I do not can 300 quarts of green beans a year. I said I have that many. I actually canned more than that last year and still had some left from 2007. We swap other veggies and fruits with my uncle for the green beans (he grows those). Last year he just kept bringing the beans because noone wanted them. They keep much longer canned than fresh! LOL! I hate to see things wasted, so I canned them.

We also eat a lot of green beans each year. My hubby is a city boy and was not taught that you have to eat what is put in front of you. He eats a select few vegetables, although I am working on this and he is dooing better! We probably eat 3 or 4 jars a week on average. I also take 3 quarts cooked to each family function on each side several times a year. I am kind of known for my green beans.

If I have green beans left over the next year, I use those first as each case (of 12) is labeled

Living on a farm we see lots of things that noone would buy. Most people want the #1 produce, not the culls or seconds. I cut out the bad and use it. We have little waste in our fields compared to most. We also have lots of variety (different types of fruits and veggies grown) so I get to can all types of things and do a lot of experimenting.

My hubs has a large family and I give them baskets of goodies usually for Christmas and sometimes for birthdays. I also give a basket of jams/jellies and fresh breads to neighbors (for Christmas) and new parents (sometimes a soup basket for them too). I also exchange many gifts with my side of the family. They mostly get baskets as well.

I usually have about 70 entries in the county fair each year. I have won over 200 ribbons in the last 5 years.

My parents grow and shell out the cash to grow the fruits and veggies. We all work at gathering and selling it. I do most of the canning and freezing and my parents eat from it as well, so that brings up the family size to six. Not a lot, but I am trying to be thorough.

Now, I am going to list the different things I can each year, so you get the gest of it. When you can so many differnet things, there may not be a lot of each one (but sometimes there is).
  • Green Beans
  • PEPH peas
  • October beans
  • Crowder Peas
  • Okra and tomato mixture
  • Tomatoes
  • Taco sauce
  • spaghetti sauce
  • bbq sauce
  • jalapeno salsa
  • peach salsa
  • hot salsa
  • regualr salsa
  • peach pie filling
  • apple pie filling
  • peach butter
  • strawberry butter
  • apple butter
  • pear butter
  • apple and tomato chutney
  • tomato soup
  • vegetable soup
  • applesauce
  • canned apples
  • canned peaches
  • pear juice
  • grape juice
  • tomato juice
  • peach jam
  • blackberry jam
  • peach and pineapple jam
  • pear honey
  • blueberry jam
  • blueberry lime jam
  • fig jam
  • strawberry jam
  • strawberry fig jam
  • apple jelly
  • cranberry pepper jelly
  • pineapple jelly
  • crabapple jelly
  • pepper jelly
  • grape jelly
  • plum jelly
  • muscadine jelly
  • scuppernong jelly
  • pear preserves
  • apple preserves
  • peach preserves
  • okra pickles
  • green tomato pickles
  • end of the garden pickles
  • peach pickles
  • crabapple pickles
  • cauliflower pickles
  • beet pickles
  • squash pickles
  • chow chow
  • pepper relish
  • pear relish
  • squash relish
  • apple relish
  • sweet cucumber relish
  • corn relish
  • zucchini relish
  • pepper sauce
  • blueberry syrup

This is just what I can, not what I freeze. Also, I can these things when I run out or if there is excess needed to be used. As I am sure you know you need to prepare for the future and some crops do not make each year or are very slack years.

I hope this helps you understand Mrs. Darling. Please feel free to ask anything else. Blessings!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Peach Salsa Recipe

Stephanie.......this is for you! Everyone else too.....but Stephanie asked a longgggggg time ago.

16 c. peeled, chopped tomatoes
7 c. peeled, pitted, chopped peaches
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 lg. green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro
1 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 T. honey
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
*4 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 1/2 t. cumin
4 t. salt

Prep your canner, lids and jars.
Combine ingredients in a LARGE pot/pan. I use my Grandmother's dishpan. You can see it here.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat; stirring frequently. Boil gently for 5 minutes.
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Adjust flats and rings and seal tightly.
Place jars in a water bath canner, cover them with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes and remove jars. Let them cool and they will "seal". You will hear the "pop" for each one. Let them cool completely and store.

*NOTE: always wear rubber gloves when dealing with hot peppers. Also. the more seeds and membrane you allow to go into the salsa, the hotter it will be.

This makes about 20 or so pints.

Please feel free to ask any questions. ENJOY!!!

Answers to Questions Left in Comments

A couple of you left questions for me in the comments on a few post, so here goes.

Mykidsmom asked, "just how many jars of canned goods do you have?"
these are estimated, the bottom of the linen closet in the second bath has most of the beans and field peas in it.
Green Beans over 300 quarts
Field Peas (pink eyed) 70 pints
Tomatoes 15 quarts
Then there is various types of salsa, soups, relishes, jams, jellies, butters, applesauce, juices, pie filling, taco and bbq sauces, as well as other items. Somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 jars of this.

Stephanie asked,"Marva, what are you planning on doing with your console tv?"
Well, I am ashamed to say, but it is going to the dump. We have asked everyone about a recycling center or someone that would take it for free and no luck. We are replacing it with a larger up to date model. The console went out about 3 years ago.

Mrs. Darling asked, "How do you have peaches to can now or are these frozen from last year?" They are frozen from last year. We lost all of ours last year, but had friends south of us that let us have their culls (second grade).

Please feel free to ask anything else! Blessings!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Tour ........Utility Room and Walk in Pantry

The clear plastic tub stores the boys
clothes that need to be ironed.

We find it very handy to have an extra fridge.

The boxes in the floor all contain canned stuff.
There is about 35 boxes in all.
I love this hanging area on the door for my
iron and supplies.

That concludes ( thankfully, you are all saying) this home tour. Thank you all for visiting and staying (hanging in there with me). Have a wonderful day! Blessings on you and your home too!

Home Tour......Boy's Bedrooms

This is Tiger!

This is Monkey!
I decided not to post pics of their rooms since we a
re about to start redecorating. The walls are bare
and so are the rooms since EVERYTHING seems
to be a safety hazard these days!

See you!

Home Tour.....Family Room/Den

Please remember that Ican actually decorate....but this I
s the boys play area.
The recliner is turned sideways so that the boys
cannot pull the vent out of the floor.

The old console tv will be replaced next month by
a big screen.

The door to the far left is a bathroom.

I love our leather furniture. I can just wipe the
spills and wet cheerios right off!

I hope to see you again! Thanks for coming by!

Home Tour......Guest Bedroom

I cannot believe I actually am showing this!

I know this is misleading. One day it will be the guest bedrrom again, not a junk/catch all/yard sale pile room!

Home Tour......Dining Room

As you can see we love to decorate with pictures of our boys!

As you can see we should have 4 chairs
but the boys like to eat at the table with us!

Stop in again! Blessings!!

Home Tour......Formal Sitting Area/Office

I love the wreath on the wall. It just makes it feel so homey!

This is our front door. We have a clear glass door on
the other side and this is almost always open. i don't
know why I took the picture with it shut.

These are my favorite window treatments!

This is where I usually do my work and blog from!

I hope you had a good visit and hope to see you again soon!


Home Tour.....Second Bathroom

I think in a few years we will need to
redo the boys bath per their request! ;)

Home Tour......Master Bedroom & Retreat

I love our bedroom. It it is so relaxing!
My favorite picture is over the bed, of the boys .

The tow pictures above are our retreat, just off the master bedroom.
I love the sofa and we can just hang out at the end of the day,
hubby with his tv and I with my laptop!;)

I'm not sure how this one got on the bottom.
It is another one of our bedroom though.
The rocker belonged to my Grandmother and it was
passed to me. Notice how thick the seat is. I just love
the way our "wedding" throw hangs on it.

Here are the links for the master bathroom and the kitchen. I hope you enjoy visiting our home and come back soon, as I am working to compile the rest of the tour!


Canned Peach Salsa

This top picture shows the salsa boiling and the flats boiling in the smaller pot.

This is just another picture of the same but with my first jar ready to fill.

Here is the finished product. I got 15 pints, 1 quart and 8 half pints.

Whew! It was a lot of work, but it is so good! I will post the reipe later.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Busy Busy Friday and Saturday

Today and tomorrow look quite busy. I have a Mother's helper coming tomorrow. The boys will be so excited to see her! Hubby is going to try and work, but it is not looking promising.
So I may have another helper?!

Today I need to get the laundry finished. I have a crowd coming for supper tonight. Lots to do there. make the beds, unload and reload the dw, clean out both fridges, price yard sale stuff, some ironing, wash off the front porch (it is still yellow from all of the pollen) and cook, cook, cook!

On the menu for tonight is:
Hamburger steaks with gravy and onions
fried okra
cream style corn
fried green tomatoes
butter peas
corn bread
iced sweet tea
fresh peach cobbler

all of the veggies are from the garden and last year (I froze them)

Tomorrow looks even busier......
put angel food away (my friend is going to pick it up) (10 minutes)
work in outside building (clean and organize) (2 hours)
plant flowers and plants (1 hour)
pull weeds around and spray (20 minutes)
finish all ironing (1 hour)
can 2 batches of peach salsa (1 hour)
can one batch of grape jelly (30 minutes)
can cauliflower pickles (1 hour)
wash and clean out the SUV (1 hour)
get Hubby to go through his clothes for the yard sale (10 minutes)
finish pricing all yard sale stuff (1 hour)

Okay, so maybe Hubby can help!!! Wow, that's a lot to do! I may have to let a few of those things go until later. We'll see! The helper will be here from 8am-4pm.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend! See you soon!!!!

Finding Fresh produce in The store and Farmer's Markets

Where is your produce coming from? Are you sure?

We just had a little market open up in the community. Actually a little roadside stand just down the road from us. they have lots of great things. The problem is that they are telling their customers it is local. Most of the customers do not question that. That is fine. But people, I hate to tell you.......there is NO local produce right now! I went by there to get a cup of tomatoes last week and the man told me they were local. I asked where is local? He said south Alabama. NOT! Maybe south Florida. South Alabama tomatoes will not be in until June 1. I have grown up in this business and i hate to be lied to. I told him he could keep his tomatoes.

For all of my northern friends. I will see the local stuff here first, because it gets warmer here sooner and we are able to plant earlier. I just don't want people "taken" and lied too. I hate a liar!

The first U.S. produce (not grown in greenhouses) will be seen from Florida and California.

Unless you are getting your apples from overseas they are last year's apples preserved by gases. I refuse to by overseas produce since most (some do) countries have NO mandated rules about using raw sewage for fertilize, usually human not just animal. Then the produce is not cleaned properly or at ALL!

I could go on and on. I know much more than I wish I did.......not really I am glad I do, so I can keep my family safe.

Anyhow, when you start going to farmer's markets and they tell you they grow what they are selling (especially early on) ask them about it. Ask to go visit their farm with your children. I know we are delighted to show off our farm, since we have nothing to hide (or should I say something to show).

Most farmer's markets have few rules on bringing produce in. I know one farmer's market that we sale at has none of those rules in place and produce is bought at the big market in Birmingham and bought up there and sold as there own. I wish I could change that, but the owner's of the market says as long as the customers get what they want it doesn't matter. GRRRR!!! I hate that.

Right now in north central Alabama we have strawberries in season. We will have cabbage, English peas, broccoli and cauliflower in the next few weeks. Then squash (yellow and zucchini) and most all peppers. Cantaloupes around June 15th and eggplant and cucumbers then too. You will start seeing field peas, corn and beans right before tomatoes. The earliest (ripe) tomatoes come in July 1st with watermelons and okra a couple of weeks after that.

Our peaches start the end of May and go through September. Our plums are mid May until July 1st. Our apples start July 1 and harvest ends around the end of October. Our pears are usually from late July through September. Our blueberries are usually in around the 4th of July and end around September 1. Our figs are late usually around August 1 and got through October. Nectarines (ours) are usually June 20 through about August 15th.

Now, I am getting off my soapbox. I just don't want anyone to get "taken". I hope everyone has a great summer and plants their own stuff. It's just the greatest feeling knowing that you grew that ! I also encourage you to find a farmer's market and visit it regularly. Get to know the farmers and visit their place. Show your kids how their veggies and fruits are grown.

Let me tell you a story and I will leave you alone for awhile. Back 5 or 6 years ago we were doing a tour. The school had brought over 300 kids. They had gotten to see my Granddad's 150 year old cider press in action, gotten to pick an apple and a tamed crab apple, gotten to see the new cider press and get a sample of the juice and now we were showing the grader (where the apples are sorted and graded. One little boy (who's Mommy was not present) asked my brother how we got all of the apples FROM the store to our farm. My brother was a little puzzled. He asked the little boy what he meant and the little boy told him apples grew in the store. Saying this after seeing them on the tree. I bet his Mom was glad she had to work that day! It is funny, but sad. My brother took the time to take the little boy and a couple more with a teacher back to the orchard and explain how the apple grows on the tree one more time.

I hope you all have a great day and many blessings!!!! Happy shopping!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Six Word Memoir

I was tagged by Mykidsmom to do this meme. So here........


*I have the most wonderful life.

*My twins are God's perfect work.

*My husband is my soulmate forever.

*My family is the most incredible.

*Life on the farm is glorious. (Definitely not glamorous! :))

*My blogging friends are a blessing!

Now to tag five people...... Southerner, Nico, Babychaser, Mrs. Wilt and Mel, you are it!

Hope everyone has fun with it! Blessings!!!

Breaking the Bank

Maybe I should say breaking the budget? I have went more than $100 over this month's food/cleaning/baby/paper budget this month. I am trying to stockpile for the summer. Once I go back to work 9even part-time) time will be at a premium, especially with my babies!

I found some really good sales and hit them yesterday and today.

Here's what I got at the Piggly Wiggly:
12# ground chuck
2 gal. milk
20 # sugar
18 double rolls Northern bathroom tissue
5# vidalia onions
1 # salad mix
2 -15 oz. cans sweet peas
$56.42 (including tax)

3 gal . Clorox
8 roll Sparkle paper towels
10 ct. Eggo waffles
2 -12 oz. bags Bird's Eye frozen veggies
44 ct. fish sticks
2- 14 oz. French's mustard
28 oz. Peter Pan peanut butter
2 Kraft mac & cheese
graham crackers
brownie mix
3 Bush's Grillin'beans
4oz. diaper rash cream
12 oz. children's allergy med.
3 Cattleman's BBQ sauce
4 Frank's hot sauce
3 pk. dinner rolls
lender's bagels
24 oz. Ken's steakhouse Ranch dressing
1 # Di Lusso Provolone cheese
1 # Di Lusso honey maple ham
1# Di Lusso Roast beef

Total including tax $58.47


2 (1 pound boxes) unsalted sourdough pretzels $.37 each
Colgate toothbrush $.87
100 sand. bags
3 - 13 oz. Curel lotions
3.5 oz. Curel hand cream
Mennen's 24/7 deo
24 ct. CVs pain reliever

$5.46 (inclding tax)

Total savings from all 3 stores $168.43

Yippee! I was so happy to get things we will need in the future. Blessings!!!!!!!

Everything's Gonna Be Alright........Oh Yeah!

Okay, so I am a little too happy this morning. No apparent reason. Nothing has changed with Monkey. I did get a good night's sleep, from 11pm to 5:30am. Hubby did not have to go in to work until 6:30. I like those kind of mornings! Yesterday I had a helper while I went to CVS and Wal-Mart, along with some other errands. It was so nice to get out and have help.

If I go to Wal-Mart by myself I have to drag the limomobile out. While I push the double stroller, I have to pull the cart behind me. Then when I get to the register I have to show my sales papers for each item and divvy out my coupons. So, to make a long story short, it is total madness without a helper.

The boys are up and we need to go to the Pigy wigy this morning, as well as the post office. I have ribs and a pork loin in the crock pot for supper. So I need to make potato salad to go with that as well as another side.

I also have the usual things to do, as well as change the linens and ironing. I need to price yard sale stuff as it is coming up quickly (May 2nd & 3rd). I may wait on that until Saturday as I have my high school helper coming that day. hubby is going to work if possible Saturday to make up for the day he missed Tuesday (when we took Monkey to the doc). The outside storage building seriously needs cleaned up and out.The last time it was done was the Spring before I found I out I was expecting (March 2005). It is a mess, with stuff everywhere and in no particular order.

The grass needs to be cut and we need to weed and spray around the outside of the house. I also need to do my monthly indoor spraying. We also need to put rat bait under the house and lime around the house. I've got to get online and find something (to spray in the yard that is non-toxic to the boys) for ticks and fleas and we have had both already brought into the house this Spring. I also have plants to get out and have no idea what they are. They are from the funeral of my mother-in-law. Our rose bush has also taken the blight, so pruning and spraying is in order for her as well.

Sounds like a busy weekend. We also are having my parents over for steaks Saturday night. We have some in the freezer and they need to be used quickly. I almost forgot we also have angel Food to pick up Saturday, but my friend Connie is taking care of that.

The weather is beautiful and hot here. It has been for several days now. Highs in the 80's and lows in the upper 50's.

Well, there is lots to get done. I hope you all have a Terrific Thursday! Blessings!!!
What's on your agenda today?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Update on Monkey's Health

We went to see the pediatric surgeon yesterday for Monkey. They are going to do exploratory surgery to see what is causing the swelling. I just want him well! So, I have to call this morning to set that up. If the swelling were constant they would say it was the same thing more than likely. This time they will go through his belly button. They warned us that they may have to make another incision depending on what they find. He seems still to be in NO pain. Praise the Lord!

Please pray!

Our prayer is that they swelling will go away and stay away and nothing (surgery)will be necessary.

If the Lord sees that not is not the way to go then we pray that it is something very minuscule and can be corrected/repaired with ease and he will not have problems in the future.

I am hanging on the hope that it is not a life long issue. I refuse to say the "c" word!

I know God is good and I know that he will take care of our baby. How is choses to do that is hard to deal with sometimes. Please pray for our strength during this time.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Am I Seeing Things

Just as I was clicking post on the Two for Two I noticed them. I also happened to be on the phone with a nurse at Children's Hospital concerning Monkey's upcoming surgery. I looked out my front door and could not believe my own eyes!

There were around 50 cows and calves and the bull running wild. I did not take a picture, there was no time. My Dad was an hour away at the doctor and I had to get there. Oh, did I mention that I had the twins in tow? I called my brother who was 15 minutes away on the lower farm putting out spray and never hears his phone on the tractor. I was praying for him to hear it. I called my sitter and got her to stay in the car with the boys. I met my Mom at the road (did I mention we live on a U.S. highway? Very busy........even in the country!

Then I saw him, there was a man that my brother coached his son on (my nephew's) basketball team. He was getting the cows off the shoulder of the road. The bad thing was that the plastic mulch (the rows are 1000 feet roughly) and the 10,000 plants (they were just set in the last two weeks) were getting trampled.

We finally got the them all herded into a central location in front of my house grazing (this wouold be cut for hay in June). Then I saw the red Ford turn in! YES!!! There was my brother, he had a 5 gallon bucket of range cubes and was rattling them. We got the cows and calves headed back. There was just one little problem and he weighs about 2000 pounds. He is crazy too. He charged my husband two weeks ago when he was putting hay out. two months ago he lifted my brother in the air. He is crazy! Did I mention we were all on foot? I have been within 10 feet of this bull the whole time watching him (with my big stick) and I finally get him headed toward the cows. He did not want to go but the good samartitan came and gave me a hand.

We got them all back to the pasture and locked the gate. Someone(s) had evidently left it half closed yesterday. They were throwing rocks at the bull ("to see what he would do"). Then My Mom saw them coming out of the pasture. My cousin's 15 year old twinadoes. If mine ever did anyhthing like that, they would not be able to move for a week. Yes, cuz if you're reading........I would bust their butts! Excuse my language........ Someone could have gotten killed or wrecked much less all of the other stuff that could have happened!

the plants and plastic faired much better than thought, there are several holes from the hooves though.

So, all is well. Praise the Lord. We saw a wonderful deed and know that there still are good samartians in this ole world and I got me some heart racing exercise for today!

Thank you Lord for giving me strength and answering prayers!


Two for Two

Last Saturday we went to the city to do some shopping (Aldi, Target and i can't remember where else). Anyhow, while gone monkey's allergies started getting worse. We were only 10 minutes from the peds weekend office, so I called and they saw us immediately. We walked out with a prescription for allergy eye drops and told to keep taking children's Claritin. Also a $30 co-pay. We were only 10 minutes from Sam's. I called and they told me they could do the prescription for $30. It would have been $50 anywhere else. So happy about that $20 saved!

Fast forward to this weekend. On Friday i noticed Monkey had swelling in his private area. By bedtime you could not see anything, he was so swollen! Saturday morning it was better and we went out to breakfast. We went to Wal-Mart and I changed the boys diapers. The swelling was getting worse. I called the after hours peds office and our very own Dr. H was on call! Yeah!!! So off we went and he examined him. When I titled it two for two I meant two doctor visits in two weekends BUT I also meant two surgeries for the same condition.

I have to call the surgeon this morning as the hydrocele is back (they call it a recurrence) and is worse than before. We hope to get this surgery done soon. Dr, H would not have a co-pay he felt so bad for Monkey. If you remember the other surgeries (he had two) were done February the 8th of this year. He goes to chruch with the surgeon (Dr. B). He was going to talk to him yesterday.

We did have a good weekend all in all. We went to breakfast Saturday, the doctor's office, Wal-Mart, CVS, had pizza with some out of town family Saturday night. Sunday morning we went to the early church service, picked up a couple of extra papers, I made biscuits and fresh strawberries for breakfast, had a surprise party for my mom's sister at 1 (at my Mom's house) and visited with out of town family.

The highlights were finding out Monkey would have to have one of the surgeries again. Then yesterday he disappeared. There were about 30 of us at my parent's house. They have a huge house. Everyone was getting ready to leave and I saw Tiger but no Monkey. We all started looking, after about 10 minutes hubby searched my Dad's bathroom. There he was flushing the toilet, over and over and over again. We were all so scared, but he is safe and sound!

Hope you all have a great Monday!


Weight Loss Monday

No much news to report. One pound and it wasn't lost. We will blame the pizza, birthday cake, breakfast out Saturday morning and I could go on and on...... Thankfully I get to start a new week today!

So I am at 195 this weigh in. Blessings!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Finally Home and the NICU Again (Part 4)

Just arriving? Catch up here:

The babies went home on apnea monitors. We were just thrilled not to have to spend another night without our SWEET ANGELS! Things were going well except for the occasional squeal from one monitor or the other. Mainly due to leads coming loose, because of movement from the boys.

We had been home one week when it happened. Tiger stopped breathing. We picked him up and pinched his heel like they had showed us in the NICU. Thankfully he brought himself out of it. My husband was going to get the phone so I could call the doctor, when it happened again. This time we had to bring him back. I was praying the whole time. God, please help us, please don't let him go like this. We got him back and called for an ambulance. It would take 45 minutes. There had been a 8 car pile up on the other side of the county.

Our Tahoe had just went in the shop that am. We called my brother and he went to the school and got my sil's Camry. We loaded up and headed to the peds office. They had an ambulance waiting.

We were taken to Children's and they couldn't tell us what was wrong and did I mention they did not have a place for him available. They tried 3 times to get a spinal tap, I told them that was enough! I then called back to St. Vincent's (where they were born and in the NICU). The neonataologist said she was sending an ambulance for us.

His sat's were down to 78 and it was not looking good. Our favorite nurse Ms. D was waiting on us. She found out we were coming and stayed past her shift off the clock. She stayed with me that night. Hubby took Monkey home and came back the next morning. For 12 days we went back and forth, taking turns keeping our other baby, while visiting the one in the hospital. He was in isolation. Gowns, gloves and masks had to be worn. By the time this was over he would have had over 100 iv's in 13 different locations. They finally pinpointed the problem. He had c.diff and a large amount of it. It was basically described kind of like an organism, that has overtaken the bowel. It was caused by the antibiotics they had to use for the sepsis.

I so wanted both my babies home for Mother's Day.We finally came home the Friday before Mother's Day! What a gift. There was one little problem........he was contagious to his brother. We washed, washed and washed some more. They had to sleep apart for 4 1/2 months and everything else had to be kept separate. Things like bottles, paci's, clothes, spit up clothes and bed linens. We went through a lot of Clorox then. We still had to use gloves to change Tiger's diapers. He was on an apnea monitor for another 5 months. It was almost September when Tiger tested negative for the c. diff.

At four months Tiger had a bulge in his side. We were sent for an MRI. Thinking the worst. We were told it was probably a tumor. WRONG!!! He had curves in the spine. An "S" shape to be exact. Then he was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord abnormality right before Thanksgiving 2006. It was said the cord was coming apart and cancerous tumors would likely form on the tethers. The spinal cord was pressing against the spine and causing it to look swollen.

A few days later we got a call on a Sunday night from the doc. He had the films looked at by some other neurosurgeons at Duke. They seemed to think that Tiger had Scoliosis. It was severe and we were told that he would likely go through surgeries and braces throughout adolescence. That was hard to grasp when your other child would have a "normal" life. The more we prayed about it, we were understanding. God was not going to take our baby. It would be difficult, but we would have him!

We saw the doc the next week for more x-rays and went to the brace company for fittings. The day came and we finally picked up the brace. It was huge, it came from under his arms well over his bottom. He stayed sick and the reflux was worse, they upped his meds and nothing. So we prayed and talked to the doc. We finally took a leap of faith feeling God leading us and only put the brace on every other night or so. this helped some with the reflux, but he was so scared of it. He could not sit up or even roll over. We went through 4 braces in all. None of which he wore as recommended, due to the reflux. Each time we saw the peds othro doc the x-rays looked better and better. The doc could not believe what he was seeing. God was healing our child. At 18 months his spine was completely straight!!!! Can I get an Amen!???!!!

At 12 months Tiger had an usual growth in the roof of this mouth. We were told by the ped. dentist that he would have to have surgery to remove it, it continued to grow. At 18 months it had just "disappeared"! Amen!

Tiger was on a special formula until he was 15 months old. They were finally well enough to come off reflux meds at 14 months. They could not digest certain sugars and sodium until they were almost 17 months old.

There is no evidence of brain damage to either child. Tiger has been without oxygen three times, twice for almost 3 minutes. There is no permanent eye damage. His liver function is normal. Everything is normal!!! Praise the Lord!

At one point there was over 8 pounds difference between the boys (monkey being the heavier of the two).

At 22 months Monkey had 2 surgeries in his private area. He healed very quickly and there is little scaring. Praise the Lord!

Today they are 2 years old and thriving! Monkey is almost 26 pounds and 36 inches. Tiger is a little over 24 pounds and 36 inches.

They each see a speech therapist twice a month, as they are a little behind in that area. They sign many words and this helps me to know their needs and wants. They also see a occupational therapist 4 times a year to make sure we are up on everything.

God is so good and is EVERYTHING! We give the glory to God! Thank you sweet Lord for our precious miracles!

Coupon Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are momoftwins04 (for Grand prize $500) and FishMama (for runner up $400)!!! Congratualtions!!!!!

Please email me at I will need your name and address for mailing!

Thank you all for participating! This was a random drawing!

Watch for future giveaways!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

$500.00 Coupon Giveaway



NEW POSTS BELOW............................................

I am giving $500 worth of coupons away. Simply tell me your best coupon story in the comment section. If you link the giveaway to your blog you are automatically entered to win AGAIN!

It can be about the amount you used or purchased or any other story involving you and coupons.

This giveaway is open until THURSDAY NIGHT AT 8PM (CENTRAL TIME). I will pick a winner then and send them out on Friday morning (email me if you are the winner with you name and address).

My latest coupon story.............

I bought Pampers diapers on sale at Target a few weeks or months ago. I paid very little for them. Probably less than $5 per jumbo pack (after coupons and all). They all had $1.50 coupons off on Cheerios in the packs. Nice surprise! I bought 9 packs.

Last week out local Piggly Wiggly ran Cheerios for $2.00 per box. I thought I was getting a great deal. I was only paying $.50 per box. Boy, was I right and then some. When I got to the register to check out, I noticed each box of Cheerios had a $1.50 coupon off of Pampers diapers!

Nine boxes of Cheerios for $4.50 and $13.50 in Pampers coupons for later.

How great was that? Totally awesome! I was thrilled out of my gourd!!!

Blessings and I hope you all win!!!!

Getting Real

I have been taking a little time away from blogging this week to see where my time really goes. The boys are two now and they really are much more needy of my time. I asked back sometime ago how many blogs do you read and comment on, I have way too many. I love each and everyone of them and that is my problem. So I have narrowed it down from 25-35 to just 13.

One of my main issues is that I read about everyone else's 2 year olds and think mine isn't doing that....thye should be. NO, they should NOT be. Most everyone else's 2 year old was a singelton, born at full term and has not braved death. It's okay for my children to be who they are......that's the way God created them. I had actually been getting upset thinking I was not teaching my children well enoiugh and getting frustrated with them. That was so wrong of me! So I needed to say bye bye to a couple of blogs. I did not know them, had never commented, so no loss.

Next is the issue that I need to be the perfect cook, Mom, nurse, crafter, frugalist, gardener, have the perfect house. I was wanting what others had, so to speak. I did not want there life, but I was envious. I am not talented in many areas. I never will be! I am recongizing my talents more and more these last few days though. I am a good cook, wife, Mommy, frugalist. I keep a neat and tidy home and love doing so. I may never craft a thing and that is okay too!

I love all of my readers (even those that never comment.....hint, hint)! I just have got to get my priorities in order. My computer time limit is no more than 2 hours a day! That includes, reading and writing, shopping for sales, signing up for freebies, etc!

I am praying that I can use my life to bless others and not be green with envy for others' talents' and/or possessions.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday! Blessings!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Going on Little Sleep

Steph asked how I do so much on so little sleep.

I suppose my body has just gotten accustomed to it. Most days I can function well and others I just cannot. This is not good for me. I keep thinking that maybe it will not be long before they are sleeping through the night AGAIN! I am blessed, so blessed they are here and healthy. Philippians 4:13 keeps me going........ "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

The boys are now in there own rooms and still not sleeping well. Monkey has severe allergies. He is now on prescription meds including eye drops twice a day. We are confined to home as well, until the pollen count goes down. They go to sleep around 8pm now. I am up several times throughout the night with them and then they are waking around 6am. That is better than the 4:30am a few weeks ago.

They nap for about an hour (10-11am) of a morning. They have quiet time in their rooms (or nap) from 2pm-4pm.

Some days I have to be right with the boys and they need that attention all day (except nap and quiet times). Other day they can play peacefully together for short times while I clean up from meals, do laundry, ironing, etc.

Someday I resign myself to a nap while they nap, especially if i am having hormonal migraines!

I also have a sitter (J.T.) and a Mother's helper (K.J.) that help from time to time.

The basic things I try to do everyday is listed below.

Get myself ready (basic hygiene, put on makeup, etc.)
Read Bible and Pray (I pray throughout the day)
I usually see Hubby off to work (as early at 3:30am, never later than 5:00am)
Cook supper
Basic schooling for the boys
Playtime for the boys
Laundry (2-4 loads each day)
Unload and reload dishwasher
Make the bed
Clean up kitchen and dining area after each meal
Computer time
Check emails and phone calls

Sometimes there are errands and canning. usually different things. most of all I have learned to be flexible. I love life and want to live it to the fullest. I just like to keep things in order in the meantime!


Weight Loss Monday

Well, I weighed this morning and was pleasantly surprised. This week brought no exercise and a lunch date with my three boys at Logan's Roadhouse. We'll just leave it at "I overate" and later that afternoon had a Jamocha shake.

Now for the tally....... I lost two pounds this week!!!!! :)

I have lost 3 pounds since March 31!

Happy weighing to all of my weight lost buddies! Blessings!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Taking a Closer Look at Frugality Part 2: My Frugal Journey

I should go back and tell you that most all of the credit card debt was due to stupidity and trying to keep up with the Jones'. I don't really remember or want to (remember)what was purchased with the cards.

I will tell you that $10,000 of it was medical bills that was from my open heart surgery. My parents got stuck with almost all of them. They had independent insurance and there was a clause in the policy about the surgeon not being of relation to the patient. Well he was a cousin to my Daddy. Anyhow, my parents never knew that I put that bill on a card and it was one less that they had to worry with.

Now, back to the story...............

Being farmers we did not want to build another house on that farm. We knew the farm would stay in the family and my parents wanted us to have their house one day when they were in their heavenly home. So, we looked high and low. We talked and debated and prayed. With our answer we bought a manufactured home. It is paid for and yes we had some help on that.

It is quite nice to not be a site built home. It has six panel doors, steel front and back doors with storm doors. You will also find Berber carpet, thermal pane windows, crown molding and extensive insulation. It is about 2200 square feet. Four bedrooms, family room (w/ fireplace), den, kitchen, dining room, retreat off of master bedroom, walk in pantry, utility room and two baths. We love it and could live in it the rest of our lives if necessary.

We own a 1999 Chevy pick-up and a 2006 Dodge Durango. Both are paid for in full.

We have worked VERY hard to pay off the credit card debt. We have two left. The total cc debt left is about $2500.00. We hope to get this paid off soon. When we get this paid off, we will owe no man nothing!!! Praise the Lord!

I also worked at the Farm Service Agency (a federal job) for 5 months in a temp position. i was bringing home $500 a week and that was 8 years ago. I loved the work, but this is where my heart and soul are. It was a temp position nonetheless.

Our children's (twins) medical bills over their two years of life total a little more than $1.25 million dollars!!! We have only had to pay $31,000 out of pocket. Now, imagine yourself coming up with that in two years....... Thankfully we had $18,000 in savings. God has been so good to us! Our babies are such a blessing!!!

I stopped working when I was pregnant with the boys, in November of 2005. I do a few things for my parents but not officially go to a job day in and day out like before. I will go back to work on the farm this June. I will have my regular mother's helper to care for the boys. They are 2 minutes away at most and will come to see me at work and stay some.

My husband works for a trucking company that specializes in hazardous waste. He also works on the farm when not at his public job.

Now, to answer my own questions. We are not poor.........nor are you more than likely! If you live here in the states and have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food on your table and know Jesus Christ you are rich indeed! That is my family.

Why do I feel the need to be frugal? Because it has helped us to get out of debt and still is. Yes, I would still be thrifty and frugal if I were debt free. I want things in life. Things like sending my kids to college, taking a vacation once a year, giving some money to someone when I know it is needed. Things like that.

I am proud to grow my own food and can it. I am proud when I can save money in some area and put in on debt or a new outfit for one of us or something of need. I hope I offend no one as that is NOT my intention. I am just blessed by the hands of God and am loving my life. I am content and need not another thing. It is just nice to have an extra dollar or two for a R.C. Cola and a Moon Pie when you want it!

Blessings to you all and this thing we call the journey of life!!!

Taking a Closer Look at Frugality Part 1: My Frugal Journey

Mrs. Darling is one of my favorite bloggers. She makes me think about things and gives a very wise perspective always on anything she is blogging on. look her up today at Dishpan Dribble (one of her blogs) and give her a read. It is quite interesting and makes you think.

Now, why am I frugal? Am I frugal to fund an indebted life style or am I using frugality to help get out of debt and give my family a better, easier life. Would I be frugal if I had no debt?
What class does my family fall into?

Well, to start with I have never thought much about class. Growing up I knew that my family worked hard (and I mean hard......we are farmers). I also knew that I never got a summer vacation. I worked along side my parents. While my friends were having sleepovers and going shopping I was working. While they were visiting relatives and going to amusement parks I was working. Now, do NOT feel sorry for me. I am glad my parents instilled this work ethic in me.

We did take a vacation to visit a relative in North Carolina one a year and we usually went to the beach or the mountains once a year or maybe a historical place.

I knew that my Mom cut coupons, bought things on sale and we rarely ate out. I also knew (from looking) that my house appeared to be "nicer" than most of my friends, that we had 'nicer" vehicles (that we kept longer) and that my Daddy made it a point to pay our tithes every Sunday (even though in the Church of Christ they call it taking up a offering). I knew that my parents got up at before daylight and rarely saw bedtime until long after all of the farm work was done, animals fed, trucks were loaded for the markets and everything was in order (during harvest times).

I also learned that my parents did not buy things they did not have the money for. I knew that my Dad and my Mom both had one credit card in their wallets and still do. It has been used maybe once a year for 30 years to reserve a hotel room on. When we return from vacation a check was written for that amount and mailed off immediately. I do not ever remember my parents having a late bill. I usually write out all of their bills now and have for about 10 years. This is part of my job on the farm.

My parents are NOT rich by no means. I also know that they have borrowed $50,000.00 at a time from the bank to have a crop on. They also have paid it back within 6 months from harvest and not paid interest on it. They scrapped and shed many a blood drop and tear to do so.

My parents taught me more about life and frugality than any college course ever could. When I was 11 years old they took me to the bank and opened my first checking account. Say I earned $50 each week during the summer, $25 went to checking and $25 went to a CD (much better interest then than now by far). Out of my checking I bought Christmas and birthday presents, anything special that I wanted, my school clothes, some toiletries and cosmetic items as well as special grocery items. I thought I was hot stuff. My parents were just preparing me for the future. I am 31 years old and have had a checking account for 20 years!!! I had the same one for 10 years. My parents gave me a cow and let it herd with theirs. She bred with their bull and ate the feed and hay my parents bought. I had man cows and calves over my lifetime. I had no idea they would buy my first vehicle. They also helped pay for my wedding (along with my parents). I had a schloarship for college and what it didn't pay for finanicial aid did. My parents' earnings were low enough that I was accepted for that program.

I was earning enough money by the age of 16 that I had to start getting my taxes done. My parents had always had an accountant and therefore I have as well.

At the age of 15 my first vehicle was bought. I sold all of my cows except the best one to my parents and the $11,000.00 was paid for it. It was a slightly used 1991 Ford Ranger. White with two red pin strips down the side. When I was a senior in high school (1995)I asked for a car. I gave my parents the truck and they paid for the car. Pretty good swap! It was a 1994 Ford Probe. It was also white and sharp as a tack. I even had a personalized license plate on it MARVA H. I thought that was the coolest. My Daddy thought it was a waste of money. I paid my own insurance and gas as well.

In the winter time I went to work at a clothing department store as a clerk. I worked on Saturday's and during Christmas break. Each winter I did this from age 16 until I finished high school.

I graduated from high school in May of 1995. I was 18 years old. I worked that summer, went to college in the fall and worked part time for my parents. Then in while on winter break I had open heart surgery. In January I went back to college and in February I went to work at a local church daycare center. During this time I asked my parents for a credit card for emergencies. They gave me one of my very own and I was placed in their strictest confidences. Isn't everything an emergency when you're in college?

I went to college and then that fall I went to work as a nurse's aid, while going to college. The nursing home also put me through their program as a nurse's aid. I got my CNA while there and went to college at night. My parents had a house that my Grandma had lived in and it was empty and needed some work. My parents helped me redo the house. It was a 2 bedroom one bath, 800 or so square foot home. It did not have a indoor bathroom until the 50's. I moved in in February of 1998. Hubby and I married in October of the same year. We continued to live there free of rent.

Hubby worked at a bank and I was doing Mary Kay Cosmetics and working for my parents. I had quit the nursing home by then and was finished with college. I knew I was up to armpits in debt before we married. I had 21 credit cards by then. My parents were none the wiser since I had gotten a PO box and had my bills sent there. In April my parents had built a house and moved. They needed us to live in their old house (where I grown up) until they found a buyer. We lived there for about a year. I was working for them full time and my hubby was driving an 18 wheeler locally. Our debt was on the upper side of $30,000. That was just credit cards. We also owed $30,000 for a brand new truck. We still had my little Ford Probe.

My parents had built a new home and indoor market on another farm just one mile down the road from their old place. My brother and his family also were building there. So, guess who else wanted to build there? We talked it over with my parents and they were all ago with us but there was one little problem and it had to do with adding another house to the farm.

To be continued.............

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Least Favorite Chore and Winner

Mine is without a doubt scrubbing the toilet! Yuck!!!!

Nico you are the winner. I will be sending you a brand new copy of Real Simple's Cleaning book. Value $21.95. Congratulations!

What is your least favorite chore?


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Question and Answer #1

Tera emailed and asked, "How do you a lot and spend your grocery budget each month?"

Whew! That's a hard one.

I buy whatever is needed for the week and of course any items on sale that I have coupons for, to stockpile for future use.

We include groceries, paper products, toiletries, health and beauty aides, cleaning supplies and baby supplies in our grocery budget.

I will have an ongoing list on my sidebar of what I purchase for the month of April, just to give you all an idea of where our $350 a month goes.

Just let me know if you have any other questions. Blessings!!!!


Ironing is the chore that I enjoy (of course along with grocery and CVS shopping). I can relax while I iron. I prefer to iron during the boys nap or quiet time. It seems to be an outlet for frustration. I also can spend precious time praying while I iron. That is one thing I most enjoy about it. If I try to iron while the boys are up and about, I had might as well forget it. I am back and forth and might get 4 or 5 things ironed in 30 minutes. I usually can iron 30-40 items in 45 minutes.

I only iron church and everyday (good) clothes. I do not iron hubby's work clothes. Most of his shirts are company shirts that are wrinkle free. I iron all of the boys clothes or at least try to. They seem to bring more at the consignment shops and ironing seems to keep them in better shape. I also iron my good cloth napkins and table linens. Don't even ask when the last time I had a table cloth on. Maybe when the boys were 13 months? They kept pulling it off the table! LOL!

I do know people that iron sheets, work clothes, underclothes and even towels. Whatever works for you. mine are all okay a little wrinkled. I do iron my curtains (window treatments) though.

I love to iron. I don't know why but I do. I guess it is kind of a tension tamer. I even took ironing in when I was 19 and 20. My brother and sil were my best customers.

So what household chore do you enjoy the most? What do you iron?

If anyone can guess which household chore I absolutely despise I have a prize for you. Just post your answer in the comment section! Don't forget to add your favorite chore. Comments must be in by Thursday at 8 am central time to be eligible.

Blessings and happy ironing!!!

What a Blessing!

As you know I am not getting a lot of sleep these days. My Mom called me night before last and told me to bring the boys and come eat lunch at her house yesterday (my Daddy had to work in the fields). So we got there and she had pintos, fresh turnip greens, meatloaf, cornbread and sliced onion. That made this southern girl squeal with delight. It was so yummy. She made me eat, while she fed the boys. It's a treat just to get to eat uninterrupted, if you know what I mean.

Then she told me to leave them and come back at 3 (it was 12:30 then)and get them. Oh my lands!!!! Do you know how much I got done? I folded 6 loads of clothes and did 4 more, took out all of the garbage, made some appointments, cleaned out the refrigerators (we have 2), loaded and reloaded the dishwasher, picked up toys, thank you cards wrote, vacuumed, made our bed, organized and cleaned the linen closet, straighten the pantry, cooked supper, chopped some veggies for later this week and then I took a 30 minute nap! Yes, ma'am I did......a nap!!!!

I went and got the boys and gave my Momma a good smack on the check and a big ole hear hug and told her what a blessing she is. She looked a little tired. Then she said, "Honey, I don't know how you do it"! I just told her that I couldn't do it without her and I sure did love her bunches. My Daddy had made it in for lunch (at 2pm, bless his heart) and had been with them the last hour. He was so tired as well. He had been working in the orchards since 6 or so that morning. I love him so much! They treat our boys like their very own.

I am SOOOOOOOOO Blessed!!! Thank you Lord for such an awesome Momma! (and Daddy!)

When I got home, I felt so refreshed and revived. Hope you have a blessing or several coming your way today! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Weight Loss Goals

I have just realized that I did not mention my weight loss goals. It's really be the healthiest Marva I can be.

I am right at 5'10" tall. My bone structure is a medium bulid. My bmi is 28.3. I want to see it at the healthy range of 18.5-24.9.

I lost 1 pound last week. I think a healthy weight for me is about 160. I would like to see 155. I would happy with 165. I am not going to say I have to weigh such and such.

I would like to see a size 12 again. The 8 I use to be is long gone. A 10 is really pushing it and a 12 is pushing somewhat. I would be happy in a 14 as well.

Well, there you have it.

Are you happy with your weight? Are you trying to lose a few or a lot of pounds? Leave me a comment!!! Blessings on your day!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Discovering the Will

To lose the weight that is. Every Monday as a tracker I will have a post about my weight loss. Sorry to bore my size 2 readers. Just kidding. Though anyone should feel free to skip right over this.

I have watched my eating patterns as well as my intake the last week. I am a stress eater. I love to cook and I also love to eat. Good food is a passion for me. I love carbs. I have been under tremendous amounts of stress to boot.

Right now, I am not getting to exercise on a regular basis. My kids are in to everything and I have to be right there with them at all times. I cannot take my machine into their playarea for obvious reasons. They are not napping and I have absolutley no time, since hubby is working 16-18 hours days. I might could get some in at night after they go to sleep. I do try and get out and walk with them in the jogging stroller when the weather is fit. However, Monkey has severe allergies and the pollen count seems to be over the top these days. This might limit getting out in the next few weeks. I hope by May 1 to be back on a regular walking schedule at the park track.

I do drink a lot of water. That is a plus. As a matter of fact I drink about 96 oz. a day. I hope to get back up to a gallon a day soon though. We have a Brita water pitcher and are going to add another one to our little family soon.

Starting weight (March 31) 197 pounds.
April 7 - 196 pounds

Total weight loss 1 pound.

Hope you all are having a great day and many blessings!!!!

News to Share and Advice Needed

It's twins! JUST KIDDING!!!!! I am NOT expecting. We do have two very big boys now though! Quite independant, if I do say so myself.

The boys have always slept well. Monkey always has taken a 2 hour nap in the am, another 2 hour nap in the afternoon and then was aleep by 7:30 pm everynight and would sleep until say 7 or so the next morning. He has recently started climbing INTO his crib, so we converted the crib to a toddler bed yesterday and added a safety rail last night. He did not want to go to sleep, hubby stayed in there from 7:30pm until 9 pm. He was wailing at the top of his lungs and he shares a room with his twin brother. At 9pm he finally dozed off. He awoke at 2;40am and I slept in the floor until this morning at 7am. That is not too bad. However, they both are waking at 5am EVERY morning!!!!

Now for Tiger. His typical slept pattern is a 30 minute nap in the am, the same in the afternoon. He is usually asleep by 7:30pm and then wakes at midnight. I have started taking a sippy cup in (filled with ice water)and sitting in in the corner of his bed and that has worked. He wakes up, gets a drink and holds the cup for the rest of the night and goes back to sleep. He used to sleep until 7 or so the next morning. He and his brother have been waking every morning at 5am (with the exception of this morning) for the last 10 days or so. He has been in his toddler bed for a month or better.

We have not changed the bedtime routine. We thought that maybe they were going to bed too early and tried keeping them up later, no go, same results. I even tried to eliminate the am go. I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions????

While we are on the same subject......... I also am curious as to how you got /or get yours to stay in their bed during nap time. I would like them to have a two hour quiet time in their bed each afternoon (with or without a am nap). They may nap or read during this time, but I would like them to stay in the bed and rest regardless. Any ideas?

One thing we are changing is when Hubby gets home, they are going to be separated. They each will have their own bedroom. Thoughts on this????????

They both are getting so BIG and now in BIG BOY beds!!! Yeah Tiger and Monkey! Maommy and Daddy love you so much and are so proud of you!!!

Any suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated! Blessings on you!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

To grill or go out?

My Mom had purchased T-Bones on sale for $6.99 a pound (to celebrate hubby's b'day last month and was postponed). She had them cut one pound each. With tax that came to $37.55 for 5 steaks. Add in the potato and salad, condiments and such. That brings it to roughly $43.00 or so, maybe a little more. Then add in the grilling, clean-up and all. That is $8.60 each and all of the mess.

We have a little cafe two miles up the road. They have a ONE pound rib-eye and 12 medium size fried shrimp w/ two sides for $10.79 INCLUDING tax. They have an all you can eat salad bar and their baked potatoes are HUGE. We usually order it to go, since they have a smoking section and the boys are allergic to smoke and it's not good for any of us anyhow. They marinate their steaks and grill them to perfection, make their own tartar sauce (it is so good) and they will make your salad plate if you want. I weighed mine a few weeks back (oh yes I did). I got 2.14 POUNDS of salad with my meal!

Maybe next time I will tell my Mom we will order from DB's and save the extra work and get the shrimp to boot!

Have a great day! We will be standing over the grill this afternoon for steaks. Company will be coming and we hope to have some good fellowship! I told hubby that we should leave his Dad and my folks with the boys and the cooked food and skip town. Sounded like a good idea to me! He asked if he could take the steak with him! LOl!!! Men! He he! Too funny!

What do you think? Blessings!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Little Change of Plans

The weather was not bad here. We had many warnings but all is well. Praise the Father! It is too wet to do much at all in the yards.
We had a family friend and a neighbor to both pass away yesterday. They both had the same type of cancer my mil passed of. We will be cooking and taking food tomorrow to these families as well as visiting the funeral homes.
I still need to run errands and I think we are taking the boys to BK to eat and play as well.
Tomorrow night we have company coming over for supper. We are grilling steaks. I was going to break out the ice cream freezer but, I'll have to rush back from the funeral homes anyhow. I think the ice cream will wait until next time.
Sunday is church and then to my father-in-law's for a visit with some of my mother-in-law's out of town relatives.
Still a busy weekend. I still have not done the ironing, so I'll see about that as well.
Many blessings on your weekend. God's speed!

It's 5 O'Clock in the Mornin'

So, it seems my children are getting up with the roosters these days. My husband's work schedule varies from day to day. Most mornings he is up and gone by 5am, some mornings as early as 3. I get up with him, make his lunch and he tucks me back into bed before he leaves. i am blessed!

I am usually up by 6am or 6:30 at the latest. I like that little bit of extra sleep and then rising a little bit before my children so that I might have some alone time and God time. I am not getting those times here lately. My kiddos are rising with the chickens (literally, our neighbor down the way has a few yard chickens).

I am hoping that this stops soon.........

I was going to make my weekly run to town today, even had my list planned out already. However, with the risk of damaging winds, hail, and a slight risk of isolated tornadoes (and a 90% chance of rain), I think I will catch up on my ironing and plan with my babies. A nap also sounds nice!

Hubby is off from work tomorrow, so I will get my errands done then and he can spend some quality time with the boys. Did I mention it is going to be in the 70's? We also have plans to work in the yard tomorrow and maybe clean out our storage building. The boys will have a blast playing outside. The grass needs to be mowed and weeded around. We also need to put out some weedkiller around the house, rat bait under the house, Sevin in the yard for fleas. Our vehicles need cleaned out and washed. I could go and on. We'll wait and see what gets accomplished.........

What are your plans for the weekend? Have a great day! Blessings!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Flying By the Seat of My Pants

The last few months have been a little more than hectic around here.
I have been impatient with my children. My schedules have gone lacking. I have had no time for me. Some days having to wait on hubby to get in from work before I could even bathe. Things have been just crazy. I have not been a happy camper. I have tried and God was good, although too good at times and I definitely could have been better.

I would not win the Mommy of the Year awards. I have snapped at my little angels when I should have used a calmer tone. Some nights there was no cooked supper, just cereal or whatever we could pull together. I had planned, but had not been able to stick to it because of other things or people. Some nights I was cooking for 20 or more and delivering it to my in-laws. My Spring cleaning it almost caught up. I just like cleaning out a couple of cabinets and wiping them out. I also need to wash one more set of curtains and iron and rehang. Also, iron and rehang to other valances. Thanks to my bff C.T. the cleaning was done.

I have to get back to a weight loss regimen. I have gained a lot of weight in the last couple of months and some more from Thanksgiving through New Years. Nevertheless, it has piled on and has to go. It is a new month and all of the birthday cake is gone from the twins' party. This Momma is ready to get with it.

I am ready to let go a little more, give more of myself to the Lord and to my own self. I have realized it's okay for me to give myself a pedicure or stay 15 minutes extra in a hot bubble bath. I also am going to read a little more. I have not picked anything up in the last month to read, not even a recipe book. I have magazines coming out by the caboodles.

I am going to change!!! I am going to take time for me now. I feel better just getting this off my shoulders.

I love having a schedule. I need a list and something to keep me on track. I know the usual things that I have to do daily, it's the calls, emails, appointments and odd things that I need to remember. I guess that is actually more of a to-do list than a schedule. I am so scatterbrained most days. Or at least have been with so much on my plate. Mrs. Darling has a wonderful post on Instruction for Homekeeping. I agree with her. Right now though i need a more detailed list for the house and meals. With little ones the same age it helps me stay on track. We do have just a skeleton schedule for their day. It helps tremendously to be flexible with a two year old.......much less TWO, two year olds.

I did read a post on praying with a timer. I just don't think that could work for me. When I go before the Lord, I let the Spirit guide me. Why interrupt such precious time with the Saviour? I try to pray when I know I will not be interrupted. I always pray before the boys arise of a morning and before I lay my head down at night. I pray throughout the day. I am definitely not that scheduled. I think she uses it because she is easily distracted. What is your take on this subject?

I am just doing my best for me and my family. I do have a Homekeeper's journal. I do not pour over it daily and sometimes might not pick it up for a month or two. I just use it when I need to. It has an address book, health records, insurance info, etc. in it. I will touch more on that later. It does come in handy from time to time though.

I also hope to resume my home tour and the boy's story soon.

I will be going back to work at least part time on the farm this summer (starting the first part of June). I will need to reread this post then. Things get crazy during harvest.

Hope you all have a wonderful day! Blessings!!!! Oh and it's good to be back in Bloggy Land!!!

Hello Again

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, calls, emails, cards and thoughtfulness during this time.
We are all doing surprisingly well. My Husband and fil both went back to work today. I am back at fulltime Mommy world too. We are trying to get back to a new normal.

Many of you know that I did not have a great relationship with my mil because of her lack of concern and respect for the babies health. In a nutshell she wanted and did (until I put a stop to it) smoke (the same thing that killed her) while around them and while at our home (although we allow NO ONE to smoke inside our home). They were so sick with reflux and underdeveloped lungs that it literally could have killed them. I really hate that we were not closer, although I tried on many occasions. I apologized to her several times after her diagnosis, although I never received one (which is fine). She thought that all was well and I could make it fine if she could too. She had a peace and that was what mattered. We did share some sweet time before her passing. My prayer is that we all get to gather again on the streets of gold one day.

God is so good and I have no regrets. I only wish my children could have known both Grandmothers and not just one.

I am late this week mailing my coupons out for the coupon train. I apologize and will catch up next week. Please forgive me Mimi.

Please keep the King family in your prayers. I went to school with Amy and graduated with her sister. What a woman! She is so strong. Her is the news link.,2933,343176,00.html. a true blessing that everyone survived. Thanks to Amy and her quick thinking.

I hope to be back to blogging today, although it may be tomorrow. I hope you all are well. I cannot wait to catch up with you all. Blessings always!