Monday, June 30, 2008

Morning Routine: I Need One!

Like I mentioned to Daniel yesterday, I really need to establish a morning routine. Not having one often means that I get sidetracked by less important things and the most important things (spending time in praying/in the Word, contacting people, keeping the piles under control!) get left behind to be "fit in" somewhere or don't get done at all! Makes sense to have a plan---"fail to plan or plan to fail", right?

Since my girlie decided to take a 2 1/2 hour nap this morning this is a good time to sit down and sketch out a rough plan for future mornings. Here is what I've come up with so far (and sorta did this morning!)

5:00-6:30am Nurse Baby M (I don't nurse this whole time, but she wakes up somewhere in here...I am debating whether to try and get her up the same time every morning...would love input here!)
After feeding baby, I usually go back to sleep for awhile, especially if she wakes up before 6:00am
7:00am: fix lunch for Daniel, start dinner prep
7:20am Daniel leaves for Work-spend time in Word/prayer
The verse I am focusing on today is from Joshua 24. "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!"
7:30am-8:30 Baby usually wakes up-brush her teeth, change diaper. Baby M plays in safe area while I take a quick shower and get dressed/ready for the day.
8:30am-9:30am Tackle some homemaking chore such as hanging out laundry, sweeping, or baking bread.
9:30am-11:00am Baby's nap time (catch up on blogging, emails, paper organization, mail,eat lunch etc.) here.
After this I would like to incorporate a long walk (before it gets too hot outside) into our routine. We have been doing this at various times, but earlier would be better).

I would love to know how you handle nap/sleep schedules for 9ish month old seems like just when a pattern emerges things get thrown off for whatever reason!

Visit Making your Home a Haven for more thoughts on morning routines and homemaking.

Missin' those Gramies

GramieK is only about 4 hours away, but Punker's other Gramie is more than 4 hours away by plane! Needless to say, she misses her Gramie's (and Grampies of course)! We are hoping to visit Daniel's parents later this summer or early fall. If you see any sweet airfare deals, let us know (they live in the Indianapolis area). Here are some pics of little M enjoying her GramieK's visit last week.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for the Week of June 30th, 2008

~ a little late posting today because our internet apparently hates us and decided to go down this morning;)

Man its HOT here. The Pacific NW rarely gets this hot (mid 90's)and when it does its a shock to the system! We have been taking baby out back and giving her multiple "baths" in a little dishtub and she loves it! I wish I could get in the cool water with her sometimes;)

This week I will be using up a lot of food. We have a rather large stockpile (our fridge and pantry are perpetually packed) and we have decided to do a trial run with lower fat vegetarian eating for a few weeks starting next week. So this week is "use it up" week, so it will actually be rather heavy on the meat/poultry. Our diet typically consists of several vegetarian meals a week, so this shouldn't be a huge adjustment. This change is prompted by a desire to live a healthier lifestyle, and although you can be a non-veg and eat very healthfully, it seems to be the easiest/cheapest way to achieve health goals. But like I said, this will only be a trial run for now.

Here are this week's meals, decidedly non-vegerific;)

Monday: Crockpot Roast/Carrots (from freezer) with Cheesy Pasta and Canteloupe

Tuesday: Farmhouse chicken (but I will be using frozen turkey instead) and Salad

Wednesday: Mexican Chicken (crockpot) with salad over rice: For this meal I put several chicken breasts in the crockpot with 1/2 carton of s. cream and 1 small jar of salsa in the crockpot on low all day.

Thursday: Spagetti and Meatballs with salad and garlic bread

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Church Picnic/Traveling to my parents' house for the 4th!

Breakfasts: whole wheat oatmeal/brown sugar pancakes, french toast, oatmeal

Lunches: leftovers, turkey sandwich, veggie sticks and fruit (grapes/canteloupe/bananas)

Snacks: homemade granola, fruit, cold cereal

Museum of Flight with Wycliffe

Our trip to Seattle and the Museum of Flight to meet with the Wycliffe representative went well overall. We were all worn out by the time we arrived home, but felt it was worth it. The Museum of Flight is huge and full of interesting aircraft artifacts from the past. We had lunch at the Pke Street Chowder (with our 50% off entertainment book coupon of course!) which was delicious. Our time with the Wycliffe rep and his two teenage children was enjoyable as well. Probably the the most encouraging part was hearing that the kids were doing fine here in the states (they have been on furlough for a year) but that they loved it back in PNG. We'll hear back soon if we've been okay'ed to continue with the application process at Wycliffe. Here are 2 pics he took of us while there.

First Baby in Space!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Meeting & Greeting with Wycliffe

Tomorrow we'll be meeting with a representative with Wycliffe Bible Translators to do a preliminary interview of sorts, which is the first step in applying. We are excited but also want to ask the right questions and be prayerful in determining God's will for the next step in our lives! If you want to know more about Wycliffe go here. We would be serving with JAARS if accepted.

Scary Moments in Mothering

Baby M was playing a few feet away from me in the nursery/office (we were in the same room). She's doing her usual "inspection" of the furniture legs, carpet etc. I look over (after maybe 1 minute of looking another direction and she is chewing. This happens quite frequently as she is always picking up microscopic pieces of lint/dirt off the floor and into the mouth. I still rush to her and start to fish the unknown object out. At first try I find nothing. I change positions because it is obvious that there is something there. Another try with her on my lap (and she is making a sour face at this point and I am getting nervous. I find a shard of glass in her cheek! It was several centimeters long in a triangle shape! I have no idea what it is from or where she could have found it hiding because we clean frequently and haven't broken anything in that scary! Mere seconds of looking away while she was playing in a "safe" place and this happens! Its these moments when I have to remind myself that God is in control and that I must trust Him to protect my baby.

"Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord and Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:3-5

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good Health and Frugality = A Good Team

Why do I think Good Health and Frugality go so well together? As I was thinking about my day today I realized again what a perfect match good overall health and frugal living can make. Eating simple, nutritious foods and choosing to walk (or in my case being a one-car family) everywhere are huge steps in the right direction towards two goals/passions I have for my family and myself.

It is easiest to jump in the car for short trips to the store, the ferry, the post office etc. because it takes less time (usually) and less planning than to go on foot. But the benefits of fresh air and exercise far outweigh the inconvenience of walking most of the time. This next week I will be testing this theory over and over (and for a long time to come) as Daniel has started his new job and will have the car all day. I am within 2 miles of the nearest grocery store and within one mile of the nearest post office, park and library. We'll have to see how much I am able to get done while Daniel is at work without the car, but I should be able to do most everything that really needs to get done in that time.

Simple nutritious foods are ideal for our situation for many reasons. When there is less to fuss over I don't have to worry about messing up our meal! Not only that but using less ingredients and ones that are typically on hand saves many last minute car trips for that forgotten ingredient. Simple meals are often cheaper as well. Soup and bread, baked potatoes with chili, brown rice with vegetables and tofu/chicken are quick, nutritous and naturally cost less than meals that are based around meats or have a variety of unique ingredients. I just received a book from called the McDougall Program that bases meals around simple ingredients such as potatoes/rice/beans and veggies/fruits. I am intrigued and will let you know what I think!

Above is our version of a delicious, fruity smoothie, kinda like the one Crystal talks about at Frugal Friday.

Practically, we've been growing in both of these areas as a family lately. The walking aspect has been forced a bit (being a one car family--by choice) but we are also taking walks to the park as a family almost every night now (hubby works closer to home) since weather is nice. The food aspect is a bit more complex --we are working slowly toward incorporating more fruits and veggies. I just wish they weren't so expensive around here! We generally have at least carrots, onions and lettuce in the fridge and some frozen mixed veggies or peas in the freezer, but that can get boring. I am hoping to find a cheaper source this summer in addition to continuing to shop for "loss leaders" at our local grocery stores. We generally keep bananas and applesauce on hand, along with whatever fruit is cheap(er) at the moment. I would do the farmer's market, but ours is a bust. Everything is WAY overpriced and the selection is not so good. Any suggestions

Mini Farm in Port Angeles Part 3

Mini Farm in Port Angeles Part 2

Mini-Farm in Port Angeles

Sorry about the lack of posting these past few days...we have been busy busy busy with my mom and aunt here! We did take a trip to visit relatives in Port Angeles, WA on their "mini farm" so I will share some pictures of our time there! I will be back to regular posting (and homemaking/deal finding) tomorrow once my mom is safely back to her home in Eastern WA.

Safeway NW Deals for June 25th, 2008

This week's deal offering is meager again...hopefully other stores in your area are offering better sales!
Good deals (no coupon required!

80% Lean Ground Beef 1.29 lb

Rice or Pasta Roni. Selected varieties. 88¢

Coca-Cola, Pepsi or AMP Energy 24/12-oz. Coca-Cola, Pepsi AMP 2/$10

OvenJoy Sandwich Bread $0.99

Lucerne Shredded or Chunk Cheese $5.99 for 32 oz.

Doritos BOGO

Sweet Canteloupe BOGO

Coupon deals

Kraft Salad Dressing 16-oz. Selected varieties. 3/$5
Use $0.75/2 coupon from SS 6/22
Final Price $1.40

Hormel Marinated Pork Tenderloin 1.15 to 1.7-lb $5.50
Use coupon for $1.25/1 from 06-08 S
Final Price $4.75

05-18 S2 Mission Soft Taco Tortillas 10ct $1.50
Use coupon for $1.00/2 from or print from here (you will get it when printing the tabasco coupon)
Final Price $1.00

Morningstar Farms 5.25 to 16-oz $3.00
Use $0.75/1 from 05-04 RP (exp 6/29)
Final Price $2.25

Silk Soymilk 32 oz $3.99
Use $0.55/1 from 04-13 RP
Final Price $3.44

No new promos;) Hopefully there will be a big sale with July 4th just around the corner! Check out Albertson's (NW) for some good Kraft promos this week.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Homemaking I Go

More pictures from our backyard with the recent SUN we've had! Today, sadly is not sunny. But even so, today is a sunny day because I get to start my new ministry as a stay at home mom! Daniel started his new job as well at the local airport working on airplanes. This will be a new challenge/adventure for him. We are so thankful that he was able to stay home with our daughter as long as he did, but we are both ready for the the role reversal.

One of my goals for this summer is to stay on top of housework and to begin to get organized! Neither Daniel or I are good at putting everything in its place when we finish with it, so things that don't have a defined place in our house end up in little piles on countertops or on the couch. I want to keep that to a minimum by deciding on places for most things and committing to putting them back! It will take awhile to get into this new habit, but I think it will benefit our family in the long run, especially as our family expands (Lord willing).

Here is my to-do list for the day:
1) wash and dry 2 loads of laundry-one colored load, one diaper load. Hand out on the line if the weather looks promising
2)make breakfast batter for tomorrow. I am going to try the Sue Gregg blender batter I have heard so much about.
3)start back into the baby scrapbook. I have a huge bag of odds and ends that belong in a scrap book. I need to tackle this before it gets more overwhelming!
4)go through old emails and delete irrelevant ones (Daniel's request)
5)pay bills/send out thankyou notes

We'll see how far I get on all this since my mom and aunt are coming to stay with us for a few days and I will be meeting them at the ferry in a few hours! What's on your to-do list today?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu Plan for the Week of June 23rd 2008

I am so done with work! Last thursday was my last day. My mom and aunt are coming this week so I need to plan meals that make more food and things that will accomodate my mom, who is a fish eating vegetarian (not vegan).

Monday: Curry w/ rice frozen mixed veggies

Tuesday: Pasta with marinara sauce, meatballs (for us meat-eaters), salad and homemade french bread
Wednesday: Puerto Rican Rice and Pigeon Peas (from More with Less cookbook)

Thursday: Meatloaf and mashed taters (my mom will have headed home by this time)

Friday: Pizza and salad if there is any left

Saturday: Kielbasa dogs, baked beans (from a can;) and carrot/celery sticks (easy!)

Sunday: Tomato Soup and quesadillas

Breakfasts: Muffins, will make pancakes and eggs for our guests too

Lunches: Leftovers

Snacks: banana bread, cereal, granola (finally made some homeade)

Dessert: Leftover cake and icecream from fellowship group

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wal-Mart Deals and Steals

Notice Momma's little helper "rearranging" my purchases for me! She was having way too much fun inspecting my purchases to move her away completely, so some things are not pictured;)

I used a compilation of coupons from my mom's paper and printables for this transaction and was able to get about 1/2 of our groceries for the week (we pretty much always have a full pantry, so this is just what we need for certain recipes etc.)

2V8 Splash $1.98 each, used coupon for $1/2 (will not buy again...only 10% juice!?)
John Frieda Mousse (trial size...used $1 off coupon=free!)
Glucerna Snack Shake Used $10/1 coupon from diabetes website ($5.96...$4 overage!)
Nature Valley Pecan Granola Bars (clearance for $2 used $0.65/1 IP coupon)
Kotex $1 (tried to use coupon, but was the wrong one...will use correct $1 off next)
Sam's choice plastic wrap $2.88 (just something we needed)
GS Formula (friend gave us formula check $8..we keep for emergencies ($6.26...$1.74 overage!)
Bandaids $1.77 - $0.50 coupon
Powerade $0.60 - $0.75 coupon (overage!)
Folgers Cappucino (treat;) $3.76
Tomato Sauce X4 $0.46 each
Green Beans $0.40
Coconut Milk $1.00
Country Crock $2.08
Milk 2% $2.68
Dried Beans $.98 and $.82
Tillamook Cheese 2lbs $5.98
Purell Aloe 1.38-$1.00 coupon

Total $22.23
Thanks to Money Saving Mom and Freebies 4 Mom for the Wal-Mart Tips!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baby Socks and Swimsuits from Garage Sales $2!

Baby tights, socks and swimsuit all for $2 at a neighborhood garage sale this morning...whoo whoo! I left my name/# with the ladies at the sale so that they can contact me if they have good stuff left at the end and want to make a deal!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Little Miss E's first Picnic at the Park

We are blessed to live just blocks away from a beautiful park on the water. When the weather is nice, its gorgeous. This weekend we packed an impromtu dinner of egg salad sandwiches, fruit, and Kool-Aid in Miss E's (another nickname) stroller along with a big sheet and headed to the park. It was fun times. Unfortunately I am still a terrible photographer, but you get the idea;)

I love grass!

Well, maybe grass is a little weird.

Daniel looking pensive.

Mommy and the Little Missy enjoying the great outdoors.

Safeway NW Deals for June 18th-24th (or lack of)

Visit the Grocery Gathering to check out the deals for other stores!

Unfortunately, Safeway is not the hot deal mecca it has been in the past, at least not this week. Let me know if you do see some sweet deals that I've missed and I will gladly be proven wrong! Here's to hoping SW makes up for it next week!

Loss Leader Deals

Red or Green Grapes 10/$10

Organic Strawberries or Blueberries BOGO free

Rancher's Reserve Beef Chuck Steak $1.99/lb

Safeway Select Ice Cream BOGO

12 pack Pepsi or Coke B2G2 free (anyone know if the Hallmark deal is still on?)

Coupon Deals

Cheerios $1.88
Use coupon for $1.00/2 from 06-08 S
Final Price $1.38 each

John Morrell Natural Bistro Smoked Sausage 12oz BOGO $2.25
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 05-18 RP
Final Price $1.75

Red Baron Deep Dish Singles or Pan Pizza or Paninis $2.75
Use $0.75/1 coupon from 04-13 S
Final Price $2.00

Powerade $0.88
Use $0.75/1 coupon from ?? insert 2 weeks ago (not sure..just used that coupon at Wal-Mart-they have powderade for $.60, so I got overage for buying it!)
Final Price $0.13

Dairy Daily Promo: Buy 5 participating products, save $5 instantly. I don't have a complete list of the products, but the cheapest item I see listen is the Florida Natural OJ, which is $3. If you buy 5, it would end up being $2 apiece. Hopefully there are cheaper products participating...let me know if you've seen a list!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Refreshing Summer Drink Ideas

Here in the NW we finally have seen a few days of summer-like weather. With warmer weather I start to think about tasty summer beverages like iced coffee, sun tea, and smoothies (even green ones!)

Here is a tip to make iced coffee on the cheap using leftover coffee: pour any extra coffee after your morning pot is cooled into ice cube trays. Freeze. Fill your reused cup full of coffee cubes, then fill the rest of the way with milk and add flavor or chocolate as desired. Top with whip cream and add a straw for extra fun! I sometimes throw the coffee cubes in the blender with milk and chocolate to make a granita of sorts, and that is yummy too.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Menu Plan for the Week of 6/16/08

My last week of work...yeah! Hopefully I will get a little more creative with our menu plans after this week...but don't hold your breath;) I am into rather simple, inexpensive and nutritious meals that don't take more than 40 minutes to prepare. I would like to add some new ones to our rotation this summer though.

Monday: Make your own Mexi-Wraps: beans (soaking some tonight), ground beef, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa with taco chips on the side.

Tuesday: Leftover Chili (from freezer), corn muffins and wax beans

Wednesday: Italian Egg Scramble w/ diced grilled potatoes

Thursday: BBQ (hamburgers and Hotdogs) with youth group at the Lake Party

Friday: Pizza and Veggie Sticks

Saturday: Enchiladas (making several pans so I can freeze some for our fellowship group gathering on Sunday)

Sunday: Enchiladas, fruit and green salad, chips and brownies for fellowship group

Lunches: Leftovers

Snacks: smoothies, cereal

Dessert: Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake...yum!

Punker's First Hike

Daddy and Punker doing flips for hiking!

Little Hiker was SO excited during the hike. She wanted to touch and talk to everyone and everything on the trail. We forgot our Moby Wrap instruction book and have no baby hiker (or other functional carrier) so we hauled her halfway up the mountain in our arms. She squealed, kicked and bounced the whole way. We didn't make it very far though before our arms gave out:) By the way, does anyone know of any good baby carriers that are comfy and anyone can figure out how to put them on (the moby is great, but it always slips down so I think I do it wrong).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mommy and the Wee Aviator

Only 3 1/2 work days for me until full time SAHM status returns! Daniel starts his new job at the local airport the following week. Yesterday my boss took all the psychologists out to lunch at Anthony's (ooh la la...very very tasty business!) and we welcomed a new psych intern, congratulated the intern-turned-new-hire, mourned the loss of one of our psych's husband, and they said "goodbye" to me with a very funny pictoral presentation of my career. I wish I had the pics electronically, I cracked up the whole time. I have been blessed with an excellent boss and good co-workers. Although I am super excited to be a SAHM, I probably had the best experience I could have asked for working where I did.

Right now we are waiting on the first phase of application with Wycliffe (JAARS)to be complete, where they review Daniel's mechanical experience and decide whether to invite us to the maintenance evaluation in the fall. So we will be here at least that long, longer if we do not go with Wycliffe.

We are thinking of going hiking this afternoon and we are going to see Chronicles of Narnia for Father's day (with our Flicks For Free movie tickets!) weekend!

Another 5/$20 coupon from Walgreen's: the Deals and last week's Albies

At first glance this may not seem like a lot of stuff for our initial out of pocket total: $33.--. But the pictures alone (we got 100 4X6 prints) were $15 and everything else (except milk and bacon bits) are FAR items, so our total after the rebates come in will be less than $10! So buy using 2 $5/$20 coupons (1 each for my husband and I) we were able to essentially get the milk and bacon bits free (a last minute filler) and a good discount on the pictures! If I would have been thinking I would have checked for a balance on the WAG giftcard, but I forgot and used debit.

So here's the list of what we got:

Daniel's transaction
100 Pictures $15.00
Calcium Creamies (one can never get enough calcium, right? $5.99 FAR)
Used $5/$20 coupon, total after coupon and tax $17.37
Will receive over $6 in rebates!

Rachael's transaction:
Walgreen's replacement filter ($6.99, but FAR)
Fancy Schmancy Vitamins ($9.99 but FAR)
Milk $2.69
Bacon Bits $1.19
Used $5/$20 coupon, total after coupon and tax $16.89
Will recieve over $17 back in rebates!

Albertson's: I don't have a picture for this, but last week when just picking up a few needed items on sale such as applesauce and brown rice at Albies I notice the brown rice rang up wrong. I asked the checker to double check the price and she confirmed that I was correct and gave me the rice for free! That's $2.00 by asking...yeah! My receipt also printed another survey to get free frenchbread--free is always good;)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Safeway Gas

With gas prices reaching a level of craziness, (the Albertson's gas station I usually go to was $4.30 a gallon for regular!) it is finally worth it to make an effort to get the discount that Safeway offers on their gas. The $0.03/gallon is nice, but not worth it for a special trip (for us). It made sense to look at combining 2 weeks of grocery shopping this past week then to get the $0.10/gallon discount which only applies when you spend $50 or more in one trip. After that discount, we ended up paying $0.16 less than the Albertson's gas prices! We are also checking out alternative ways for Daniel to get to his new job (at our local airport) such as carpooling or riding his bike some of the time. For this week's Safeway Deals, visit here.

Visit Crystal for more frugal ideas!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Safeway NW Deals for the Week of 6/11-6/17/08

Over at BeCentsAble you can find tons more store's sweet deals!

From HotCouponWorld: The bumble bee chicken fillets are on sale for 1.79 until 6-15.
There are $1 blinkies out there and also a $1 peelie found on the minute rice brown rice boxes at sfwy. If you buy 2 you get a 1.50 cat. You can roll these cats! I found the rice peelies at 2 stores.

Good Deals (No Coupon Needed)

Safeway Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Thighs $1.99/lb

Whole Gold Pineapple $2.99 each

Whole or Sliced Mushrooms BOGO

12 Pack Pepsi (not as good as last week's coke deal) Buy2 Get 2 free plus get 5 pepsistuff points at checkout

Save $10 instantly on your Father's Day cookout: Spend $20 on Rancher's reserve beef plus buy 4 participating items (such as watermelon $4.99) get $10 off your order at checkout. If the Hallmark buy 3 cards get pepsi free deal is still going on you could potentially buy 6 cards, (for $6 if you can find cheap cards!) and get 4 fridgepacks free!

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars Buy 2 Get 3 Free

Coupon Deals

Nalley Pickles 46oz BOGO $2.20
Use $1.00/2 coupon from 05-18 S2
Final Price $1.20

Ocean Spray Cranergy 46-oz. or 4/12-oz $2.99
Use $1.00/1 coupon from 05-04 RP
Final Price $1.99

From Angela: V8 Splash is currently offering a $2.00 off coupon at: Last week Safeway had these on sale for $2.99, not sure if they still are.

I will get the coupon deals up soon...any that you see?