Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Freezer-filling day!

I have been trying so hard to make things easier on myself and my husband to eat from home and healthier. Tyler is a lot less picky now! Somehow, he has put aside his previous view of some foods and will just eat it while saying "Man, this is good". I'm proud of him and shocked!

So today I made some Brown Bag Burritos that I had read about over here. (The recipe is here) You supposedly can easily take them out of the foil and heat them in the microwave. I ate some just now fresh for lunch......oooohhhh were they yummy! I hope he likes them, I think he will. If not, I only halved the recipe so I'm sure Garyn and I will eat them pretty fast. It made 11; 9 to freeze, 2 for lunch. (Refried beans is a new food to Tyler)

I also did some ingredients to freeze instead of a whole meal. Onions are normally left out of any recipe we make, but not anymore!! Tyler will eat them now. He said "You really can't taste them." I wanted to slap him! I have watched him pick at his food for so long telling him if he just try it he wouldn't taste them! So I cut up some onions before they went bad and froze them. I also boiled rice (extra from the below recipe) and bagged it. (Got that idea from www.moneysavingmom.com, too.)

Then I made my Mexican Chicken Casserole. I split it into 2 meals.
Last but not least, I did some freezer cooking last week when I made pancakes. I made a second batch while we had the grill out and everything. We have already been eating on them. You really can't tell they were frozen! This is another thing Tyler can pull out of the fridge easily. Garyn wants pancakes every morning! He doesn't get them but he still asks for them. Having them frozen to heat up quickly is great.

Overall, it was a successful day. I really only work for a couple hours and then I'm tired of cooking. Maybe one day I'll have a full table and my dream!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting the goals done!

Its almost April! Wow! I hate March has gone by so fast, but I love looking over the goals to see where I end up. I also like making a fresh list for the next month. The little excitements of my life!

Here are some pics from today:

Maddox playing while the boys were painting. He kept wanting to put the hat in his mouth so I put it on his head......
As you can tell, Braxton and Maddox were over and we decided to paint. Remember I had that as a goal....well I couldn't really manage with Maddox painting outside so we painted inside and with friends! Garyn also helped me paint the cabinet door outside the other day, therefore we technically did paint outside! {I know, only I am keeping up with the rules...lol}

They really enjoyed it and wanted to mix colors to make new ones. It wasn't too messy either, surprisingly.

Tomorrow is freezer cooking day!

I've got other goals I am finishing up here at the last minute! You will have to wait and see them in a couple days, though.

Meals for this week are:

Monday: Grilled chicken, bow tie pasta, and some type of veggie

Tuesday: breakfast- Tyler's favorite!- biscuit, eggs, sausage, & gravy

Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Thursday: Possible meal out/ barbecue chicken potatoes

Friday: Hamburgers/Hot dogs and sweet potato fries

Saturday: Family Easter dinner (I believe)
Tyler and I did really good last week eating off our meal plan. I did feel more at ease having it decided already, but had a since of flexibilty, as well. Maybe this week we'll be successful, too!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

yUmMy YumMy

We have been having some new recipes and yumminess this week. We have ate at home every night since Sunday! The only slip ups have been that Tyler and I went to eat lunch on Tuesday at Zaxby's while Garyn was in Mother's Day out. He had just enough time while out on an errand to eat so we took advantage of it. Otherwise, we have stayed on our meal plan except for we didn't have hot dogs because Tyler wanted breakfast for dinner.....

I tried these blueberry pancakes that I kept seeing on moneysavingmom. They were so good! I didn't use whole wheat flour so they weren't quite as healthy. I used frozen blueberries, too, instead of fresh. Tyler didn't want blueberries in his, but loved them plain! You should try them.

On Sunday, we had our barbecue potato skins. They were so good! There is really no recipe out there for these so I was worried a little. I always seem to mess up the easiest of things, but not these guys......
I used left over Pot Roast meat that I just shredded and covered with barbecue sauce earlier in the day. Then prepared the potatoes as you would for twice baked potatoes. Layer them up with cheese and put back into oven for a little bit. Topped them off with sour cream then devoured! Baked beans went well with them, too. Garyn ate them like it was candy, which surprised me because he normally doesn't like potatoes. We can judge how much he likes something by whether or not he feeds himself. If he hates it, he won't eat it unless you force him to, and sometimes not even then. If he kinda likes it, he will eat it when you feed it to him. If he loves it, he feeds himself!

I made the Pork Tenderloin and wasn't that happy with it. It was simple, but the marination that came on it wasn't very flavorful. We ate it, though, I just won't be buying that type again. Then, I also made Lasagna for the first time. It was yummy, but messy to assemble. Didn't look like a pretty rectangle! I guess I need a rectangular pan to put it in, although that wasn't what the recipe called for. Anyhow, there is no picture. Garyn feed himself the Lasagna so it will be back!
I get the night off, though, cause we are heading over to these guys house. We will have our Baja Chicken Tacos tomorrow night before I head out to work. Then Saturday is date night!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mud and Bargains....

This post is random....you might have wondered "what do mud and bargains have to do with each other?"

Well I must say, nothing except that they are my news for the day and will be linked by this post now... :)

We had another mud incident....
"What had happened was.." (Tyler's famous saying) we were at a RB baseball game for about 20 minutes when the Cobbles showed up. We were excited to see them. We all but got to talking, when Kenny and Tyler decide the boys can go down to the grassy area next to the bleachers. I was a little leery, but wanted to keep talking. Not 5 minutes later, Garyn comes walking up the steps looking like this:
He was saying: "Look Momma.....Look at all this....stuff (pointing to his shoe)"I was a little stunned but couldn't help but laugh. Of course, the Cobble boys come walking up the steps without a speck on them! Leave it to my son to find the mud hole. If you can't tell, it is from his waist to his shoes. It was also on his hands and jacket. Deciding there was really no way to salvage him, we headed out stopping by the bathroom to clean him up a little.
As we were walking out, Tyler is still watching the game and ignoring were he is going. I tried to yell at him but he walked strait into a mud hole. Again, notice the difference in the shoes. These men of mine....can't keep 'em clean.

Lately, I am getting more and more questions about my grocery shopping and just how I get everything for $60 give or take each week. It isn't rocket science and is just a change of technique more or less. So I am posting the details for those of you who wonder........

First of all, it looks like a mess and hard to see what all is in there so I'm breaking-it-down-for-ya:


Flintstones Gummy vitamins- sale price $5.16+ $1 off coupon= $4.16 (orig. $6.88)
3 Shave gels- sale price $2 + (3)55 cents off coupons= $0.90 ea (orig. $3.29 ea)

4 Blue Bonnet stick butters- sale price $0.50 ea (orig. $0.99 ea)

Stony Field 4 pack yogurt- sale price $2 + $1 off coupon printed= $1 (orig. $2.??)

Southern Home milk- 2 gallons $2.88 each

Tennessee Pride Sausage- sale price $1.99 (orig $3.49)

Kibbles and Bits 17.5 lb bag-$12.99+ $1.50 off bilo printed coupon= $ 11.49 (not pictured)

Newspaper- $0.50 for penny item coupon and has a coupon insert

Total $32.41, $17.25 savings- $6.80 from coupons
note: I wasn't real happy with this trip, but I bought things I needed without necessarily having coupons


Strawberries- sale 2/$4+ $1 coupon when you buy Cool Whip, on pkg. +$1.75 off when you buy sara lee pound cake-publix coupon = negative $0.75

Sara Lee Pound cake- sale price $1.89 + $1 printed coupon=$0.89

Kraft shredded mozzarella- sale price $1.67 (orig. $2.99)

Fresh express salad- sale price $1.99

2 Birds Eye frozen veggies- sale price (50% off) $0.89+ $1/4 printed coupon= $0.64 ea

2 Birds Eye frozen veggies- sale price (50% off) $1.19 + $1/4 from above= $0.94 ea
Sorrento ricotta cheese 32 oz- sale price $3.00- for my Lasagna

Avocado- $1.49 - for my Baja Chicken Tacos

Baby carrots- sale price $1.29 (orig. $1.69)

2 Lysol sprays- B1G1 sale price $1.34 ea + (2) $0.50 off coupons= $0.34-35 each

Log Cabin Syrup- sale price $1.75 + $1.00 off coupon (All You magazine)

Breakstone sour cream- sale price $0.99 + $0.60 off printed coupon= $0.39 (orig. $1.85)

2 I can't believe its not butter tubs- sale price $1.29 + (2) $0.50 off coupon + $0.75/2 publix coupon = negative $0.16!

Cool Whip- sale price $0.99

Publix Ceasar salad drsg. - Penny item, clipped coupon from paper

Total- $17.33!! $33.73 savings $13.09 were coupons alone

Food Lion:

Natures Own bread- sale price 2/$3 + $0.75 off printed coupon= $0.75

Hamburger meat- $1.88 a lb., bought $6.61 package

Total: $7.96

So I spent $ 57.70 and have my weeks worth of groceries plus some...

I use http://www.southernsavers.com/ and http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ mostly for my list and coupons. Each week southern savers posts a new list for the stores and includes the coupons available. I just click the items I want and then pull the coupons out of my binder. I do print some; sometimes its while I am making the list but mostly I check the above sites a couple times a week to see what good coupons have popped up and print them then. I do take my binder into the store but already have all the coupons pulled out. Every once in a while I find something else I want or decide to get more of an item and then will need my binder.

It takes time to stock pile until you only buy the sale items plus dairy and produce. For instance, I don't need 4 things of stick butter, but I freeze it. Nor do I need 2 Lysol sprays, but I may before it goes on sale again. The coupon clipping is time consuming, but totally worth it to me. Would love to help you save some money if you have any questions! See you can do this!

(sorry so long and detailed for those of you who care nothing about coupons)
Tomorrow will be about our dinners...having lots of yummy food!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meals for next week

So I am going to meal plan for the first time!
The funny part is that Tyler initiated it....we came up with it together

Sunday- Bar-B-Que potato skins and baked beans { I am using some pot roast meat from last week, attempting to replicate the Sticky skins from Sticky Fingers}
Monday- Hot dogs and chili
Tuesday- Pork Lion, peas and new potatoes {first time making Pork Lion}
Wednesday- Baja Chicken Tacos, rice and beans
Thursday- Lasagna and salad {first time making, unsure of recipe}
Friday-left overs or frozen dinner
Saturday- Eating out

Otherwise, we have been enjoying this beautiful weather this weekend. Tyler got a lot of yard work done today and I got the cabinet door painted finally! Will post pics when it is installed.....

Garyn is talking so much and beginning to say funny things; here is the latest:
1) Just today, we were in Home Depot in the bathroom, I gave Garyn the option to stand or sit. He stood up to pee. Then I said, "Stand over here while momma pees". He said. "Momma, you wanna stand up to pee?" I couldn't help but laugh, and said "No momma can't stand"

2) In the car one day, we turned onto no-particular road, and he said "Oh, look momma, its so beautiful, I love it!" Not sure what he was referring to, he is real expressive and imaginative about silly things.

He also has been doing some funny things.......
He has discovered deodorant, and has put Tyler's on several times. He puts it on his side put under his arm. Cracks me up! He always does it when I am getting ready, and says "Garyn put some on, Momma?"

So we are just loving this time together. He is hilarious.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Frustration yet happiness

Frustration and happiness have been coinciding in my mind here lately....let me explain....

Frustrated that Garyn will not poop in the potty!
Happy to know this too shall pass...

Frustrated that some things do not happen when we want....
Happy to know there is hope for everything

Frustrated that DIY projects aren't happening around here...
Happy that I get to go to Honduras this summer!!!

Frustrated that things keep going wrong with our cars....
Happy that I have my car back after 3 months without it!!

Frustrated that Garyn will not stay in his bed at night...
Happy that he loves us soo much ;)

Frustrated that the weather goes back and forth.....
Happy that it is 64 degrees out today

Frustrated that my house is a disaster!
Happy that no one else really cares :)

Can you relate??

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dinner and Birthday

My brother had a birthday this past weekend and they came up to celebrate at Ichiban. Garyn had never been there and was entertained.....
He got a little scared at the first big fire, but then he kept saying " Momma, whats he doin?" "Is he being silly, Momma?" We really enjoyed the visit with them, as always. The last few years, we haven't really celebrated the "adult" birthdays, sounds weird saying that, but you know what I mean......
While he and Tyler played golf that afternoon, we decided to make him a cake last minute. Here is Karen stirring it up!

Somehow, the three of us (Karen, Lorna and myself), messed it up terribly. Karen put it on the bottom rack and I didn't think about it much until it burned. Although, we salvaged it some and it turned out pretty good, but wasn't pretty at all! So no picture was taken.
Garyn loves when "Lornie" and Lakelin come. He has asked everyday since Sunday where they are. He even called Lakelin once. I love that he loves them so, I want to see them as much as possible to keep them close.
Here is a new recipe I tried this week. It was really simple, but I have never made buffalo sliders, so its counting!

Got the recipe from Publix:

Black'nd Blue Buffalo Chicken Sliders-

6 chicken tenders
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 cup blue cheese salad dressing
2 tbls light mayo
2 tsps blackening seasoning
12 bakery dinner rolls (sliced)

1.Preheat oven to 425, cut tenders in half, then bake for 10-12 min. or until done
2. Toss hot chicken with wing sauce. Combine salad drsg, mayo, and seasoning
3. Spread the drsg mix on each bun then place chicken in.

Pretty simple! We actually didn't do the blue cheese, Tyler and I don't really like it so we used ranch instead. Fries were the Ore Ida frozen. I liked this simple dinner! It was easy to adjust to Garyn, we just didn't put the wing sauce on.

Another yummy, new recipe from Publix:

Baja Chicken Tacos-

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (about 4)
1 avocado
sour cream
8 corn tortillas or taco shells
1 8 oz can pineapple
1/4 cup diced canned tomatoes
1/4 cup mild salsa

1. Preheat oven to 350, bake taco shells 8-10 min
2.Preheat grill pan, season chicken with taco seasoning then cook in grill pan
3. Slice avocado thinly
4. cut chicken into small pieces, combine with pineapple. Fill taco shells with chicken, avocado, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa

**These were super yummy and pretty easy, I cut my chicken prior to cooking and we used tortillas to do a roll up as well as the hard shells.

Then the chicken enchiladas from this post:
12 flour tortillas
1 rotissere chicken (about 4 chicken breasts if you'd rather)
1/4 sweet onion
1 bellpepper
mushrooms and squash for veggies if desired
garlic olive oil
chili powder
1/2 bar cream cheese
1 c. shredded cheese
Jalapenos to taste

1. Saute onion and bellpepper (and veggies if desired) with 2 Tabl. garlic olive oil and a healthy dose of chili powder.
2.When onions brown, add chicken.
3.Once hot, melt in cream cheese and 1/2 cup of salsa.
4. Roll mixture into flour tortillas
5. Place in greased 8x8 baking dish
6. Top with shredded cheese and jalapenos.
7. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min
8.Serve with salsa

Roasted Corn-
1/2 bag frozen corn
garlic olive oil
salt & pepper

Spread out corn in shallow baking dish. Pour garlic olive oul over corn (maybe 1/4 cup??) Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 20 min, stirring every 5 min or until golden brown.
I love this and made it with the Baja Tacos, very good! Thanks Meg!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Orphanage Emmanuel

Orphanage Emmanuel of Guaimaca, Honduras has captured both Tyler and I's heart on first site. Tyler was there for a week and came back a slightly different person, I must say. He said several times that words couldn't describe the Orphanage and its beauty. God is truly at work there.

Just a little background on the Orphanage.......

It was started by a couple who felt called by God to go to Honduras on mission. Once there, God showed them His plan for them to help the children there. Through translation mishaps, they bought a 1,000 acre farm for the same amount as the 80 acres they had intended to buy. The land had 2 buildings and they began with 5 children; that was in 1989. Now they have 408 children and 15+ buildings. The children attend church and school on the grounds. The outside community is not very safe and is poor, to say the least. Guards are positioned outside the orphanage walls and also around banks and stores in the town. Picture below is of the market on the dirt streets of Guaimaca.

All of the buildings that have been added on the Orphanage have mostly been done by volunteers. Our church has been going for 13-14 years, and one of our members is on the board for the orphanage. Our church and surrounding ones sent groups over a period of 3 weeks to build 4 new staff houses this year. Tyler worked with our Sunday School teacher, Carter, on connecting power lines to them. Carter is a Linesman per trade. Tyler and others helped him, on the ground thankfully, to do the job. These pics are of Tyler getting a lesson on how to climb, he only went 7-8 feet up this one time. I was very relieved!

Carter up a pole...

The children are there for all different reasons. The orphanage tries to bring them out of their tragic background through God's promises and love. The kids have group time with their house mates each day which includes a devotion/ prayer time. Then on Fridays, they have "big circle" which is what you see below. While he was there, he saw 20 kids baptized!

The children are grouped with their age and sex. Here are the boys after their bath before bed. They LOVE to have their picture made, according to Tyler, and then see themselves in the camera.

They don't get candy much, so when Tyler started passing at candy one day, they just flocked to him.

These two girls, Rosa and Korina, latched on to him. We are going to sponsor them both, because Tyler (or Tylo as they say) became attached to them, as well. Sponsoring includes a monthly payment to help pay for the expenses of feeding/clothing them and then you are encouraged to keep in touch and send them little gifts as you want. All the children get the same treatment outside of recieving gifts/letters even if they aren't sponsered, but having a sponsor gives them someone to form a relationship with outside the Orphanage.

The orphanage has 2 deep wells for clean water......

This is a pic of the slaughter house where the orphanage processes and stores their own meat. They have cows, chickens and pigs that are raised on the farm. One of the staff members, that lives on the farm now after coming there on a mission trip, graduated with an agriculture degree. They also consume milk from the cows (that they process first) and eggs from the chickens. It helps them with their costs, not to mention the limited sanitary food in the town. Tyler saw the meat market which is a little open air room with meat hanging from hooks on the ceiling.

They also have some green houses where they grow some basic veggies and ornamental flowers to sell and use aroung the grounds of the orphanage.
Here is one of the 4 houses built mailnly by volunteers. Honduran construction workers laid the foundation and brick, the rest was finished in the 3 weeks the church groups were there.

Tyler went into town one day and bought a snack. A drink and chips were only like 50 cents. But that wasn't as shocking as when they didn't let him have the drink bottle. They pour your drink into a plastic bag and stick a straw in it! The price for the bottles is too high for them to give them to you, its like a recycling thing or something.

You can tell this playground has been built by some Chattanoogans.......

Laundry area for the girls house......

Basic pic of some of the buildings.....

Tyler loved his trip. He felt he was able to talk to God constantly and see His work. We will definitely be back!! We may even go this summer! There were over 180 pics that Tyler took, if you are interested in seeing more just let me know, or you can go here and see a lot more about Orphanage Emmanuel.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March Goals

Finally, right?! Our Internet wasn't working this weekend and we had family here so just now getting to it. BUT I have already been working on my goals for this month!

Have dinner with friends we don't usually see. This was so good last month to do and I want to make it a habit to keep in touch with good friends!
Take Garyn to the park and fly a kite

Do Garyn's toy bin labels left over from last month
Do the coasters, also left over!
Do an outside painting activity with Garyn

Work on basement, a lot!! We have big plans for it and gotta get moving on it!!
Continue getting items ready for consignment sale, its this month!

Eat at home 4x a week!
Make at least 1 new recipe a week, love this challenge cause its yummy and a nice change
Do another freezer day!

Walk 2 times a week on our street...I WILL, I WILL ;)
Continue to eat veggies 2x a day
Support Tyler while he is working out and running { I tend to get jealous and selfishly want him to come home and be with us, he doesn't need that}

Financial: (new one!)
Save $$ for our many trips we have coming up....will explain on another post, exciting indeed!
Also, save $$ for some home improvements
{My main goal is to cut our spending on extra things we don't really need or can do without in order to save for the important things}

Continue to do one deep clean a week, such as cleaning the fridge out, cleaning the closets, cleaning under the couches/beds, etc.

Hope you, too, are setting some goals. The accountability of writing/typing has been great for me! You should try it :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

February Completed Goals

Tyler is home! And I can't wait to post on Honduras but for now.......
I think my completed goals is less than uncompleted....sad I know. I wasn't as motivated this month, there were only 28 days to complete them, Garyn and I had been sick with head colds at least half the month, and Tyler was gone for a full week.......yeah, I am making excuses. BUT March is a new start!

Here is what I got completed.....


We had a small game night....I am counting it, though! The Cobbles came over for dinner and we played Rook while the boys played. It was great!

We had 2 dates, one was Valentine's weekend which was our 11th Valentines together!

We ate out with Haylee and Nick whom we hadn't done anything with in 2-3 yrs! Haylee worked with me at The Big Much for a long time and I saw her almost daily so I have missed her! It was great to catch up with them!


(Didn't do any of these!! Yikes! )


Worked downstairs and have a pile that will be sold in the consignment sale for March!


Did a deep clean each week!

I cleaned out both fridges (we have one in our basement), Cleaned under the couches and beds again, got Garyn's short sleeve shirts that don't fit boxed up and got out the ones for this coming season, and I cleaned out Garyn's toys and bins (in preparation for labeling them)


I have done new recipes! One was a wonderful Enchilada and mexican corn recipe (see above) from my friend that was given to me inside a handmade cookbook for a wedding gift! Thanks, Meg! ( I will post the recipe for you, sorry)

I had a freezer day!! Yea!!


Garyn and I ate 2 veggies a day except for maybe 3 or 4 days! I have gotten Garyn used to eating baby carrots at lunch, he has to eat them before he can have chips or juice! Tyler has eaten many more veggies, but I can't guarantee it was 2 a day. In Honduras, he started eating tomatoes and he eats his peas well when I make them!

Once again, I didn't workout! Tyler has been faithful to exercising, though, can that count? I have given him the time and support! I want to workout but just can't find the time to do it! The only time I have without Garyn is when I am at work and maybe 3 hours at night when Tyler is home. During that time, we eat and hang out. Its just too much for me to leave to go workout when Tyler has just gotten home.....ugh, I guess I'll do it when I am more motivated.

Well, Garyn just woke up and its almost dinner time so I will post my March goals tomorrow!


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