Thursday, August 30, 2012

At the bay

I live in walking distance (like 5 min. walk) to this bay. We went there yesterday.

              This is Ava and I being silly. She is a really awesome girl. I love her so much.
This is Josh. He is so handsome. Nice smile too.
                                                    Ava and Josh playing in the sand.
                                                             This is me, taken by me.
                                                              Ava again. She is so pretty.

                                                           It was a nice day down at the bay.
                                     (Jason was there too, but he hates to have his picture taken.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Budget update

Yesterday I paid my Aug. tax bill. It was the last day to pay and not avoid the late fee. So now I am actually caught up on my taxes. This means I am actually all caught up on May and June bills. Yeah.

Now I need to catch up on:
$100 water bill (two months)
$160 electric bill (two months)
$160 phone/internet/cable (two months)
$60 sewer (one month)

Other debt:
$220 Kohl's charge
$1,000 credit card (yes this has gone up)

So I am about $1,700 in debt.

I also have a $2,000 house insurance bill due in Nov. that I will need to pay.

Any other money I get this month (about $400) will go to pay my mortgage for Sept. 1st.

How are your finances?


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Lately I am just stuck. Not sure of where I am going, not really wanting to get there anyway. I am doing lots of relaxing, and sleeping, and thinking. I am thinking about my past choices and those I make today. I am what ifing so many things in my head. I am also romanticizing those choices as well.

I am also desiring to have a peaceful, loving, safe home. I am not sure where it went awry and why it is not like that, but it is not. Sometimes I don't even want to be here. Other times I turn a blind eye so that I don't have to deal with it. Certainly not the mature, responsible thing to do.

Some days I cry out in prayer and angst that I am not really doing His will at all.

I really do want to do His will. I really want to be a better person. But right now I am stuck in my own head and selfish ways. I have been here before. Too many times. And each and every time, I have chosen my way. Let me tell you that HAS NOT WORKED! I think it is time to really choose His ways.

Please join me in prayer regarding this.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Trying this out

You will notice for the first time I have an ad on my blog. Every time someone clicks on it (no purchase necessary) I get 1 penny. But they do not pay out until I have $100.00 or 10,000 clicks. So every time you read a post would you please click the above ad first. Thanks so much.


Let there be Meat

In my previous post about my $300 a month food budget I gather you figured we do not eat a lot of meat because it is costly.

I just got a huge blessing though. Today I went to to Stop & Shop to get organic apples and milk. But I found in their natural (no hormones or stuff added, and meat feed a more natural diet, but not certified organic) meat section packages of chicken on sale 4 big pieces for about $1.50, with a .50 cent off coupon because they were expiring soon (no big deal, they just went in my freezer.) I bought all 5. So we will have 4 pieces chicken for only $1.00 (.25 cents each.) In the same natural section they had packages of 4 turkey burgers for $4.49 with a $2.00 off sticker on each, making them $2.49 for 4 burgers or .63 cents each. I also got two small steaks on sale for $4.26 with a $2.00 off coupon, making it $2.26 or $1.13 per steak. (I can stretch to make the two pieces into a meal for all 3 of us.)

So I got 11 packages meat (for 11 meals) for $19.71. Average of $1.80 per meal. Since my lunch budget is $3 and my dinner budget is $4.00, that gives me $1.20 or $2.20 worth of veggies and starches to add to lunch and dinner.

I also will stretch by making broth with soup first, and using left over veggies and rice to make soup for another few meals. I also use the broth to make rice instead of using just water to cook it in.

For $94.74 I have almost enough food for the entire week (with a few things I had at home as well.)
 I just have to still get Jason's soy and corn free bread ($4.00 a loaf) and some more fruit.

I got organic soy and corn free granola bars on sale. The boys can each have one a day. I also got fruit bars that are nothing but dehydrated fruit for snacks (also on sale.)

I got a gallon organic milk (not on sale almost $6 a gallon) and Jason's soy, corn, and gluten free cereal (2 boxes, also on sale.) I got Josh cereal too (2 boxes for $2 on sale and with coupon.) I also got a dozen cage free organic eggs (not on sale, regular price at $4.00, but eggs we notice the cage free organic ones taste better.)

I needed olive oil (that and butter is all we use.) The organic jar was on sale for $6.99, but the same brand non organic was $3.99. I bought 2 of the non organic. Almost double in price for organic was just too high. That oil will last a month.

I also got 2 gallons white vinegar (not on sale, but only $5 for both gallons.) These are for cooking and I use to clean and as fabric softener. This will last all month.

I got 2 bottles organic, corn syrup free ketchup (on sale for 2 for $3.00.) I also got a jar of sofrito to make rice and beans with.

I only went into to the store for the organic milk and organic apples. But I could not pass up these deals, plus I needed to food shop for week anyway. I did get those apples. 14 organic apples (1 each a day for the boys) for $16.42. The most expensive thing on my list. But worth it. My boys love apples and they will each now get 1 per day.

You may be asking why does someone with only $300 a month buy anything organic at all. If I could I would buy all organic because GMO's scare me. Also organic has no chemicals which are gross. Plus some studies show organic stuff actually has more nutrients than non organic stuff.

Since I can not afford all organic, I still get a few things organic because these are the things that we really notice taste better: milk (which was $5 something a gallon regular, I paid almost $6, a small difference), eggs (which were about $1.50 more for the cage free organic ones, so much tastier though), and apples (about $1.00 more per pound, but again we now hate the chemical taste of non organic.)

The ketchup I got organic, but mostly because it is corn syrup free. Plus it was 2 for $3.00, which is same price as other ketchup's. The granola bars I bought because they are also corn and soy free.

I was just so excited about the deals I got that I had to come home and blog about it.

And God said, "Let there be meat" (just kidding He didn't actually say that to me, but I see these deals as a blessing from Him.)

What awesome deals have you gotten lately?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My $300 a month food budget

We have about $300 a month for food. It is not much with two growing boys (especially with their food allergies and sensitivities.)

$300 a month is $10 a day or $2 for breakfast, $3 for lunch, $4 for dinner, and $1 a day for snacks.

An example of this:
scrambled eggs (2 each, total 6) $1.00 (at $2 a dozen)
apple slices $.50 (1 large apple sliced, half for each boy, I go without) *
toast $.50 (homemade gluten free bread)

homemade rice and beans $1.00
raw broccoli $1.00

baked potatoes $1.50 (includes sour cream and cheddar)
grilled zucchini $ .50
spinach salad with croutons $2.50 (spinach, tomato, cucumber, croutons, and dressing ingredients)

homemade gluten free peach muffins $2.00 (total cost of batch was about $8 with gluten free flour, eggs, butter, and peaches used, but that will last 4 days)

In this scenario, I spent less on lunch, but more on snacks. This also assumes I have staples like sugar, and spices already in house. Also these are non organic prices. I try to buy some items organic, but find it very difficult.

Thankfully I have family and friends who give us leftovers and produce and such to help supplement.

That way I can have a meal like tacos (Jason's favorite)
$3.00 1 pound ground beef
$1.00 tortillas
$1.00 sour cream
$ .50 salsa
$ .50 cheddar
$ .50 beans (to stretch the meat)
$ .50 lettuce / tomatoes

Strange how a $7.00 dinner is luxury.

How much is your food budget? What low cost, healthy meals do you serve?


* apples are one of the things I still buy only organic as we can taste a difference in the non organic ones, so in reality 1 organic apple is about $1.00, but I used non organic prices for above scenario.

Monday, August 13, 2012

This photo was taken by my awesome friend, Joanna. I was in this very spot here today and tried to get my own shots, but only had my cell phone camera. This is an amazing spot overlooking the reservoir. This is on the trail that I now walk barefoot, every Mon. while Josh is at art class. Because it feels so nice. Last week is was so wet and muddy. I was giddy for it all.

Today I walked to this very spot and I just sat there to soak all the beauty in. It made me want to cry it was so beautiful. It also made me want to write. I didn't have a pen or paper so instead I thought and prayed and listened. The listening part is really hard. Even alone in the quiet of the woods my thoughts cloud out what God may be saying to me. But I did hear some from Him. I heard Him in the birds songs. I also felt Him there as well. I felt him in the shade of the trees. I even saw Him in the beauty of the trees. I also felt Him send His love with a beautiful lingering butterfly. It was all so amazing.

It also made me think about who I am...
daughter of the King
my mother's daughter
a niece
a cousin
a mother
a sister
an aunt
a friend
a teacher
a steward of the Earth

It made me think about what I enjoy...
the woods
the trees
lazy mornings
taking pictures
scrap booking
coming up with recipes with whatever we have
when those recipes taste yummy
using things up (with out wasting)
having enough
a dip in in a cool pool or ocean or lake

It made me think about some things I would like to do...
learn to make pottery
learn to play guitar
go to and hike down the Grand Canyon
be able to run and love it

I also had time to reflect on who and what I am not; and how I can be better at my current roles.

It was an amazing walk in the woods with the Lord.
How did you spend your time with Him today?



Josh and I just watched this movie. I was hesitant to watch it. I want to support Christian films that value family; however the topic of the movie is a hard one for me. I grew up without my biological father, as I have shared here before. And now my boys are growing up without their father's as well. This makes my heart ache. I still bear the emotional scars of longing for my father's love as a child. Even today at 32 years old I sometimes long for it. I know that I can not blame not having my dad on my adult choices, and I need to make the right ones irregardless of my past, but that doesn't erase all the pain.

It hurts a young girl to not really know she is loved by her dad. It hurts forever. I am so thankful that today I know I am a daughter of the King. His love heals so much and carries me through each day.

That all being said, if you are a parent right now you can choose not to cause your children that pain. Start by watching this movie, pray, and seek His will for your parenting.

You can also check out this website for some study guides to go along with this movie.


the Help

I just finished this book last night. I started it Sat. and could barely out it down, but I am like that with almost any book I read. The writing is done well. I really felt like I was watching these interactions and conversations.

This book added to my recent thoughts about my jobs. I watch children and clean homes. But I am personally involved in all of these situations. I talk with all the families as friends. Recently I was talking with a friend about her ex boss's thoughts on the cleaning service. Basically his view is they are to be neither seen or heard, just do their job and be gone. Makes me wonder if I cross the line with my jobs. But I genuinely care for these families and their homes. I think they care about me too.

I do get that all work relationships do not have to be personal. But I don't think people in jobs such as cleaning are less of people. We are all people. We are all created by God in His image. He loves us all the same, and gives us all the same opportunity to love Him as well.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
What else are you reading this summer?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great giveaway

                              A fellow blogger is having and awesome contest. Check it out here.