Friday, January 29, 2010


How's it going? Well, let's see...

Eating Out of the Pantry Challenge: It's been...well, challenging. But, it feels really good to be saving so much money and to be eating what we already have.

At the beginning of the challenge, I thought we'd make it maybe 2 weeks before having to do some serious grocery shopping, but I was so wrong! In fact, now we're almost at the end of 4 weeks and I bet I still have enough food to last us another month! I had no clue we had so much food on-hand!

For me, one aspect that has been hard in this challenge is a bit on the mental side. Watching the pantry and fridge empty makes me feel like we're running out of food and makes me want to run to the store. But I know that a lot of this food we're using up would just sit and sit and eventually have to be thrown away because I'd either put off using it because I'd be buying different flavors that we use more often or staples for my "usual" recipes. Instead, I'm using items I don't typically use...and we're enjoying the adventure!

The other challenging part has been eating all my ready-made boxed dinners. I had more than I knew! First, I just enjoy cooking from scratch, so boxed dinners just aren't as fun. But also, I like having some on hand "just in case". Obviously I've had these dinners for a loooong time, so there hasn't been a "just in case" yet, so I'm not sure what I've been expecting, but again, it's just mental comfort. I'll keep a few for the future, but we're trying to eat through the majority of them now.

Pink Eye: Brahm's eye is much better today! I faithfully applied his drops yesterday, gave him some benadryl last night and he woke up with no ooze, no swelling, just a little redness!

Thankfully, no one else has shown signs of getting pink eye. So I'm praying we'll be out of the woods soon!

Weekend Plans: Snow storm! Pink eye! Runny noses! This is Ryan and I's anniversary weekend, so we were hoping to go on a date...but it looks like it'll be delayed until the weather and the wellness of our children change their status!

It's a good thing we love being with our kids!!! Still, the kids know that mommy and daddy sometimes need time to ourselves so that we can continue being a good mommy and daddy.

After all, we believe that the best thing we can give our children, is peace of mind that mommy and daddy love each other more than anyone else in the world!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pink Is NOT My Favorite Color...

At least, it isn't today.

Growing up as a tomboy, Pink and I have always had a love/hate relationship. But over the years, I've come to love it more and more.

And on most days, (now that I have a girl!) it's one my favorite colors...

but DEFINITELY not today.

In fact, today, if pink were an object, I'd probably throw it off a cliff or flush it down the toilet.


Because it is in my son's eye.

And you know what? I think it's FEBRUARY'S FAULT!!!

(But even still, in honor of February being "love month" I'll be posting once a week some of my favorite things, so be sure to check back for those!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter-Time Pics

Here are some random pics from December and January...

Sweet siblings

Samuel is 2!!!! (celebrating at MooMaw & Papa's)

Another birthday celebration with Nana & Papa

My two babies

Dad and all his girls

Lukers and Trussers

Jack Joy (that's my nickname for him b/c he always looks like this...
well, minus the food on the face, I was doing the "airplane" to feed him and it got a little messy!)

Dinner at the "food train" restaurant

Fritz's~ the boys loved watching the train deliver the food!

Liberty (5 months) and Momma (29 now!)

Getting to see my kindred spirit Sara was a highlight!
And meeting each others baby girls for the first time!
(They live in Gautamala!)

The boys' spiritual gifts...

Trusten got a bow & arrow with a note to
"be strong and courageous"

Brahm's spiritual gift was drum sticks
"Burst out in jubilant song! Make music to the Lord!"
(Psalm 98:4)

Samuel got a Nerf sword
"A mighty warrior for Jesus!"
(the rest of the day he ran around swinging his sword yelling
"I'n a wawrior!"

Liberty's first Christmas! (that must have been flavored wrapping paper!)

Samuel loves hats (underwear works just as well)

Snow men!

Trip to Wichita!
The girls of the fam...

Truey and Boo

And last, we've loved to create new projects this winter!
(This one is called "zebra smelling flower")

("rocket-ships and lazers")

And more projects!...

Trusten made binoculars!

Samuel's art

Brahm's making a "contraption"

And just last night it was finally time for haircuts!!!

Crazy kids!

Oh, how I LOVE my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Mercies!...and Mercy Donuts!

Yesterday was just one of those days...disobedience seemed to be lurking around every corner. But it didn't need to merely lurk for boys were more than willing to play!

It seemed constant and as if there was no end in sight. No matter how many times I corrected, reminded, redirected or punished their behavior, the disobedience just kept on persisting.

By lunch time, I had had it. I was tired, discouraged and over-all weary. I wasn't using speech seasoned with grace, instead I was letting my boys know I was highly them and in my parenting.

After enduring their consequences, (which included no fruit with their lunch) it was nap time. I was thankful for the quiet, but still felt discouraged (again, in not only their behavior, but mine too).

I had a good talk with the Lord and felt hopeful and determined not to grow weary.

After naps, the boys' consequences continued on during the the remainder of the day. No sweets, no DVD's, no trip to the library...and when they would start to whine about their depravity, Ryan would remind them of Lamentations 3:22-23

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."

"Trusten and Brahm, the Lords love never ceases, and our love doesn't cease either. There are times, though, we must reap what we sow. But the hope and promise is that there are new mercies every morning!"

So they were sad, but hopeful...a beautiful combination!

This morning they woke up especially early (6:40 am!) and crawled in bed with me, I hugged them tight and whispered "Guess what?"

They knew the first answer, it's how we start every morning. So they both chimed "this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it".

I said, "That's right! But guess what else? Mercies are new today!"

And I felt the Truth of that promise! I could almost literally see and touch and feel the new mercies. It was thick in our house...what an amazing feeling!

We walked to the kitchen, and there on the counter was a bag of donut holes for each boy (and a donut for me!). A "new mercies" present from daddy.

And you know what? It's been a great day! Thank you Lord for your mercies to not only my boys, but to me as well!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm taking the challenge!

At the beginning of the year, I decided we needed to give this challenge a try!

I haven't documented the experience yet, ( because honestly I didn't know if I could do it!) but it's gone really well so far!

We've made minor purchases weekly for things like milk, eggs, bread, produce etc but haven't spent any money on other items for meal prep because we're trying to use up what's in our pantry!

It's been about 3 weeks now and we've spent somewhere around $70 on food and groceries total!

So far I haven't had to get too terribly creative...but I know that day is coming!

We've had cheesy crockpot chicken with rice, chicken fingers (Bisquick!), homemade biscuits, bean & cheese burritos, homemade mac & cheese, pancakes (Bisquick!), BBQ chicken, chicken burritos, turkey meatballs...and that's all I can think of right now!

(Can you tell we have little meat and LOTS of chicken?!)

On the menu this week? Well, for Breakfast, I have lots of quick oats, so we'll continue having oatmeal (creatively flavored by me). Lunch will be the usual sandwiches and fruit. Snacks will be more pretzels and Cheese-It's (from our trip to Sam's Club!)

For dinner...

Tonight: Crockpot Lasagna
Tuesday: Tacos & Tostadas
Wednesday: Chili (with canned soup base)
Thursday: Baked Ziti
Friday: Chicken Fajitas
Saturday: leftovers?
Sunday: we try to take it easy, so probably sandwiches and maybe some Taco Johns (::fingers crossed::)

So it looks like I'm gonna need to buy some cheese this week! But not just any cheese--a block of cheese...much cheaper than already grated!

And we have plenty of canned goods for veggies thanks to the CCA staff! (For Christmas they got us about 15 sacks of groceries!!! We also have them to thank for our Bisquick, and MUCH more!) So we're set there!

(my hubby just walked in with surprise breakfast sandwiches, so let's take that total up to $80 total!) :)

The most helpful thing to me has been writing down the items in our cabinets and making my menu from those things.

Now I just need to figure out what I can do with a sack of corn meal...Tamale Casserole?!?!

I'll let you know how this week goes!
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