Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is it just me, or...

Are the snack-size candybars getting smaller,
or is my mouth just getting bigger?

On raising sons

"Unbelief squashes; faith teaches. Faith takes a boy aside, and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of what he did got in the way. 'And this is how to do it better next time.' ...Unbelief cannot look past the surface. If there was any sin involved, unbelief sees only the sin. Faith sees what was turned aside to the service of sin and seeks to turn it back again. Sin is parasitic and cannot function without some good attributes that it seeks to corrupt. Consequently, faith must distinguish that which must be preserved and developed and that which must be abandoned as sin."

From Future Men, by Douglas Wilson

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bloggy Giveaway

OK, it looked like so much fun I couldn't pass up the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway. (Click here for a list of hundreds of other giveaways you can enter.) In the spirit of southern hospitality, up for grabs is a bottle of my favorite chili mix, Ken's Railroad Chili Seasoning Mix (see my previous post for the yummy scoop), a copy of the Marlboro Cook Like a Man Cookbook (it's about a smoking grill, not a smoking girl), and a knitted-by-moi dishcloth for cleaning up after your wonderful meal.

All you need to do is post a comment on this post any time before midnight this coming Saturday, November 3. On Sunday we will do a very scientific game of pick a number out of a hat and you may be a winner! If you don't have a blog, please be sure to leave me an email address so I can let you know if you win. The winner will also be posted at the bloggy giveaways page. One entry per person, please, and of course I will pay the postage. Anybody hungry?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cheap Eats

I picked up this flyer at the local Mickey D's. While fast food isn't our usual fare, I think these prices warrant a cook's night off at our house. And all the kiddies said "hooray!"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yummy Tummies

As the air gets crisper my children hanker for hot lunches. Today, while the older ones were finishing their math, my five year old (with a lot of help from his momma) made us macaroni and cheese from scratch. It always amazes me how many people buy it in a box when it's so easy, and I'm assuming much healthier, to make it yourself. Here's his recipe:

L.B.'s (Newly) Famous Mac N' Cheese

Put about half a pound of macaroni on to boil.

Melt in a saucepan:
1 Tbsp. butter

Blend in, cooking and stirring until bubbly:
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
a healthy shake of black pepper and onion powder

Whisk in:
1 cup milk

Cook until smooth and thickened slightly.

Stir in:
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

When macaroni is done cooking, drain it and mix it with cheese sauce.

We let it cool a bit while setting the table and getting out veggies so the pasta sucks up some of the cheese sauce and it congeals a tad bit. If you decide to try it, post a comment for my little chef. He'd be pleased as punch!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good News, And Bad News

Well, after searching the circulars for this deal and that, I did my first bargain shopping trip around town. So far, I stink at this! I misread manufacturers coupons, forgot to pick up in-store coupons, and ended up spending $20 more than I usually spend in a week! I spent $82 including tax on the items pictures. I am going to have to find time to read and listen to Crystal's course (I downloaded it last night) before I try this again!
I'll give myself a small break--I was shopping for extra food because we're having guests this weekend and I did get a lot more products than I usually get due to some of the bargains I couldn't pass up and the buy-one-get-one offers. Also, Crystal's advice about reduced produce served me well--A huge bag of baby carrots for $0.25, a seedless cucumber for $0.50, a pound and a half of grapes for $0.74, 3 packs of bananas for $$0.29 each, and 2 packs of apples for $0.49 each.
I guess the thing that really makes a good bargain shopper is restraint--knowing when to stop. Can someone please teach me that?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Deal

Today and tomorrow, Crystal Paine is running a 50% off special on her e-book Supermarket Savings 101, making it only $8.97. This includes her step-by-step explanation on how to save at the grocery store as well as 6 additional e-books with budgeting tips and recipes. I've been extremely blessed by her suggestions on her Money Saving Mom website so I'm going to take advantage of the deal, hopefully save some more pennies, and at the same time send some of that savings she helped me get back to her. Go to her site and check it out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

By George, I think she's got it!

I'm doing the happy dance today! I've been working out the kinks on saving at Walgreen's and today I purchased all this for (drum roll, please)

$11.62 plus tax. I'm sure the pros could do better, but I feel like Napoleon--next on to conquer CVS!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chili Weather

I love chili--plain chili, chili-mac, chili dogs, and, of course, chili Frito pie. My recipe file boasts about 10 recipes copied from this magazine or that person claiming to be the chili cook-off winner. I've added wine, used steak instead of ground beef, and bought special onions. But who would have guessed that the best chili I've ever eaten is also the easiest to make? A friend of my husband gave us a bottle of Ken's "Railroad" Chili Seasoning, and being a purist of sorts when it comes to food, I wasn't in hurry to try a mix. It sat in my pantry until I had one of those days when I wanted chili but not the fuss of making it. That's when I pulled out the railroad chili mix, and that's when my search for the best chili ended.

Of course, you can't buy Ken's "Railroad" Chili Seasoning in just any store; you've got to get it online here. Try it, and you'll be blowing your whistle, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Word from the Lord

"Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forever.
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea."

Micah 7:18-19

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yes, I am unashamedly tagging on the title "cheapskate" to my honorable badge of "housewife". I've been an Aldi shopper for the last 8 years or so and found that to be cheap enough until I started reading the accounts of truly frugal women who shop the big stores with big coupons and win. I've started voraciously clipping coupons and sorting them in a plastic bin. I've even called my neighbors to mooch unwanted Sunday inserts. Crystal at Money Saving Mom is my respected frugal home economist guru of the day. She is able to do all of her grocery and household needs shopping for $35 per week. She does have two young children and I have three bigger-tummied ones, but if I could get it down to $50 I'd be impressed with myself! What remains to be seen is whether this will make my ever patient husband rise up and call me blessed or if it will drive him completely bonkers. More on that to come...

Monday, October 15, 2007

So much of what I really know about God...

I've learned from being a mother and trying to teach the things of God to my kids.
Together we are studying The Young Peacemaker, by Corlette Sande. One of my "older woman" friends suggested it to me, and at first I bristled at the suggestion. But God quickly revealed my lack of humility in the bristling and I agreed to take it home to check it out. After reading the table of contents I realized that we, along with most of the free world, needed this study.

Today a Psalm that I know by heart actually hit me there:

"The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger,
and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities." Psalm 103:8-10

Sande connected the dots in my oblivious mind that sings the tune to this truth but never saw the big picture--if I am to be an imitator of Christ I must love people the way He loves them. Merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy. Remember this is a book about conflict and these words do not often describe my good day reactions, let alone my times of trouble! I am a truth and justice gal. I want my pound of flesh. I want to be right.

Slowly God is showing me my pride and lack of the humility that should characterize the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. He is opening my eyes to see that I am the one in desperate need of His mercy, that once received, should flow through me to my family, friends, and even my enemies. What a vibrant picture of the Savior we could be if we truly loved as He loves.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Yards of fun

Some rabbit trails have happy endings. Case in point:

I was listing some resale stuff on-line for a friend of mine and decided to "browse the aisles" of the site when I came across a lady who was trimming down her fabric stash. Come to find out she lived a mere two blocks from me! The kids and I took a lovely walk this afternoon, met a kindly lady, and did her such a wonderful favor by taking the above off her hands for a delightful $2 a yard. Bernina, start your engine!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Crazy for Apples

We picked apples again this weekend--see how industrious we were? Actually this was a pile of very stinky rotting apples--got the kids to stand there barely long enough to take the picture. It was a very hot day--we had planned to pick apples and then hang out at the lake, letting the kids wade. They ended up swimming fully dressed! Despite Bubba's expression, a fun time was had by all. Maybe he was having premonitions of the fate of his beloved Cubbies later that afternoon.