Thursday, November 12, 2009

Room to Grow Stronger

Our ward just split because we grew so big. Reactions varied across the board, but for the most part we all knew that this was coming and is for the best! I was selfish at first, I have to admit. Of course I thought mostly of all the extra work that we would have to put into a smaller ward. Oh yeah, I was being selfish, but I quickly had a change of heart. I have friends that are in the other ward. No I'm not in a clique group. Yes, I'm going to miss my friends, but it's not like I'll never see them. There are wonderful families in BOTH WARDS! This is a wonderful thing happening here! I've been thinking the past few days about what benefits come out of the ward splitting. Here is what I've come up with.

Our testimonies grow stronger! We all have to come together and be one...unite with our ward family and serve, serve, serve! We have to 'recruit' new members. Isn't this why we split in the first place? We get too big and can't possibly fellowship the new members or potential members. I can't tell you how many members have moved in the past year or two and I STILL DON'T know their names! Shame on me.

I remember a couple getting up in sacrament to talk and I thought to myself (before they revealed any info)...oh neat, a new family. Then they said that they had been there for almost a year!! (GASP!) This is one reason why we have to split. We (definitely me) can't take care of other members and fellowship them if we don't even know them or know they are there. We need to downsize to increase our size. Does that make sense?

We split, we are smaller, but we grow again by doing missionary work..get members and do it all over again. Then through all of this, our testimonies are growing and growing and we are becoming stronger missionaries, stronger members, a stronger ward family with stronger testimonies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

How long has it really been?

Wow! I've stayed away from here for a very long time. All is busy here at the ol' homestead. Kids keeping me busy. One day while coming back from Joshua's therapy, I looked over at Josh who was napping and I long has it been since I really hugged him? I mean *really* hugged him. Sure we hug all the time...they are going off to bed in a rush, I'm trying to get Peyton down, etc. Am I really 'that' busy as a mom? I answered, NO! So that evening when they came to me to say goodnight, I did a bear hug. I'm sure I got, "what in the world is she doing...she's not letting me go!!" :D So, I got my hug in. I'm trying to be more 'real' in the hugging department. My kids are important and they need to know that mom loves them very much. They need to *feel* that from mom. When's the last time you REALLY hugged your kid? I hope everyday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Busy, busy, and cooking

It's been such a long time since I blogged, so I thought I would update just a tad. The economy is bad and it has certainly affected our family. We are right in the middle of it all. I'm trying to do the best that I can to save us money where we can. Oh, I loved my deal I got last month where I bought 14 boxes of Kellogg's cereal for under a dollar. I had gotten 8 boxes of Raisin Bran and for only 79 cents. When you have the buy one get one free (bogo) deals and then have a dollar off of each box, you get them really cheap! I think Johnny just finished off the last box of Raisin Bran. Of course I like to use those for Bran Muffins too..yummy..I grew up on this recipe. I'll have to post this recipe below (if you need to know from someone else besides me how good this recipe is, ask Danice Lewis or Liz Perry):

Bran Muffins

3 cups sugar
5 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 quart buttermilk
1 box Raisin Bran cereal (med size box. or use just the Bran Flakes cereal)
4 eggs
1 cup oil
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup nuts are optional (I never do them)

Mix the ingredients in a very large bowl. This makes a lot, so you can store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, which WON'T last that long, when you get up every morning and make a batch. lol Cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or so.

You can vary the recipe some. Instead of processed sugar, use turbinado or stevia (which is even better for you). Perhaps cut the flour down a bit and add some white bean flour (you can use up to 25% of the white bean flour but add an additional egg or two back to it). Use wheat and white flour until your family can handle all wheat flour. Use the soft wheat if you have it and freshly milled if you can do it. There are many variations you can make with this recipe to suit your family.

I've been making a lot of things lately. After I've experimented with several different bread recipes, I'll post my favorite. Lately, I've been making some sweet breads too. I'm back into my baking mode, which I love to do! Zucchini bread is my favorite. I made a couple of them last night along with some banana bread.

We are trying to work on becoming more self reliant. I'll talk more later about what we are trying to do with this subject.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Peyton is here!

I finally had Peyton via VBAC on September 22nd at 3:38a.m. He weighed in at 6 pounds and 4 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. He has lots of dark brown hair, like I use to have!

I went in to the hospital at 4pm on Sunday and had him the next morning about 12 hours later. It took just a couple of pushes and he was out. It was so awesome...I felt Peyton's head come out and shoulders. That was the best epidural I have ever had. Yes, I got an epidural. I needed it....those contractions were tough and I wasn't dilating fast enough. I feel like a person again after having I can enjoy the labor and getting to see my new little one enter the world.

I can't write for long due to being very busy holding my new little one. You remember how they want to be held all the time? Whew! But what a joy and we are so happy that he is here!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Little tidbits

Well, I have 4 weeks left in this pregnancy. We've all been very excited and can't wait. Although about a week ago, I was glad to wait. Peyton has finally (we hope) settled down and has been head down for 3 visits in a row. (I go twice a week to the doc.) I was too afraid that we would have to have another C-section for a breech baby. So, I may have a chance at VBAC now. Thank goodness!

We believe we are going to submit the paperwork for Extreme Home Makeover. We are so cramped in this little house. With mom in our master bedroom and we currently have Mia, Johnny and I in Mia's little pink room and soon to add Peyton. Hunter and Josh are in their room, but even that is difficult for them due to Hunter's organization skills and Josh's lack of it. :D Soon we'll be welcoming people into our home and they'll encounter a diaper changing station with pail in the living room. Our living room isn't a living room anymore, it's a playroom. It's a struggle all the time, but hey...we are poor and happy!

Josh just had his evaluation this past month. I'll write a separate post about that soon, but I'll give you the brief synopsis. He is ADHD (which brings on a whole slew of other problems) and they suspect an Auditory Processing Disorder. We'll be doing a separate test on that once we can come up with the money. The insurance will pay for his therapy. He'll be going through non-medicated therapy. We are so excited for him!

More shopping fun? Well, I can't remember it all, but one ongoing thing going on for me right now is the free bread that I'm getting. In the paper a couple of weeks ago (remember we get two papers), there was a coupon for free Sara Lee bread. The soft and smooth kind, so we used those two coupons. Then I found someone whose husband went to a recycling center and gathered up those inserts and she had over 200 free coupons for bread! I bought 20 of those coupons from her for $6.00. That's a great deal! I would have bought more, but that coupon expires on 9/7/08. If we finish before the week is out, I may check with her and see if she has more. Other than that, it's the usual going to the store and saving big. For example, the yogurt that I got last night, which is Dannon Activia, was on sale for $2.00 each. I had a 50cent coupon and of course that doubled at Ingles and got the 4 pack for $1.00! (I had 5 coupons! Yes it's a lot of yogurt, but hey the kids and mom do eat it.) I've gotten chex mix lately for 18cents, etc., and I donated the chex mix to the nursery at church. There are so many great deals to help with the money (or lack of). Last night was just a quicky trip to Ingles and I saved $20...I walked out paying $36. Oh, the person that I mentioned above lives in Monroe and she is actually going to have a class (and probably more classes) to teach people to save money with printing out online coupons too. She charges $10 a class. If you want more information, just let me know and I can get you in contact with her.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bearing Children in Faith

I've thought a lot lately about having children. Of course, I'm currently pregnant, but I've thought a lot about how many we will have, will we have more, why people think I'm too old to have more, do we have the money, etc.

Recently, I've been reading the booklet on the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting about Building up a Righteous Posterity from February 9, 2008. In the Roundtable Discussion it talks and answers a lot of these questions we have. While I wasn't actually able to attend the meeting at that time, I've been extensively absorbing what I've been reading lately in this booklet. I just wanted to mention a few things that hit home with me.

Sister Tanner said, "...we are reminded that the commandment God gave to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth as husband and wife remains in force." She went on to say that it "requires of us great faith and great courage and often great sacrifice." And that it "requires us to be in tune with the Lord to receive personal revelation". She went on to say that we shouldn't be judgmental of other people who are exercising their faith and having their own personal revelation in regard to that commandment.

I wouldn't ever judge someone because they have many children...I often tease friends immediately after they have a newborn, when they are going to have another one (as if you are thinking about it 2 weeks after you've had that precious gift. lol).

Elder Oaks goes on to say that sometimes we as members look to "worldly priorities in their decisions about childbearing...instead of making those decisions in faith..."

Then, Sister Beck said something that really hit home with me. This statement touched my heart and has continued to do so. She said, "We don't have children because we have money, because we have means. We have children with faith." She goes on to say, "Just as paying tithing is a matter of faith, so is having children a matter of faith. You don't pay tithing with money; you don't have children with money."

I have been pondering these statements and the rest of the material for quite some time. Johnny is already talking about having another one. We know that it is getting harder for me to get pregnant, but we know that if Heavenly Father wants us to have more, we will have more. We certainly aren't putting a stop to it over here in this household, if we feel it is right. After all, it's between the Lord, my husband, and I to make this decision. The Lord didn't feel Sarah was too old to have a baby and I certainly don't feel I'm too old, no matter how many people tell me so. :0)

Recently, on a homeschool list that I'm on, they were talking about this very thing...about being judged as to why some have so many children (or few). Unfortunately, most comments seem to come from within the church. But, many have opted to come up with statements that are quite humorous to nip this. I have to share a few with you that I remember.

Comment: Haven't you figured out what causes that?
Reply: I sure have and we're getting pretty good at; would you like some tips?

Comment: Are these all yours?
Reply: No, I just like to gather up any roaming children as I walk in the store. (Of course you could just wear a T-shirt that says, "Yes, these are all mine.")

Comment: (from family) You have too many children.
Reply: Which one do you think we should get rid of?

Comment: I'm glad it's you and not me.
Reply: I'm glad it's me too.

One favorite was a sister that said her husband was 57 when they had their last a preschooler...and his friends were talking about their grandchildren. He spoke up and said that they were having their own grandchildren. :D

Another favorite out of the booklet, was by Elder Oaks. He said that early in their marriage, his wife, June, was pregnant with their 5th child. An active member came up and said to her, "What are you trying to do, populate the world all by yourself?" He said that he was proud of his wife when she commented back, "I can't think of anyone better to do it."

There were so much more, but just thought I'd give you a laugh.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Grocery Store Fun

I know what you're isn't fun. Well, it can be when you get great deals! I have to tell you about the Grocery Game that I play. But first, I have to tell you of my savings yesterday. I went to Ingles and got a cart full of stuff and even had to use the bottom of the cart and then checked out. The total (before coupons) came to $198. Then I handed the cashier my coupons and the final total was $105! Yes, I had coupons that totaled $93 and that wasn't including the $45 of advantage card savings.

How did I do that? (I'm sure you already know how.) We get two newspapers a week just for the coupons. I cut them out...well most of the coupons out and file them in my coupon organizer. I ONLY buy things that are on sale (unless I need them now) and use a coupon with it. So, with things on sale and a coupon and using it at places like Ingles and Kroger (they double the coupons 50 cents and under), you get a great deal! This week is even is triple coupons all week.

For example, I bought Spaghetti O's for 1 cent each (15 cents for 15 cans) and behind that is my Campbell's microwave soups that I got for 18 cents each...I have 17 cans. We have no room in our small house, but Johnny added some #10 cans at the wasted space at the bottom of our pantry and added some wood to create another shelf.

I get things free all the time like shampoo, deoderant, toothpaste, cleaners, etc. I went to Rite Aid and got 4 cans of Lysol Neutra Air, 4 bottles of Vive Pro shampoo, 2 Right Guard deoderant, and 2 Dove deoderant and my total came to only $5.63. How? Well, the Lysol Neutra Air was totally free because it was on sale for buy one get one free (bogo) and I had 2 coupons that were bogo. Free! Same thing with the shampoo. The RG deoderant was also bogo, but I only had 2 coupons for $1.00 off each. The Dove deoderant was on sale, but I only had 2 coupons for 75 cents off each one. But still, walking out of there with only having paid $5.63 was fun!

I don't pay more than a dollar for shampoo. You can't be picky doing it this way this quickly, but if you wait and be patient, it will come. The shampoo that I have are Pantene, Vive Pro, Suave, Pert Plus, Herbal Essences, etc. Johnny says that I already have a year or more supply of shampoo and deoderant and I just started doing this 5 weeks ago! I probably do have a year supply or more of these items, but when you can get it for free or even 50 cents...I can't resist to get more! (He chuckles when he sees me get more...can't beat FREE though!) Our biggest problem is trying to find where to put our stock piling! Yes, we are stock piling. More pictures are posted below. I will post often of my deals.

How do you find the time to 'find' the deals? I was referred by a friend to a website called The owner has already done the work for you. You can get a month's trial for $1 to however many stores you want. Once the trial is up and you want to continue, it's 63 cents a week per store that you subscribe to. You only pay every 8 weeks. (I'm trying to save even more money, so I don't use this service anymore. But it is wonderful!)

I love the lists that I can print out. On the list, it has the coupons that you can use...just check it out. Before I even print it out, I 'gray out' what I am not buying and when I go through the list, I pull out my coupons (unless I've already used them) and put them with my printed list. Try it, but I would first at least buy 2 papers a week for a couple of weeks before you begin...maybe even longer. It's easy and fun!

Here is the shelf up above our washing machine and dryer. A lot of wasted space here. Johnny is talking about changing it and adding more shelving. I have about 6 laundry detergents now, plus several various cleaners, dishwashing liquid, ziploc bags, lots of feminine pads, etc. Yep, pads! I'm pregnant, but I'm going to need them eventually.

Okay, underneath my bathroom sink is a mess! This is the right side and the one below is the left side. We just don't have the space...oh how I wish we had a huge food storage pantry room or a basement to house 'Donna's store'. Just to let you know, I have over 20 bottles of shampoo under here, not to mention all of the deoderant, razors, etc.

Lots of razors in here, toothpaste, etc. We've packed so much under this bathroom sink! Believe it or not, it is in some kind of order.