Monday, October 31, 2011

"To-Do" Lists


Photo Credit


Every night before I go to bed I get out a pen and scrap piece of paper and write a "to-do" list for things I need/want to accomplish the following day.  Sometimes all the things I need to get done get overwhelming for me to think about unless I actually write them down and check them off as they get done.  I know this isn't a new idea, but it sure does help me to stay on task and I feel very accomplished once the list is done.  I'll be crossing this list off as I go today!

Here's today's "To-Do" list:


  • Get up, showered, dressed (yes, I write the simple things down...It give me something to check off!  ;)
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush teeth 
  • Make sure kids are fed and off to school (David and Jacob)
  • Set out bread starter (for a weekly bread that I'm making now thanks to my cousin, Michelle!)
  • Take Emalee to school
  • Prepare food and start crock pot for dinner (realized that we're eating at church tonight so I don't have to do this! One step ahead for tomorrow!)
  • Start load of laundry
  • Bible Study/Time with God
  • Blogging
  • Give table a second and third coat of paint (I started this last night)
  • Go to doctor appointment (Hubby is picking Emalee up from preschool, feeding her lunch and putting her down for a nap)
  • Run to the store on the way home and pick up some flour for my bread and cookies.
  • Put laundry in dryer and fold when done
  • Make cookies for our church Block party (cake walk)
  • Apply antique glaze onto painted table
  • Eat lunch
  • Write card to a friend (If I don't write things like this down they never get done)
  • Blogging
  • Pick Jacob up from Choir practice
  • Eat dinner (at church tonight)
  • Get everyone ready for the church Block Party and GO! (costumes on)
  • Trick or Treat around the neighborhood after our Block Party
  • All kids bathed and in bed (really, the older 2 take care of themselves...they just have to be reminded.  Yes, they have to be reminded to take a shower!  LOL!  After all...they're teenage boys!  LOL!
  • Mix bread dough and let rise over night
  • Write down menu plan for the rest of the week and tomorrow's "To-Do" list
  • Clean up house to get ready for tomorrow's company!
So there you have it!  The day in they life of me!  Do you write lists like this too?  The older I get I'm becoming more dependent on them!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

True Moment Tuesday's...Elephant Mishap


One of the funniest things that's happened at our house in a very long time....


We had company over a couple nights ago. They were at our house a long time while Brian worked on their car. The men were in the garage, while the women visited in the living room. My friend, Edie, was sitting in a chair for quite awhile as we visited and then got up to run a quick errand for the guys. While Edie was gone I decided to clean up the dishes and put away the toys in the living room that Emalee had out. I had everything clean and then noticed that something was sitting in a chair next to where Edie had been sitting. Take a look at the photo and you'll see what I saw! I had wondered where it was that morning as I was getting dressed! Not sure what Emalee was thinking, but it sure was funny! I thought Edie was just being nice by not saying anything about it, but after I showed it to her she started laughing because she hadn't noticed it either! Apparently, Emalee did this early on in the day and I never noticed! :)

True Moment Tuesday's (TMT's) are a new feature here on Spot My Eye Savings.  Go here to see what TMT's are all about!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Thanksgiving

Today I'm participating in Menu Plan Monday over at orgjunkie.com

This week I'll be incorporating eggs into my recipes.  We were given 2 dozen farm fresh eggs from a friend last week and I had some other eggs in the fridge as well.  My goal this week is to cook from the pantry with ingredients that I already have on hand.  So, here's my attempt at this week's menu...

Monday:
Impossible Cheeseburger Pie
Here's the Homemade Bisquick recipe to make this with!
Peaches
Broccoli and Cheese

Tuesday:
(This might change to pizza as my son is having a sleepover for his birthday on this night)
Chili Corn Dog Surprise
Salad

Wednesday:
Leftover Spaghetti from the weekend
Garlic Bread
Green Beans
Deviled Eggs

Thursday:
Hamburger Soup
Bread

Friday:
Breakfast Casserole
Sausage
Pancakes

Saturday:
Leftover Day!
Salad

Desserts:
Birthday Cake
Chocolate Chunk Cookies (from the freezer)
Banana Bread (Recipe to come...)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfasts:
You guessed it...EGGS in some various form or fashion!
Cereal
Overnight French Toast (for the BDay boy!)

Lunch:
Leftovers or Sandwiches
(It's usually only me and Emalee and we don't eat much!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homemade Taco and Chili Seasoning



I'm cooking Chili for dinner tonight!  Have you ever gotten ready to make chili or tacos and discovered that you're out of seasoning packets.  Are you a prisoner to the packets?  :)  I used to be like that until I discovered these easy recipes.  If you don't have the spices on hand you will be out of pocket some money, but in the end it will pay for itself!


Homemade Chili Seasoning

yield | about 2/3 cup
Ingredients
tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sea salt
4 teaspoons black pepper
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and black pepper. Store in an air tight container at room temperature.
Notes:
-Stored in an airtight container, this spice blend will keep for up to a year.
-When making chili or tacos using one pound of ground beef, start with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the seasoning blend and adjust according to your tastes.

Homemade Taco Seasoning:

1 tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, powdered oregano and sugar
1/2 tsp. salt


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes 3 tablespoons of seasoning mix, which is equal in strength to a 1/4 ounce package of commercial seasoning mix.

True Woman Makeover

I'm a True Woman

The last few weeks around here have been crazy.  I've been very busy keeping up with all the extra-curricular activities that the kids are involved in.  It seems that I spend a good portion of my day in the car taking or picking someone up from somewhere.  There are so many things on my "to do" list that I desperately want to get done, but I'm having to remind myself that I'm not Super Woman and that those things will have to wait. 


Being a woman is hard, but it's such a rewarding job.  It's easy to forget to take care of ourselves while we're taking care of so many other people.  One year ago I went on a road trip with my friend, Kristin, to the True Woman 2010 Conference.  We had so much fun, but the personal revivals that we both experienced topped the "fun" part of the trip by a long shot.  
In an effort for me to remember what I learned I signed up today for the 30 Day True Woman Makeover.  It looks like this will be a 30 Day study of  Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, and Titus 2:1-5.  


Are  you interested in joining me?  Go over here and sign up today and we'll be reading the same things each day!  



Friday, October 14, 2011

Lesson's from Emalee's Plant


My 4 year old daughter, Emalee, brought a Styrofoam cup home from church a few weeks ago.  It was filled with dirt and she had planted a seed of some sort in it.  We placed the cup in the window sill above the kitchen sink.  We've watered it and have watched it for several days.  It finally sprouted!  She's so excited to see that her plant is growing.  It's been growing rapidly for days.  It's a single shoot and about 6 inches tall.  Honestly, I'm unsure of what kind of plant it is!

While I was washing dishes today I was looking at Emalee's little plant.  It was bending toward the window in an effort to catch some sunlight.  I decided to experiment with the plant and found that no matter what way I would turn the cup the plant would eventually find the sun again and eventually bend in its direction.  I always found this to be amazing when I was a kid!

The Lord began to speak to me.  He showed me that I am very much like that plant.  The following is what He showed me:

1.  I must be planted.

I have a plaque in my kitchen with the following Scripture:


Joshua 24:15
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Many years ago during my walk with the Lord I came to a cross roads of sorts.  On one particular day He made it clear to me that I must choose Him or choose the world.  Just as Emalee's plant has now taken root, I made a decision to take root.  I planted my feet firmly and decided to trust in the Lord with all my heart and follow His ways.  
Over the years life has thrown its arrows at me.  I've had some leaves and branches knocked off, but my feet have never wavered as the roots of faith in my Lord have grown deeper and deeper.  

2.  I must be watered.

Just as we've been watering Emalee's plant to make it grow, my soul must be watered.  It's a daily watering of God's Holy Word to keep me growing in the knowledge of His Truth.  There have been times in my Christian walk where I have not been in God's Word on a consistent basis.  I've noticed that during these times I'm weaker and not as strong as I could be.  My prayer is that of the Psalmist....
 Psalm 42:1 
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God."

Interestingly enough, the above Scripture verse was my very first vocal solo that I nervously sang in front of my church congregation at the age of sixteen.  I had no idea then how meaningful those words would be as I grew into adulthood.  Here's a link to this awesome song:  As The Deer Panteth...

3.  I must be in the Light

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”


When I am in the darkness I cannot grow.  A plant needs a healthy dose of sunlight, just as my soul needs the light of the Son...Jesus...in order for me to grow.  I'm thankful that even in the days that I turned from the Lord and strayed toward the darkness (like me turning Emalee's cup around) He patiently waited for me to lean toward Him again.  It is in the Light of Jesus that I can truly have Life!


Guess what?  I have a song about Light too!  Back in my college days I discovered Charlie Peacock and fell in love with this song long before DC Talk or Toby Mac re-made it!  Here's the link for In The Light!

I hope that this has encouraged you today.

~Heather

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Deep Cleaning Discoveries



Today I'm multi-tasking.  Well, if I think about it I multi-task almost every day!  I have two of my crock pots going.  One with chicken and the other with beef that I'll be making a roast dinner with.  I also have laundry going.  While all of that was cooking/washing, I decided that I would find something to clean.  I didn't have to look too hard! :)
I cleaned the Master Bath.  I didn't just clean it...I (what my mom says) DEEP CLEANED it!  I have linoleum (which I despise) in my Master Bathroom.  It's hard to get really clean so, yes, I got down on all fours with, believe or not, a toothbrush at one point and got all the nooks and crannies cleaned out.  I finally finished the entire bathroom, ceiling to floor!
Then I noticed that I missed something...the vanity!  Not the outside, but the inside.  It had been months (maybe even a few years) since I've cleaned out the vanity really well.  It was interesting to say the least!  I found some empty bottles, old hair accessories that I threw away, etc.  The funniest thing that I came across was my husband's old dental retainer from when he was a teenager!  LOL!  He was still wearing his retainer when we were newly weds...17 1/2 years ago!  It was still soaking in the old plastic butter container that it was in way back then!  Needless to say, I threw it away! I bet he won't even miss it!  ;)

While I was DEEP cleaning I started thinking about the spiritual side of what I was discovering as I cleaned.  How often times I clean the outside of my heart, but the inside is still really messy.  It appears squeaky clean to others, but the Lord sees it differently.  Sometimes I've found that I will hold onto a grudge or some other type of sin way too long before I get on my hands and knees and clean it all out!  Sometimes I forget that the sin is even there because I keep pushing it to the back of the vanity!

I hope I encourage you today to take a look deep within the recesses or your heart and perhaps get on your hands and knees and do some deep cleaning...

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another wreath!




This is the wreath that I made today!  I took 2 photos of it so that you could see it on different colored walls.  However, I'm hanging this one in my living room on a mirror.    I'm really enjoying this new found hobby as I've found that it's really easy and not very time consuming.  I wound the yarn in about 90 minutes while watching a movie a couple nights ago.  Today I made the flowers. They took about 30 minutes since I already had an idea in my head of what I wanted to make.  I'm not sure if this one is done yet.  I'm thinking about doing something with lettering for "Autumn" somewhere on it.  We'll see...


Friday, October 7, 2011

100 Days of Christmas!

One of my favorites!  ;)
Can you believe it???  Only 79 days until Christmas!!!  Are you ready???   Head on over to Moms By Heart where she shares 100 Day of Christmas with us every day!  You'll find ideas for gifts, decorations, games and much more!

Series: Becoming Debt Free...2010



If you've missed any of the other entries in this series you can find them all right HERE.

All the the medical tests that I had in Cincinnati showed that I had Hypereosinophilic Syndrome (HES).  There are 3 different known kinds of HES:  Myeloproliferative (M-HES), Lymphocytic (L-HES) and Idiopathic  (I-HES).... we still needed to determine what type I had.  I had a blood test here at home.  My blood was sent to a National Lab where my chromosomes were looked at closely... and within a few days the results showed that I did NOT have M-HES.  They did not think that I had L-HES either, so that left me with my official diagnoses being Idiopathic Hypereosinophilic Syndrome.

Now that we knew what type of HES I had I was put on a chemotherapy that would help to decrease the amount of eosinophils that my bone marrow makes.  I started chemotherapy (not intravenous, but oral) 2 days before Easter of 2010.  Thankfully, the chemo didn't affect me too much.  If anything, it made me somewhat nauseous, my appetite decreased and I was getting tired.  All of this happened gradually.  By September of that same year I had lost about 10 pounds and was starting to get very tired...requiring daily naps while Emalee napped. My doctor decided to decrease my chemotherapy a little bit and by mid-October I had some of my energy back.

It was also in October of 2010 that I was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve.  I didn't take that news very well, but have learned to lean on Jesus...even when the enemy would rather me not!  Thankfully, it was about a week after this diagnosis that my friend Kristin and I went on a road trip to Fort Worth, TX. to take part in the True Woman Movement.  I was refreshed beyond belief at this conference!  God did a wonderful work on my heart (my spiritual heart) during this time.

Money was still tight in 2010, but we were gradually starting to chip away at our bills one medical bill at a time.  It was the first year in a long time that we were actually able to pay ALL of our medical bills ON TIME without calling the hospitals for an extension.....Praise the Lord!!!

By the end of 2010 my husband and I sat down and did some financial figuring together for the upcoming year.  We weren't positive, but our figures were showing a great possibility that we just MIGHT be able to pay off our debt (except the mortgage) by the end of 2011.  Only time would tell!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yarn Wreath

(Click photos to enlarge)



Are you using Pinterest yet?  I finally figured out what all the hype was about and must say that I LOVE Pinterest!
Yesterday I sat down and made the cutest wreath I've ever made!  Okay...truth is, it's only the second wreath I've ever made..the first one was made from coffee filters.  It took me about 2 1/2 hours to make this yarn wreath (pictured above), but I'm thinking that I'll probably be able to make my next one in less time since I just learned how to do this.   Wreaths are one of my favorite new crafts that I've challenged myself to make this year.
Sorry the picture isn't that great.  I'm seriously pressed for time today and don't have much time to blog.  I'll take a better picture and will update this post later!  Oh, and I'm lovin' that these photos show all the smudges on my mirror!  ;)

If you want to follow me on Pinterest I have a slew of different wreaths pictured from around cyber land that you can check out!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tips for Finding Manager Special/Marked Down Meat

click photo to enlarge

This is what I found today when I went to the store!  I was able to purchase 78.84 pounds of meat for only $53.85...that makes everything 0.68 cents per POUND on average.  

Everything I found was on Manager Markdown.  I love going to the store and browsing the meat section for markdowns.  I was thrilled this morning to find so many great deals.  This is one way to shop on the cheap without using a single coupon.  However, there are some products included in this picture that you can find coupons for such as the sausage and hot dogs!  

I would suggest that you go in early and late to your store.  Most markdowns are done in the  morning so that the meat cutters know how much product they need to put out during the rest of the day.  Also, sometimes the prices continue to go down throughout the day if the meat isn't selling.  An example is that some stores take 30% off in the morning, 50% off around 3p.m. and 80% off by 8p.m.  What isn't sold by the morning is thrown out.  

Don't be afraid to ask your meat cutter what time of day, or what specific days they mark down their meats.  

Don't be afraid of marked down meat.  However, do be smart and make sure that the meat is still good to eat.

Plan on cooking or freezing the meat you buy (especially if you won't use it in the next 24 hours) so that it doesn't go bad.

After purchasing big quantities of meat as I did today, take some time to write down on paper what you bought.  This way you can sit down and make a menu according to what you have on hand.  This will help you to actually USE what you bought instead of it getting lost in your deep freeze.

Be creative...just because you bought Brats doesn't mean you have to cook them whole on the grill.  I plan on slicing mine and using them in soups and various casseroles stretching them even further!

Do you have any tips on getting meat at lower prices?  Leave a comment and let us know!