Saturday, March 31, 2012

Recommendation, Warning & Let the Games Begin!!!


We have ALL seen the 
rotisserie chickens
that the local grocery stores 
have for sale every day.
And if you have ever tried them, 
you know that they are scrumptious!
BUT - unless you found somewhere 
that has them for $3.50 each...
its hard to pay $7/chicken.
(well for me anyways).

Back at my favorite grocery store chain in NC,
they would occasionally run these super specials
on chickens and you could get them for $0.59/lb.
So me being the frugal person I have always been,
I would buy as many as they would let me and
load my freezer.  I was known to have 12
chickens in my freezer at once.
(outside, garage freezer)
Then I had to come up with ways to cook all those
silly chickens!!

I decided to bite the bullet and buy a rotisserie.
We did NOT buy one new.
(remember the frugal statement above)
I wasn't convinced we would love it and use it,
so I wasn't forking out the dough for a new
kitchen toy.
So we found on on Craigslist for $40.
It had ALL the pieces and the lady
said she had only used it a handful of times.

That was the BEST $40 we have EVER spent.
I have learned how to truss the birds,
without those goofy strings they sell specifically 
for trussing.
(I just use cotton thread!)

And after some trial and error -
if you have never brined a bird...
oh good heavens,
you MUST!

There is NO other way to do a chicken!
You have to play with the seasonings in your brine.
But your loved ones,
will be asking for you to make
"one of your rotisserie chickens".
(oh and a little Lawry's seasoning on top is the kicker)

You gotta try it!!


Along with the frugalness,
referred to above,
I do my best,
and always have,
to know where our money is going.
When we sign a contract to buy a house,
I want to know where all of those 
costs are coming from on that 
"good faith estimate" 
they present you with.

When we buy a car,
why aren't these numbers adding up?

I ask questions...

Tax documentation,
double check it!

Most of the time,
they are correct
and legit,
but occasionally,
by you asking questions
and double checking,
you can find errors
that could cost you 
HUNDREDS of dollars.

The past two days, 
I have spent crunching numbers
only to discover an error
significantly to our disadvantage.
So now we have to get it fixed...
let the fun begin!

It doesn't take long,
just give it a shot.

Trust me,
you will thank me one day!

The Usual:

Nothing too exciting this week.
I actually got ALL four of the kids
at the table and occupied this week
it was beautiful!
(albeit fleeting - I'll take it)

A few years ago,
I discovered dried beans
as a sensory item!
My kids have LOVED them.  
Its easier than rice and sand inside.
But give them: 
different color beans
measuring spoons
measuring cups
aluminum pie pans
watch them go!

They will spend quite a while occupying themselves that way.
Just stay close, cause when the beans start flying...
or TOO many are hitting the ground...
they are DONE!  

Let the Games Begin!!!

Our new sports season is officially in full swing and
we had our first Saturday FULL of games today.


10am - A's soccer game
2pm - J's soccer game
4:15 - R's baseball game

This is about what our Saturday's look like
for the next 8 weeks.

And, of course, the field is too far from the house
to justify going home between games
(most of the time).
Which makes for a VERY long day
with an 18 mo old in tow!

Below are a few pics from our day...

Soccer Girl!!!

Home Sweet Home
(we had to get something but that thing had NO airflow and it was HOT!)

Camera man, videoing his brother's soccer game.

T's perch most of the day.
(poor thing)

Action shot, after a throw in.
J's is doing AMAZING this year in soccer!!

Luckily the camera snapped when it did - cause the ball went
right through his legs.
I would have HATED to get that on camera!

Team M!

Accountability Check In:
1) Getting up before the kids...
not every day.
2) Working out before the kids get up...
NOPE, not at all,
but I have been getting my workout in 
before they get up from their newly 
implemented rest time,
does that count?
3) Dave Ramsey/Budget - 
Done, let me just say, I have NEVER 
looked so forward to the first day of the month
in my LIFE!
Brand new squeaky clean budget to work with!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


As usual -
we have had a very busy week in this house!

We kept up with school - 
but that kinda took a backseat to my newest project
(thanks to Dave Ramsey)...
This is almost more daunting than

I did complete Dave Ramsey's
Total Money Makeover
on Tuesday.
Well, didn't "complete", 
but got far enough into it
(over 3/4 through)
that we could get started.
I plugged this "budget" into 
Quicken only to find out 
we have already blown
most of our "budget" for March.
Luckily, there are only a few days left in March...
then we start fresh.  
We will see how long this lasts.

I have been getting better about getting up before the kids
(if I am up before the baby, does that count?)
I have worked out - not necessarily
before the kids are up 
but at least I have stayed with that.

(Let me take a minute to complain about how much
it STINKS that the pounds are literally 
MELTING off of my husband,
meanwhile in the last two weeks of working 
out, I have:
gone down 3,
back up 2,
back down 3
WITHOUT eating craziness!
Makes it hard to stay committed,
but I think the weight is just 

Now to our week in review:

Somehow I guess R knew that this past week
was a week of changes...
cause I came down Monday morning
(after getting my workout and shower in)
and found this...


Him, with his books spread out in front of him
(yes and the TV)
but at least he was doing it unprovoked!

We headed off to PE and they did a few activities,
then ended the class with a little friendly
Too funny!!!

First he tried to evenly split the teams.

Then he did girls vs boys... 

Then cause the girls needed a little help against all those boys...
he got a few moms involved...


We had some pretty wicked weather run through here
Monday night.

 R got pretty scared and decided to "hide" from it.


A and T were oblivious (of course)
and A is ALL about dancing lately.
She loves playing "her dance game" 
on Kinect.
So I thought she would enjoy watching 
Dancing with the Stars 
with me.
Oh was I right!
She got up and danced with them
then pulled her poor baby brother
out into the middle of the living room floor
"Come on T, let's dance"
He obliged,
I think he was a willing partner,
in the beginning...
But she is slightly bigger and older,
and his willingness faded quickly!

But it was 
We attempted to get 
some video,
didn't work out with my phone.
But hopefully they will try again on Monday.

Tuesday morning,
 I came down to BOTH
older boys doing their schoolwork 
in front of the TV. 
Whatever, at least they started...
(didn't finish there but effort means a lot in this house).

Then they made their own lunches!
(sniff, sniff, they don't need me anymore...)

daddy took the older two to meet their new 
scout group.
Aren't they handsome!!!
(all 3 of them, wink, wink)

Thursday, we had co-op...
I got a kick out of the fact that the kids get
the option to play with all sorts of sports equipment,
a huge open field
and my two oldest...
sit and dig holes!


We recently discovered Nutella in this house...
J LOVES it as much as his momma!
I thought we had emptied the container...
apparently not...
if you look closely,
you can see 4 hands 
COVERED in Nutella
and a Nutella jar that has been 
LICKED clean!
J has told me NUMEROUS times
that I need to buy some more,
and daily asks, when are we going to the 
store so you can buy more of that
tella stuff.

(the jar was cleaner than this when they were done with it!)

J got some cool 
K'Nex Robo Battlers for his birthday
and has REALLY enjoyed 
building them,
when he is done with is school work,
he will whip those things out.
Its not a roller coaster,
but he did these all by himself
and I enjoyed the 
pride I saw in him as he completed each one.


One of my sisters is REALLY crafty!
Well they both are, 
more so than me,
but one is always doing crafts with my kids.
So when we moved,
I suggested that she send them little kits in the mail
to make stuff with.
She sent them a bunch of white circles in January 
and asked them to make her some
snowmen and then send her a picture.
We did...

Then for St. Patrick's Day,
we opened an envelope and saw this...



(yes last week)

Then every day this week, she has asked.
Did they make their Mr. Clover's yet?
No not yet.
No not today...
No we have been busy...
So finally, Friday,
I told the boys that we HAD
to make the great craft we were
sent or NeeNee would get mad at me.
J thought that was funny,
for some reason.
My sister and I couldn't decide if it
was because he couldn't picture NeeNee mad
or couldn't picture someone mad at mommy.
(probably the first option).

So we made them...

They turned out SUPER cute!!!

A had to perform surgery on hers.
She informed me that one of its legs fell off and 
he couldn't dance
so she needed to get some "gwew".
So she disappeared into the pantry,
I heard rumblings, but was busy,
she came out with a tiny dab of "gwew"
on the "leg" 
then she proceeded to fix it herself.
(I traced her steps - and shockingly,
she had put the lid back on the gwew
AND put it back in its bin!)

Thank you NeeNee!

Then Saturday (today)
started off the busiest sports season yet.
We had:
2:15-3:15 -> Soccer practice for J
3:00-4:00 -> Baseball practice for R
3:30-4:40 -> Soccer practice for A

The only saving grace was the fact that they were all 
on the same general field.  

A did GREAT for her first practice,
she was a little shy though.


And the weather woes from earlier in the week were long gone...
My lily white skin is gonna have a problem down here in this 
(When I say lily white, I mean it...when we purchased my first foundation
when I was a teenager...the color name was "cloud")

All I keep thinking is that I am going to burst into flames
or dust with this sun!
(yes, we have been watching too many vampire shows - 
well just one - Being Human - not
the other vampire movie things)


Random picture of the week...
this is the second time I caught this,
T enjoys climbing up in J's lap
when he sits in their little recliner.
I am not sure if it is because T likes that chair
(which he does)
and thinks that J is taking his spot...
or if he just wants to sit with J
(in that chair)...
either way - it is still SUPER cute


and was worthy of a picture.

Thanks for hanging in there with this long post...
I gotta go find some aloe!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

along with most of the rest of the world,
celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Saturday,
with lots of green.

Growing up,
my mom would make us
green grits for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day.
And pink stuff on Valentine's Day.
I enjoyed it and have been passing that on to my kids.
Last year, they had bagels with green cream cheese!
This year...
I made pancakes for J's birthday
and had leftovers,
so no green pancakes
(I totally would have though!)
they got green milk,


and green sprinkles 
for their pancakes.

Then for lunch,
daddy was wonderful and made lunch,
I decided to add my touch and 
turn it green!

When J, saw it,
he made some silly comment about 
me feeding them green stuff again.
"Mooooooooom, why'd you turn our 
macaroni & cheese green too?"

The baby LOVED my green mac & cheese,
well daddy's mac & cheese that I turned green.

Then when dinner rolled around,
I asked if I should turn our mashed potatoes green too,
no one went for it.
So we just had normal ole boring white potatoes
with green broccoli and green cabbage
and smoked turkey sausage.

If they won't let me turn their potatoes green,
I will load up the rest of their plates with green stuff!
So there!
Next time,
let me turn the potatoes 

Monday, March 19, 2012

I have a 6 year old!!! (again)

Our second born, J, was VERY close
to being a St. Patty's day baby.
But I couldn't take it anymore...
so he didn't make it.

We celebrated his 6th birthday this week!
I teased him all day the previous day,
telling him his cake wasn't finished,
his presents weren't wrapped,
he couldn't turn 6, 
I wasn't ready!

We laughed and joked but
dern it, 
he still turned 6
on Thursday!

He is our easy going,
very docile child.
He is very easy to please
very eager to please.

Daddy took the day off 
and we decided on a day full of fun!
We *were* going to 
hit a special breakfast at SeaWorld,
then spend the day there.
Then take him to
the Rainforest Cafe for dinner.
We discussed all of this with him at dinner
two nights before his birthday,
then he informed us,
nope, I don't think I want to do that.
Ok, then what do you want to do?
I want to go to Peter Piper Pizza
(kinda like Chuck E Cheese - see I do know how to spell it!)
Instead, we took him to a new place 
that had been recommended to us.
The problem was
its Spring Break down here!
So this place was PACKED!!!
But it was NEAT!
Its called Incredible Pizza
(or something like that) 
Indoor go-karts,

R got to drive his own car

Here is my passenger

Haha - you can't even see R in the lead car!!
(Ghost driver)

indoor bumper cars,
(which we did but didn't get pictures of)

indoor glow-in-the-dark putt putt,

Our daughter has her sports mixed up, but she has great form!


tons of video games
and kiddie rides for the babies,

Feeding peanuts to zoo animals.

Wishful thinking...

I let her climb up on the end of the skeeball machine - but it didn't help.

duck pin bowling!!

Again - she has a good form.

We had to convince the baby that he
was NOT allowed to WALK 
down the lane and knock down the pins!

This was J's favorite - they played twice.

Then a pizza/salad/taco/dessert/spaghetti buffet bar.
And it wasn't outrageously priced.
So that is where we went...
we spent 5 HOURS
My feet hurt when we were done!!

Then the birthday boy decided he wanted 
steak and mashed potatoes 
for dinner.
So we went home and did just that.
Like I said, 
easy to please.

I enjoy doing things for my kids
for whatever reason
(I think I got it from my mom)
I make the kids birthday cakes every year.
I started off easy...
but have gotten more and more daring
and more creative.
I am not scared to try new things,
but do stress out over each cake.
(ask my husband)
I do realize at the end of the day,
as long as they like it,
that is all that matters.
When I asked J a few weeks ago
what kind of cake he wanted,
he said - 
"I don't care,surprise me,
but no pink!"

Then he later asked for a strawberry cake,
so I bought the ingredients,
then when I informed him it would be pink,
he QUICKLY changed his mind!

My boys are obsessed with Skylanders.
So I jumped on-line 
(where I get my inspiration)
and saw that someone made a 
portal of power cake.
So...I figured...
here goes nothin!

I decided to get creative with the inside too.

My ultimate goal was to make the cake
look like the "thing" on the left!

Using homemade marshmallow fondant!

I was pleased with how it turned out...

I think I succeeded, cause look at that child's face!

In our house, the birthday kid, gets to make the first cut.
This is a tradition that they ALL look forward to!
J had a hard time with the fondant though,
he said it was too hard
and later it was referred to as "plastic"
by my father-in-law.  
He asked if you were supposed to eat it.
He didn't...

And the innards.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!!

I have decided I am going to use you
to help keep me accountable on my goals.

So here goes!

This Week's Goals:
1) Get up before kids - check
2) Get workout in before kids get up - check
(only if the kids have to stay in bed longer cause of talking to early - details)
3) Start reading Dave Ramsey's book - check
(first 45 pages read so far - 200 more to go)

So far so good!