Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another great blog on homemaking

I have just discovered another blog that is sure to become a favorite, and I just felt the need to share. Even if you are not a mom, I think that any christian woman might benefit from something on this blog--Making Home. Love it.

I just love that technology allows me to learn from so many moms who have gone before me!!

Needing a little extra income--any ideas?

As I have mentioned before, Scott and I are really trying to get on board with the Dave Ramsey program, and the first step is to gather an emergency fund so that we do not have to find ourselves with any other debt in the process of trying to get rid of all debt. The problem is that all of our money is already accounted for in our weekly budget, and there really is no extra to go towards collecting an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey talks about this in his book,Total Money Makeover, which encourages me to know that other families have been in a similar situation, and he strongly encourages finding a way to bring in extra income. Well I am trying my hardest to tutor online, but I keep hitting brick wall after brick wall. I mean, I make an extra ten dollars here and there, but it just isn't cutting it. As I have mentioned before, my going back to work is not an option as I fully believe I am to be home with Ada. Dave Ramsey tells stories of men who delivered pizzas for a few months on top of their regular job just to get the debt snowball rolling. Well, Scott and I are finally at a place where he might do something like that--take on an extra job, just for a few months in order to get things started. He already picked up an application at Shane's Rib Shack, mainly because we love that place and we happened to be there yesterday. It seems to be a laid back atmosphere, and we thought it might get his foot in the door to one day (far, far down the road) us opening up our own Shane's in Auburn or Huntsville (I say this half kidding, though it is fun to dream about). Our next conversation has been about a job at Chick-Fil-A. I think Scott's pride kicks in a little bit here--not wanting to work at a fast food restaurant with a college degree, but I have heard that it's a good place to work, and again, I wonder if this could somehow get his foot in the door to actually work for Chick-Fil-A headquarters in the logistics department. Plus, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays. A huge plus. Sundays would definitely be a major rest/family day if Scott does end up taking on a second job. I would love some feedback from anyone who has done the Total Money Makeover. Any suggestions as to how we can bring in a little extra income. We are starting to pray for God to provide a specific amount of extra money every month, and I am trying to get excited (rather than discouraged) to see how God is going to provide. Seriously, we would love feedback/encouragement. We are having a sort of "down" day as we truly want to get started with the Dave Ramsey plan but feel rather stuck. We truly want to use wisdom and discernment as we seek to be obedient to God's will, we just don't really have a clue about what God's will is right now.

P.S. I am also open to any suggestions about how I can make some extra money while staying home with Ada. The only reason we are thinking Scott take on an extra job is because it would create more urgency to get it done. We don't want to rely on this extra income. We want it to be a temporary thing, just a few months to a year until we are debt free except for the house.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


The other night I stumbled upon the blog of a stay at home mom who suffered from severe post-partum depression shortly after her daughter was born. She is a very honest writer, and I found myself lost in her story. She chronicled all of her experiences from the weeks before her daughter was born to the day that she checked herself into the hospital because of severe depression and anxiety due to post partum issues. I found the entire thing fascinating, mainly because much of what she wrote reminded me of myself, with one major difference. She is not a believer. Not living with the hope of Christ's death and resurrection. And I came face to face with the reality that she was painting a picture of what my life would look like apart from Christ. Oh how thankful I am that in his mercy and grace he saved me. He saved filthy, broken, tendency to get lost in anxiety and depression me, and oh how thankful I was that I had that hope. The hope that not only am I justified, I am in process of being sanctified, meaning that he will not allow me to get lost in anxiety and depression. Oh praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Regardless of this major difference between us, however, I still found myself relating to her in so many ways. She has struggled her whole life with addictions and control issues and all those sorts of things. The kinds of things that I am always on the brink of. But again, I have hope and the promise that God is always working on me, changing me more and more and more to look like the true image of myself. The non-broken image of myself. And my heart went out to this girl. I think her life feels somewhat under control now. She makes lots of money blogging, she is on the other side of post-partum and heavily relies on medication and therapy and writing/blogging to remain on the "other side," and her daughter is now older, and she enjoys motherhood.

Reading what she wrote reminded me of the first month of Ada's life. I will be honest with you, things were pretty grim. My mother and Ann carried me through that first month when I was somewhat in a state of shock, not sure of how this tiny infant could turn my world upside down so quickly. They both said it would get better and indeed it did, and looking back now, it really didn't take that long for things to begin to settle in and life began to take on a new normal. But I do remember when Ada was so little, two weeks or so, and I was somewhat freaking out, to put it bluntly. I mean, freaking out. And I understood what everyone meant when they said post-partum depression or hormonal imbalance or whatever you want to call it. But in the midst of all that, I knew that I was going to be okay. And when I felt so incapable of being Ada's mom, I knew that God was in control of this little girl's life, and for whatever reason, he had chosen me. And He was going to carry us through it. And I relied on that. Yes, there were other things I did to get me okay, but mostly what made me okay was knowing that God was in control so it didn't matter if I wasn't. So if I had to take the God factor away, well I suppose I would find myself in a hospital too. Because the fact of the matter is that none of us are in control. So if that happens to be your idol--being in control--the way it is mine and apparently the author of the blog I was reading, well you will go crazy apart from Christ. Literally crazy. And again, my heart went out to this girl. And she's not the type that you feel sorry for. She seems like a very strong woman, with a very strong support group, but she doesn't have Christ. And I don't think she thinks that she needs him. And as things like that have a tendency to do, reading her story just humbled me because there is nothing about me that deserves Christ. Nothing. But He is mine. And that is my hope. And I pray, oh I pray, that one day she will have that hope as well.

Football, Diet Coke, and CVS Bucks

We are spending our Saturday the way the rest of the south is spending their Saturday, watching SEC football. I had committed to having no diet coke in the house, but Scott requested that I at least buy a pack that he can take to work in order to bring home just enough at night for him to have one or two. I, on the other hand, CANNOT keep it in the house. I bought it anyway this past week thinking I could control myself. It turns out I can't. No more diet coke in the house if I have any hope of cutting it out of my life. Well, I had to run out and get a case for Scott today so that he would have some to drink while he watched football. It's our beer of choice:) He will be taking the leftovers to work. Well, when he told me he needed some, I was racking my brain because the grocery money was already spent. Then I remembered that I had some CVS extra bucks--problem solved. Even better, the diet coke at CVS was on sale, 3 for 10 (not their best deal ever, but it will work), so I actually had to pick something out in order to have enough to use my 5.79 ECBs from infant Advil that I bought earlier in the month. I decided to purchase two three packs of ivory soap because we can always use soap, and buying ivory meant 1.00 Extra Buck. So, I ended up spending .34 out of pocket, and I walked away with 1.00 ECB. I made money off of my transaction. I have to admit, I was fairly proud of myself.

For more deals check out Super Saving Saturdays over at Money Saving Mom.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kroger comes through once again

Friday is payday in the Moore house, and this week we were especially eager for pay day to get here. Despite my best efforts, meals this week have been rather drab, and one night I even opted for a big bowl of stove popped popcorn over the meal I had planned. Scott and Ada ate leftovers that night. So, armed with this week's grocery money, and a little extra padding of the budget thanks to my sweet aunt Mary Ann who sent me a check in the mail "just because" (THANK YOU, Mary Ann, it was GREATLY appreciated!!!) Ada and I headed to Kroger first thing this morning ready to load up the kitchen with ingredients for some yummy make ahead recipes. I read several blogs of moms who are also working hard to save money and still feed their families well. Many suggest stocking the freezer with meals for days and weeks when you just need to pull something out and heat it up. With that in mind, I am making two Southern Living casserole recipes this week, and I plan to freeze half of each. I most likely will start making something like this at least once a week until the freezer is good and stocked, that way when we face another tight money week, I will have something to fall back on other than whatever happens to be in the pantry.

So, off to Kroger we went, and I walked away paying less than 100.00 for enough ingredients to make a total of 9 meals, plus basic stuff like milk, south beach bars (I know these are not very frugal, but I love a convenient breakfast and these are loaded with protein. At least they were on sale 2 for 6), and bottled water. You know the daily necessities for the week. Even after splitting the casseroles in order to freeze half, I really think that one will be enough for two nights, so we will eat those for four nights this week, and the amount in the freezer should be enough for four more meals. I am so excited. Once again, I did have a few coupons to use--one for yogurt (I always have these, and I am so glad because we eat yogurt a lot), one for flavored water, and one for a jar of fruit, which Ada will eat. Plus, I received even more coupons with my receipt, including another one for pampers--YEA!!

I really am a Kroger fan. I just think the savings add up. The more I shop there, the more coupons I get, and the more I save. Plus, I always get coupons that I need. Love it.

For more money saving ideas, check out Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How I manage to feed my clothing addiction and stay on budget

As I have mentioned before, I have always been a lover of all things shopping. When we (my sisters and I) were younger, a lot younger, we sometimes had special one on one time with my dad. Ann got to go to Auburn football games with him, and my special event was Christmas shopping at the mall. And I looked forward to it all year long. In first grade I even wrote my dad a note in class (I guess I was planning to hand it to him in person?) about how I couldn't wait to go to the mall that night. And for as long as I can remember all I ever wanted for my birthday and Christmas was money for new clothes. It's such an addiction. Right up there with my love for diet coke. Well, obviously clothes cost money, sometimes a lot of money, but I think of myself as somewhat of an expert on making that clothing money stretch, and here is how I do it.

I know that some people like to spend a lot of money on nice clothing that will last for a while, and I understand this concept, I do. But I tend to be a trend follower, and we all know that trends last for maybe one second, so there is no point in investing big money in trends. So how does one enjoy the fads of the season without breaking the bank?

First of all, don't overlook stores like Target and Old Navy. These are truly two of my go-to stores. Sometimes they are a gold mine, and sometimes I can find nothing at all, but they are always worth a look. Plus, I rarely buy something full price at Target, and here is why. Once a week (I think) Target marks things down. While 25.00 is an amazing price for a cute shirt, 5.00 is even more amazing. The key is to go to Target often and look through the clearance racks. There is a 30% rack, 50% rack, and a 75% rack. Granted the 75% rack is often very picked over, but it is always worth a look. I will say this, I am 5 ft tall. Obviously this is much smaller than the average joe, so my size is usually left. If you are more of an average size, you may not be able to find as good of deals.

Old Navy also has great sales. It doesn't happen as often as it does at Target, but I often find things for very inexpensive. Three summers ago, I purchased a blue seersucker jacket from Old Navy for maybe 13.00, and I wear that thing all the time. I love it. And it is perfect for Auburn games when paired with an orange tank. I think it was originally like 40--something. So these stores with already low prices will eventually go even lower, just have patience.

I will say that Old Navy and Target usually have a good selection of basic stuff to fuel my everyday wardrobe, but sometimes you are in need of something a little more fun. This is where I say don't over look the junior department. Again, I am the height of an elementary student, so junior clothing works for me most of the time. I do have to wear a MUCH larger size than in a normal store because this post-pregnancy body doesn't fit so well into those clothes designed for a 15 year old, but hey, I am willing to go up a few sizes for the sake of fashion. My two favorite junior stores are Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. Forever 21 has seriously low prices. So low. And you can find cute dresses there for less than 20.00. Keep in mind, that these things are not going to last forever. This is not investment shopping, but it is worth it to me to have a season or two of wear out of an item. Charlotte Russe requires a little more looking to find something worth buying, but there are usually some really cute tops. And for my biggest secret of all. My favorite, favorite jeans come from Charlotte Russe. I pay 45.00 for two pairs of jeans that I love!! They have great color options, and I honestly love the way they fit. Again, I go up many sizes compared to jeans from Gap, but I can't get one pair of jeans for 45.00 at Gap, and I like the way Charlotte Russe fits even better than Gap. One pair is 30.00, but almost always they have specials where you buy one pair of jeans and get the second for 1/2 off. I am telling you, check it out. I really do love them.

Finally, if you want more quality clothing, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, and The Limited have awesome clearance racks. Banana Republic clearance racks are my favorite. I really love Banana Republic, and I would love to shop there all the time, but it's just not possible on one income. However, their sales are amazing. Just a few weeks ago, I bought two sweaters for fall that were marked down to like 10.00 each!! Granted that was at the outlet, but still.

One last thing before I go. I do think there are items that are worth investing in. A good pair of pants is a must. I am willing to pay the big bucks for a nice pair of black pants or brown pants. These I will wear year after year if they will last. I bought several pair of pants my senior year of college that I am still wearing. I think that is worth the cost. A good black dress or any dress that will work for a wedding year after year is also worth the investment. Black boots, brown boots--these are a must. Even a good pair of black heels. You want these things to last. But a cute top or skirt, you can find those for cheap. I promise.

As always, I love learning new ways to save. So, if any of you have suggestions on how to dress cute on a budget, please share!! Especially if it involves children's clothing--my newest addiction!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

13 months going on 16 years

Remember when you were 16 and you were getting a lecture from your parents. This is how it usually went for me, "look at me when I am talking to you," says mom or dad, "I am looking at you," says me as I conveniently look just above their eyes in order to not make actual eye contact. Must be maddening for a parent. Well Ada has already perfected this move. I have learned that when I spank her leg, she laughs, yes laughs, so I am trying a new tactic. I tell her, "look at mama," which she is fully capable of doing when she is not in trouble, but somehow, when she is in trouble, she can't remember how to look at mama. Just now, she was trying to touch the fan in her room, which is an obvious no-no. I squatted down, put my hands on both of her arms, and said firmly, "look at mama." She proceeded to literally bend at the waist, with her head straight down at the floor just so she wouldn't have to look at me. The moment of discipline was ruined when I burst out laughing. She then looked straight at me and also laughed. Oh dear. Discipline won't work if I start laughing!! By the way, if she ever does actually look at me when I am disciplining her, she bursts into tears and seems to actually understand the no. I am not giving up spanking her leg, but I am finding the eye contact approach a little more effective.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Being lazy on this rainy, rainy day

I am never more thankful that I don't have to work outside of my home than on a day like today. At Pebblebrook, where I used to teach, the English department was housed in a separate building from the rest of the school. This meant that on days like today, I spent a lot of time walking through puddles and getting very frizzy hair as I completed tasks in the main office or did lunch duty in the lunch room. Not to mention the fact that heels do not mix well with wet teenagers who create puddles all through the halls. All of this to say, Ada and I are tucked into the house, riding out the downpour that is currently happening outside. I do need to make a quick grocery store run to pick up a few things that I forgot yesterday--so much for my great deal, right? But I only need to pick up a few things. I was trying to think of a way to make dinner slightly more exciting tonight (we have opted for mac and cheese and lima beans instead of breakfast), and I have decided to make a corn casserole. I have never made it before, but I have most of the ingredients on hand, so I think I will give it a go.

Here is the recipe--

1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix (already have)
8 oz. sour cream (already have)
1 stick butter (already have)
1 med. can undrained whole kernel corn (need to buy)
1 med. can cream style corn (already have)

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9 x 9 in. glass pan. Pour into dish. Bake 45 min-1 hour, or until center is set.

Probably not the healthiest recipe in the world, but it should make enough to last two nights, and it's better than the plain old cream corn I planned to cook. I'll let you know how it tastes. For more recipes, check out Blessed With Grace.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We're cleaning out the pantry this week in an effort to save some money

August is a big month for us--car tags, birthdays, and my traveling home more than we had planned. Needless to say the budget is stretched thin, so I am relying on what is already in the pantry and freezer to make dinner this week. I am trying to be creative, but I make no promises that it will all taste good. I just went to the grocery store for the week, and I walked out of Kroger spending less than 50.00--impressive, right? I didn't even save that much with my Kroger card today, and I only had two coupons to use, so I think I did well (who knows if Scott will agree--he told me to only buy the necessities, but with a one year old, the necessities list is fairly long). To be fair to those of you who are thinking that 50 isn't much, I have a huge case of diapers that I bought a while back when Babies R' Us was having a sale, we are no longer buying formula, and for the time being I am not buying diet coke. Those three things really dip into the grocery budget, so when I take them away, I am left with huge savings.

To add to the great grocery trip, I walked away with some awesome coupons. With my receipt came coupons for Pampers (gold!!), yo-plus yogurt (Ada eats this a lot in hopes of helping her little digestive system), and I received two coupons for Slim Fast bars, which I can never find. Yea!! Plus, this week in the Sunday paper there is a coupon for FREE Sara Lee bread. Yes, free!! So please find a Sunday paper, and take advantage of that great deal.

Today at Organizing Junkie is menu planning Monday, and I have decided to participate. Keeping in mind my disclaimer, here it this week's menu.

Daily Breakfast--high protein slim fast bars (15 grams of protein!!)
Ada will be eating grits, yogurt, or eggs

Daily Lunch--frozen bean and cheese burritos (normally I eat lean cuisine pizzas, but they just didn't make the cut this week because of the high price)
Ada will eat peanut butter and crackers, baby food that is still sitting in the pantry (it's a good way to get the veggies down), and whatever else I might find hidden in the nooks and crannies of my kitchen

And dinner

Monday--5.00 carry out pizza
Tuesday--Stir Fry veggies and fried rice (I use whole grain rice, and I add egg for protein, this is a cheap dinner that we eat almost weekly to insure that we stay within the grocery budget)
Wednesday--Breakfast for dinner--eggs, grits, and bacon
Thursday--Pasta with tomatoes, olive oil, and Italian seasoning, broccoli on the side
Friday--(this is when I am starting to struggle) boxed mac and cheese, lima beans, and creamed corn

So there you have it, a quick, thrown together menu made up of leftovers and rejects still sitting in the pantry, but we aren't going to starve and the budget will survive despite the month's extra expenses.

p.s. I welcome any and all advice on how to cut the grocery spending even more. Plus, I am new to actually having to feed Ada meals, so advice for that is also welcome.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Unpredictable Little Girl

About a month into taking only one nap a day, Ada is upstairs asleep at 10:45 am, and she has been up there for almost an hour. From day one I have been trying to some how get control of motherhood, thinking that I would wake up one day and have it all figured out into neat little packages, and I assume God just laughs at my futile attempts. It's not happening, folks, and it's time for me to get with the program and realize that in most cases I just have to go with the flow. And today that means a morning nap. Who knows what that will mean tomorrow. I do plan to wake her up in about thirty minutes so that we can join the Barber family for lunch at McDonalds. I am crossing my fingers that she will also take an afternoon nap because there is no way she will make it from 11 am to a 7 pm bed time. It just won't happen. It's funny, too, because I have myself all psyched up to really relax and just see what happens with baby number two, not forcing a schedule too early, embracing those first few weeks of craziness (or year of craziness, whatever), and just watch baby number two turn out to be the most predictable, scheduled little booger I have ever seen.

p.s. I talk about baby number two a lot, so to clear up any confusion, I am not pregnant, I am just always thinking about any other members that God might add to our family. Baby number two is always on the brain, but that is all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still writing from Scottsboro

Well, we are nearing the end of the week, and I think both Ada and I and Scott will be glad for our family to be reunited. I know that Scott appreciates having the house to himself for a few days, but I think a week might be a little long for him to be alone. And Ada and I soak up time spent at my mom's house, especially the parts of the day where we get to hang out with Ann and the cousins, but, of course, we both are needing the husband and dad to be around after a little while. I am very excited, though, because next time I come home, Ada and I will be staying at Ann's new house, so that Ada will get to spend all day playing with Luke and Ellie--yea. We never really plan the visits home, we just look around one day and think that we need a change of scenery and off to Scottsboro we go. This time, my mom was coming to visit me and she suggested I come back with her, so that is how we ended up here. I have to say that with all of the freedom that is lost once you become a mom, there is flexibility of place--if that makes sense.

This morning we met Grams and Pop (Scott's parents) for breakfast in Ft. Payne--it was a halfway meeting point for us. Ada was in such a bad mood, though. Who knows why? A year into this thing, and it is still such a guessing game. I suppose it always will be, at least until she can communicate better. I suspect there is a tooth trying to come through on the bottom, but I can't prove it yet. She keeps putting her hands in her mouth, she is extra fussy, and she has gotten very fussy when my mom or I have had to stick our hands in her mouth to relieve her of too much food stuffed inside. If I put food in front of her, she stuffs it all in her mouth regardless of whether or not it is chewed up, and her little cheeks get so puffy because her mouth is so full. That is when mom or I have to intervene, and oh does she get angry. So...I don't know how successful the visit was. I enjoyed seeing Scott's parents, and Ada seemed to enjoy walking around outside after breakfast, but she was rather fussy during breakfast. She is becoming more capable of blatant disobedience, and she has learned to say no to me in a very strong voice. Oh dear. I do think she is understanding the word no better though. She is more responsive to it, though I still have to say no to the same things over and over. So that's an update on us. I took some cute pictures today at breakfast, but I left my camera at Ann's house. As soon as I get that back, I plan to download them, so this may be a two post day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Diet Coke Withdrawals, Extra Long Naps, and a whole new wardrobe=Life in Scottsboro

So we have been here since Sunday, and the diet coke reduction is going okay. I have decided that I will no longer purchase diet coke at the store, that way if I want it I have to actually get in the car and drive somewhere to get it. And I can only afford so many fountain drinks a day. Hopefully this will make the whole process a little bit easier. I have been drinking lots more water, but I am not sure how much all of this is helping. We'll see.

Ada is also adjusting well to being here instead of her own home. I was a little nervous about having nights by myself because Scott is much better at letting her cry it out. However, I had enough sense to know that if I gave in on night one, we would have a terrible week, so I stood my ground through two middle of the night wake ups, and since then it hasn't been so bad. She still wakes up at least once a night, but I just go in there and lie her back down, and we all go back to sleep. Plus, today, she took a 3 1/2 hour nap. I think she would have kept sleeping, but I thought that if I let her sleep longer than that she would never go to sleep tonight. Yea for a long afternoon of rest for me!!

And the best part of Scottsboro so far--last night Ann gave me all of her non-maternity clothes to wear while she is pregnant. Basically I received an entire fall and winter wardrobe for FREE!! Yea for sisters that are my same size. I told her we should just keep doing this--once she has this baby, I will proceed with baby number two and we can switch again. I get the maternity clothes and she gets the non-maternity clothes. It's a great system that saves lots of money. Ada is certainly thankful for all of the clothes she has borrowed from Ellie!! Seriously, though, I have been wanting to invest in some new fall clothes so badly, and I am oh so thankful that I am borrowing these for free. Dave Ramsey would approve, I think.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Headed to Auburn

well, I'm packing it up this morning and headed to Auburn with my mom and Ada. It's bid day in the land of sororities, and my sister's--Sarah and Kate--have a small break this morning before all of the craziness begins, so we are meeting them and my mom's sister for a little bit of Big Blue Bagel goodness. Yum, Yum. This will be Ada's third trip to Big Blue, and she has only been alive for one year. I am training her early to love that place as much as I do (and all of Auburn, for that matter). I will then head to Scottsboro for the week with my mom. As usual, Scott will join us next weekend, and then we will return home.

This week begins project wean Laura Beth off of diet coke. I am having a few internal complications that seem to be connected to my insane intake of diet coke--I refuse to reveal the number of diet cokes that I drink in a day, it is just too shameful. My goal is to reduce the number to two a day all in hopes of avoiding unnecessary procedures. So as I type I am drinking a bottle of water because I really want to drink a diet coke with my lunch. I could be a hard person to live with as I go through withdrawals.

Anyway...just wanted to share that I might be MIA for a few days as I settle in back in Scottsboro, but I will update before the week is over. Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This morning I am encouraged by this quote

I say encouraged, but also, once again, confronted with my own prideful, sinful nature.

I have begun to visit this blog daily to receive encouragement for the day, to be reminded of my job. And today I found this quote, which really spoke to what I was dealing with in yesterday's post. Enjoy.

Perhaps that is an issue for some of us--struggling with the reality that God has called us to do less than we want to do or less than what we believe is best. That can happen in any setting. For me, it's been especially true in my years with small children - 'I got a college degree for this?' Maybe the problem is the way we see ourselves. Maybe we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

If anyone was too good to die, it was Jesus. If anyone should have done greater things than walking dusty roads and talking with people too dense to understand him, it was Jesus. In Philippians 3 . . . is the verse, "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (verse 10). When God called Helen to less than she expected, he was helping her become like Christ, rather than like the best doctor or missionary she knew of. Who is it we want to be like?" (p. 172)

This quote is taken from the book, Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, by Noel Piper.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thoughts on Homemaking

I have always believed since I was a small child that a mother's place was in the home. I don't remember being taught this, but I observed it. My mother stayed home, my father went to work. And even then, not so long ago, the majority of mothers that I knew stayed at home. Now I realize that this is a controversial issue in 2008, and I don't wish to stir up controversy, I only wish to share some ways that God is dealing with my heart. I do want to make this clear, however, in my home, where I was indirectly taught that a mother's place was in the home, I was also directly taught that nothing less than my best in everything was acceptable. I could not play after school until my homework was done, and in elementary school I remember studying for tests with my father, and if I was still missing even a few questions that he asked me, well the studying was not done. I was taught to write neatly, do things completely, and I always knew that I would go to college. It was expected, assumed, and I never thought otherwise. So off I went to college, where I majored in fashion design, with every intention of having some huge career in New York City. Obviously that did not happen. And I even remember when making the decision to change my major, I told my mother that all I really wanted was to be a mother. But that was not an optional major, and reality showed that I very well could be single for my entire life. So I decided to choose a major that I would be happy with, that would be fulfilling if God gave me a life of singleness, and so I chose teaching. Because then I would still invest in young lives, and better yet, I would immerse myself in literature and writing. And what do you know, I fell in love with my major, and once I was actually in the classroom, well, I fell in love with teaching and with students and with, well, being in the classroom.

I am a big believer that truth is a very separate thing from emotion and feeling. I have to believe this because my emotions are so unpredictable, so I stand on truth. I fully believe that it is truth that I am to be at home with Ada, being a homemaker. And I always thought that I believed this to be a worthy profession, a high calling, a privilege. What I have found, however, now that I am home, is that there is not much glory in it. It is very daily, and at times, it makes me feel very unimportant, and I am tempted to want to go back to work. And this is where truth comes in. God is showing me in huge, huge ways that I am believing lies. And if my job is to teach my daughters the art of homemaking, well I must learn it myself, right? Again, this is not a post about whether a woman should stay at home or work, it is a post about my believing the lie that because I stay at home with my children, my job somehow makes my education useless or makes me somewhat worthless. How crazy is that? I even wrote a persuasive paper in graduate school outlining all the reasons why a graduate degree would benefit me if I were to stay at home with my children, and yet, I find myself forgetting what I wrote. In the midst of all of these feelings that have surfaced at the start of another school year, I find God sending me little messages, or not so little messages, about all of the reasons why he has called me to be a full time mom. And more than that, He has encouraged me so. Which I find so comforting. I don't feel so much disciplined by Him, but more reminded of truth. Of truth about why this job matters. And of truth about my sin and my pride in wanting a job that brings glory and acclaim. And truth that I must believe in homemaking if I am to teach my daughters that they are called to be homemakers in a world that is becoming more and more anti-homemaking. I am still in process, so forgive me if this post is somewhat unclear. Just know that I will probably revisit this topic more over the next months, years, lifetime even. And for some encouragement of your own, please check out this blog. Every time I read it, I find myself in tears because I feel like God is reminding me that He notices the job that I do, and that is enough. That is all I need.

Easy, easy pot roast

It is recipe swap day over at Life As Mom, and I have decided to participate for the first time.

Last week when Scott's parents were here, I wanted to make a good, home cooked meal for them, but I needed something easy because most of my time was already accounted for with all of the party preparation and such. I looked through the pantry to see what I had on hand, and I found the following recipe on the back of a lipton onion soup packet. It was delicious, and oh so easy. It seems more appropriate for fall, though, when the leaves are turning, the air is cool, and all you want at the end of the day is a warm and cozy meal.

3- to 3-1/2- lb. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)
1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
2-1/2 cups water
4 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 carrots, sliced
2 to 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  1. Brown roast in Dutch oven or 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix blended with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, turning roast occasionally, 2 hours.
  2. Add vegetables and cook an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables and roast are tender; remove roast and vegetables.
  3. For gravy, blend remaining 1/2 cup water with flour; stir into Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
SLOW COOKER METHOD: Add vegetables, then roast in slow cooker. Add Soup Mix blended with 2 cups water. Cook covered on LOW 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours or until roast is tender. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter. Blend remaining 1/2 cup water with flour and stir into juices in slow cooker. Cook covered on HIGH 15 minutes or until thickened.

Things I did differently--I added an entire container of beef broth in addition to lots of water. As I was cooking, the roast seemed to be getting dry, so I just kept adding beef broth and water.

Take note of slow cooker method. I first browned the roast on all sides on top of the stove. Then I put the vegetables in the crock pot, followed by the roast, and finally, I added the soup mix. At that point I poured about half of the beef broth in. Then, as it cooked, I added broth and water periodically.

It really tasted good, and the roast was very tender. Really, this is a meal that I will do again and again, I think.

Okay, I am adding to this post. In addition to the pot roast, I made what my family calls divine muffins (Southern Living cook book calls them quick biscuits). They really are more muffin than biscuit, but they are, literally, melt in your mouth good. Warning, there is not one iota of healthy to them, but for a special occasion, that's okay.

Again, an easy, easy recipe.

2 1/4 c. biscuit mix
1 (8 oz) container of sour cream
1/2 c. butter, melted

combine all ingredients, stirring well
drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls into an ungreased muffin pan
Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes or until golden. Be careful, they burn easily.

yield: one dozen.

Happy cooking, everyone!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Busy Morning

It is not even noon yet, and we have already had a very full day. I have not been to the grocery store for the week, so we had absolutely nothing for breakfast, which meant that we got to go out for breakfast--yea. I love going out for breakfast on Saturday mornings. I just think it's the best way to start the weekend. So we loaded Ada into her car seat, and off we went to try a new restaurant on the square, Gritz. And it was a hit. The restaurant was packed, which was a good sign, and it is located in a very old building on the square with original floors and ceilings. The walls are lined with old black and white pictures of Atlanta in addition to shots of people and places around McDonough. It was a big morning because the doctor encouraged me to concentrate on giving Ada three meals a day, rather than bottles plus little snacks here and there. So, Ada and I split a plate of eggs, grits, bacon, and biscuits. Yummy. And Ada ate the eggs and grits like they were going out of style. I get really excited about firsts like that--Ada's first real breakfast, her first happy meal, etc. etc. I also ordered her a glass of milk, and I poured it into her bottle, and yea, she drank it without even a second thought. It looks like our days of formula may be over. So exciting. I will take a 4 dollar carton of milk over 25 dollar formula any day.

The food at this restaurant was incredibly fresh and home made. Growing up, we had close family friends in Scottsboro (The Baldwins) that lived in a big blue, very old house on Scott Street. I spent many nights over there, and every morning Beth Baldwin would cook a huge breakfast and Jamie Baldwin (her husband) would whistle up the stairs to signal to us children to come down for breakfast. I still remember how cold the hardwood floors were on fall mornings and the way breakfast smelled so good. I still spend a good bit of time with the Baldwins, and Beth still cooks breakfast from time to time, but something about that old blue house made breakfast taste just a little bit better than normal. This morning I could have been sitting in that old kitchen.
After breakfast, we stopped by a local farmers market to buy some fresh tomatoes, and the owner threw in some free bananas. Apparently Saturdays are free banana day. We'll take it.

And finally, we ended our morning with some play time at a local park. Ada enjoyed the swings and sliding with Scott. And of course, she thought it would be more fun to climb up the slide rather than actually slide down the slide. That is so typically Ada. Our fun came to an abrupt end when the slide shocked her. Poor thing, but Scott and I couldn't help but laugh. Her hair was standing straight up. Ada is now sleeping soundly, worn out from all the morning activity.

And family, as always, you will find more pictures if you go to my photo link.

Little miss independent walking around the playground.

Headed home and still facing backwards. Bless her heart, she has to be one year AND 20 lbs to face forward. She didn't quite make the cut.

Friday, August 8, 2008

So many reasons that today has been a great day

Number one reason that today has been so good--fall is in the air. The humidity was low and a breeze was blowing, so much so that I was able to make it from the house to the car without breaking a sweat. Oh how the day hinted at fall, and I was just overcome with excitement. I just can't wait for cooler weather and all that comes with it.

In addition to the wonderful weather, Ada and I joined three other moms and their kids for a little play time this morning. Yes, it's true, two play dates in one week. I have always been an introvert, or so I thought, but this first year of Ada's life has been an incredibly lonely one for me, at times even making me feel slightly depressed and unmotivated, but I feel like I am seeing a break in all of the isolation, and it makes me feel almost giddy with relief. I don't know if the loneliness is just part of the first year or if it is a result of our February move. I can't put my finger on all the reasons. All I know is that I welcome any and all contact with the world outside of the four walls of my home, and the Lord is showering me with relationship opportunities lately. In fact, on Tuesday I will be joining a group of McDonough moms for breakfast, and on Wednesday there is a library reading time for toddlers that Ada and I will be going to, where I will hopefully meet even more moms. It really is crazy. One day there was no way for me to connect with anyone, and all of a sudden there are opportunities abounding.

And the final reason that today was a fun day, I had a little birthday money to burn. My birthday is on Tuesday--the big 26--and my sweet aunt Mary Ann (my mom's sister) sent me some early birthday money. Thanks so much, Mary Ann. It has been so much fun figuring out what to buy, and I decided to get a few casual everyday dresses from Target and Gap Outlet. It was a tough call to make because I also considered ordering several books that I have had my eye on or even buying a starter set of Bare Minerals Make up, but the dresses were the biggest need, and I found some great deals, so the money stretched farther than I expected. I ended up with 4 new dresses!!! Again, thanks so much, Mary Ann!!

All in all, the day has made me so eager for all that fall holds for Ada and me. I only bought dresses that could transition into boot and sweater weather, and the breeze that was blowing hinted at days spent outside. I just can't wait for trips to pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms and just simply enjoying the outdoors without dying from the heat. Yea for fall and all that it brings!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


can anyone tell me how to make my picasa pictures public? I know that I have seen others link to their picasa albums from their blog. Instructions, anyone?

Okay, so I now have a link on the side of my blog, titled My Photos, can someone test it for me and see if it allows you to look at my pictures without signing in? If someone tries it, please let me know.

Spoiled by the Grandparents

Scott's parents, or grams and pop as Ada calls (will call) them, came to visit for Scott's and Ada's birthday. They arrived last Friday and stayed through Wednesday morning, and Scott and I both agreed that it was quite nice to have two extra people to entertain Ada and allow us to do some things that we rarely get to do. While they were here, Scott and I attended a wedding in Atlanta, had dinner with friends from South Point, and even had an impromptu lunch date at Arby's on the way to pick up Ada's birthday cake. And that list doesn't even include the various naps that we got to take while Scott's parents kept an eye on Ada. All in all it was a very nice break from our normal day to day. Plus, Scott's parents came along with us to Target and BrandSmart, and they played with Ada while we shopped--so nice. We were all sad to see them go. And not just because they played the role of full time baby-sitters, we also enjoyed their company:) As did Ada. She became quite attached to Grams and Pop. I am posting a few pictures below, though I didn't take nearly enough. And I didn't even get one with Ada and Pop, which is a shame because they became very good friends during the visit.
And the following picture is Ada's birthday gift from Scott and me. Elmo now protects Ada from hitting her head on the faucet, and he protects me from getting sprayed by the shower because Ada can no longer turn the shower on as long as Elmo is there. This makes bath time much easier for everyone. We also gave her a bag full of bath time letters and numbers.
And finally a few snapshots from our visit with Jane and Elisha today. These two wouldn't slow down long enough for us to take their picture, so this is the best I got.

And for other family waiting to see the rest of the birthday pictures...I think that if you click on this link, you will get to ALL 152 birthday pictures. Some are good, some not so good. Look if you wish.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pediatrician Visit

Oh wow, we made our mark at the doctor's office today.

Today was our first visit to Covenant Care Pediatrics, and I went with high hopes because I never really loved our last pediatrician. Our new place is a small office with only one physician, who has eight kids of his own. My reasoning is that if he has eight kids plus he's a pediatrician he MUST know what he's talking about. Plus I had a million questions about sleep, diet, etc. Ada's nights continue to be awful, so I wanted to hear a pediatrician tell me what everyone else has already told me--let her cry it out!! And that is what he said, or what the nurse said at least. But back to my opening statement--Ada was quite the patient.

She was angry about everything. She screamed when I put her on the table for them to measure her, she resisted being weighed with everything in her power, almost leaping from the scale multiple times, and I even had to forcefully hold her hands down as she screamed at the top of her lungs while the nurse checked her head circumference. It was crazy. She had never done that at previous doctors visits, so I was not prepared. And at this point, we hadn't even gotten to the shots. Wow. When the nurse did come back with the shots, I had to forcefully hold Ada's arms down so that she would not grab the needles. Luckily, the shots were over very quickly, but Ada was so upset afterwards. The whole thing was quite the work out, and we were both exhausted afterwards. (Plus she had a TERRIBLE night last night). After all of that I thought that surely Ada would be ready for a nap. Oh no. She resisted her nap for over an hour before she finally fell asleep, but once she fell asleep she slept for three hours, and I slept almost that entire time as well. We are both in better moods now after our long nap:)

Well, the statistics are in, and little bitty Ada weighs in at 17.5 lbs, putting her in the 3rd percentile for weight. I knew she was little but I did not realize that she was that little. Her height is a little more average. She is 29 inches, which puts her in the 40th percentile, and her head is in the 29th percentile (I think). We weighed her again at home just to make sure that was right, but she weighed the same thing on our scale. She's just small, I suppose. So that was our day today. Quite eventful, and we have even more excitement planned this week--a visit with Jane and Elisha tomorrow and then a visit with new friends from church on Friday.

I will also be back tomorrow to post more about our visit with Scott's parents.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Birthday Post

Well, it happened, I have survived a year of motherhood. Mark it down. And, even better, my marriage survived a year of motherhood. And, to top it ALL off, I am feeling an itch to start this whole thing over again with baby number two. Woo-hoo. There was a time, in all sincerity, that I didn't know how we would ever even consider baby number two. What a life changing year it has been, and I truly cannot remember me without Ada. So clearly, there was reason to celebrate today. And poor, poor Scott--his birthday has become an afterthought in all the excitement of having a child in the home. But come on, what is better than a child's birthday, other than a child at Christmas? Nothing, right? At least not that I remember. I loved all the excitement and attention and feeling special that a birthday brought, and I plan to pass on those same feelings to my offspring. And so it began today. See how it went below.

The star of the show in all of her cupcake, birthday girl gloryThe birthday meal. What better way to celebrate an August birthday than with a cookout. Maybe next year we can add fun in the pool to the mix and have the ideal end of summer setting.
Eating her baked beans--the only part of her birthday meal that she could eat, but oh, did she eat them. She loved them!!
At this point, we stripped her down to her diaper in preparation for her birthday cake. She was getting tired of the highchair as evidenced by her face.

Side note: the following pictures were all Scott's idea. I was not one for letting her "dive" into the cake, but dive she did.

And this is what she thought about my taking her cake away. (Immediately after this we transported her to the bath tub!!)
And mom, the picture at the top of the page is for you. Please note that I am using my silver to cut the cake!! It is being used.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Birthday Hoopla and other happenings

We are gearing up for the big day here at the Moore house. We just returned from Target where we purchased the necessary birthday "gear" including a very cute birthday hat for Ada to wear in pictures. We also made a Brandsmart run to buy a new memory card for our camera to insure plenty of picture taking. Hopefully I will be able to post photos again soon. I am loving this part of being a mom, planning the birthday and all. It makes me feel like a child again. I am already gearing up for Halloween and Christmas. I am so excited for Ada to finally be at an age where she can semi enjoy these things. I will be back tomorrow or the next day with more birthday details, but for now I just have a quick Ada story.

This afternoon before we left to go to Target, I was sitting in the living room just hanging out with Scott and his parents, and Ada was playing with her toys on the floor. Well apparently she decided she was bored with that set up because all of a sudden she brought one flip flop over to me and tried to put in on my foot, then she went back, picked up the other one and brought it to me, and then once I had them on my feet, she said "bye-bye" as she waved. I guess she was ready for an outing. It was so funny. And of course, we catered to her wishes, and off we went. Really I needed to go to the places mentioned above, but she just hurried the trip along. I guess she gets tired of being inside the house as much as I do.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A very quick post

This is going to be a very quick post to share a little Scott story that has required me to remember my vows of, "for better and for worse." Currently, Scott and I are sleeping on a queen size bed with a double size mattress. When we moved, my parents gave us their old bed to go in our master bedroom, but we only have two mattress sets right now and both are double size. Well, we still haven't bought a queen size mattress for the bed, but it's working okay so far. (Not forever, though, Scott). Well, Scott's parents are in McDonough right now for Ada's birthday, and they brought a queen size air mattress for us to have for guests that come to visit. We have one guest bed right now, but there are definitely times that an extra bed would be nice. And obviously, an air mattress is a great solution for GUESTS. Well Scott, in all seriousness, tells me that he thinks that we should put the air mattress in our bed and put the double size mattress on our extra double size bed. I promise he was serious. Wow. This is when I have to remember that even when my husband thinks that an air mattress is a proper solution for our queen size bed, I have to choose to love him. Just joking, but seriously, an air mattress???

I love him, though, despite these things:)