Saturday, February 28, 2009
This past week I had a free seven day pass to Gold's Gym, so I have been going to class all week, and Ada has been hanging out in the kid's area. It's been great, and I have already seen an increase in energy. Well, I talked to the worker earlier in the week about the class pass. I really thought that she told me that the pass was for 20 classes, and she certainly never mentioned a registration fee. Plus, Tutti (you remember Tutti, right?) has a class pass, and her's is for 20 classes. Okay, so I go to Gold's Gym today, oh so excited about buying my pass, and the girl tells me that there is a 39.00 registration fee, and that 31.00 will buy 12 classes. TWELVE CLASSES!! Okay, so I mentioned that I really thought it was for 20 classes, and I even asked if they had changed it recently. She said no and I think felt sorry for me because I can only imagine how my face fell in that moment. I came in prepared to pay 31.00 for 20 classes, and they were asking me to pay a total of 70.00 for 12 classes. It wasn't happening, folks. I sadly told her thanks anyway.
So, I got in my car, and I was feeling rather frustrated. It was the kind of frustrated where I felt the need to get a lot of energy out. I even called Scott and ranted and raved for a bit, and he was patient with me as I let out some of the frustration. Then we hung up, and then I called him back and ranted and raved some more. It wasn't my finest hour, ya'll.
But then the wheels in my head started to turn. I knew that I need exercise. I need it for both my mental and physical health--and, let's be honest, the health of my husband and daughter;), so I began to rack my brain. I had 42.00 in my purse, so I headed to Target. And here, the story gets better. I bought a new workout DVD--woo-hoo--The Firm: The 500 Calorie Workout. I spent for-stinkin-ever looking over each of the workout dvds that Target offered, and this seemed to offer the most similar workout to the ones at Gold's. I didn't want some puny little video that left me feeling like I had done nothing but take a stroll around the block. I need to sweat out all of my frustration and anxiety every single day, and those puny 30 minute dvds just don't cut it. But this dvd promises 60 minutes of very hard working out. And it also promises 500 calories burned. So, I snatched it up, along with some new hand weights, because the video said I would need them. And there you have it folks. I am still frustrated with Gold's Gym, but I have come up with a solution. I'll let you know how it goes.
In the mean time, do you have any suggestions for good work out videos? I imagine that eventually I will get tired of doing the same dvd every single day, so suggestions are welcome.
p.s. the reason I need a video is because Ada refuses to sit in the stroller, so running is out. Plus as soon as Scott gets home in the afternoon, I start tutoring, so running is out then too. A video is the best solution I could come up with--after the class pass that is.
Friday, February 27, 2009
My women's bible study, which is quite the refuge for me every Thursday night, is currently reading the book, Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow. It is a fabulous book, and by fabulous I mean kick me in the tail convicting. Yikes is all I have to say. The whole purpose of the book is to join Paul in learning that secret to being content (Philippians 4:11-13), and though we are only in chapter four, I have already figured out that the secret has nothing to do with my circumstances. I am guessing that it is no coincidence that I find myself in this group, reading this book, at this particular time in my life. God has a way of working out all the details, doesn't he?
I have a strong tendency towards melancholy--it has shown up all throughout my life. Let me give a shameful example. My highschool boyfriend had to write this paper for school once where he listed some of his favorite things. One of his favorite things was "when his girlfriend was in a good mood." In other words, those times were few and far between. It was quite the eye opener back then, and that memory has stuck with me throughout my life. I try to ask myself daily, am I more often in a good mood or a bad mood these days? Lately, I must confess, that if you asked Scott that question, he would probably say that I am most often in a bad mood. Or maybe sad is the better term.
Now, we all know that I have not one single thing to be sad about. I am tired, it's true. And I do feel most days like I am running some sort of race and the finish line keeps getting farther away from me rather than closer, but God has promised to be my strength at times like these. And thankfully God has brought me quite far in comparison to that 16 year old girl who often stayed in a bad mood--What He has started he will bring to completion, right? In the ten years that have passed, I have learned practical ways that I can control this melancholy mind of mine. One being exercise. Exercise is quite the miracle worker, actually. Truly nothing improves my mood and energy level like exercise. Keeping that in mind, I am hoping to buy about six weeks worth of classes at Gold's Gym. I have gathered up any clothes and shoes that I know I will never wear again, and I am taking those things to Plato's Closet to sell. I am crossing my fingers that they will provide me the money needed to take the classes. Plus, Gold's Gym has child care, so it would give me an hour a day that is just for me, and Ada seems to enjoy nursery situations.
And the new thing that I plan to try is a meal plan template for every week. With all the tutoring that I am doing, I don't have much extra time on my hands, and I am feeling rather bogged down in the couponing and sale matching and meal planning. I am hoping this will free up some of that time. I am hoping to do something like homemade pizza every Saturday night, brunch every Sunday afternoon, pasta every Monday night, etc. etc., and this way it will reduce the amount of thought that I have to put into meal planning each week. It will also give me a better idea of what items I need to stockpile and what items I can pass up. During this season of life when the funds are tight and time is precious, anything that simplifies our life seems to be key.
I say all of the above just to keep myself accountable and transparent. This melancholy thing has been a sin area my whole life, and it's easy for me to say, "oh, it's just my personality." But that is in no way biblical. I have been around women in much more stressful situations than mine, and joy literally radiates from their face and conversation. I pray that God would make that joy a reality in my life, and that I can join Paul in saying, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (and here is that secret) I can do everything through him who gives me strength," Philippians 4:11-13.
Well, one reason that I adore Publix (I am smitten, ya'll) is that they accept competitor coupons, and this brings the already low price even lower. For example, you can go here to print a 5.00 of 20.00 Rite Aid coupon, and you can use it at Publix!! That's 5.00 off of your total in addition to all of the other wonderful coupons you use. Seriously, it's a bargain. Hurry, though, because it can only be used Friday and Saturday.
And remember check out Southern Savers where you will find a sale list matched with coupons. You will also see a preview of what will be in Sunday's paper. It's looking like a pretty good week--one SS, one RP, one PG!! I'll take it!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
She has her first little friend, Ruth, who is Tutti's daughter. I like to think of her as Ada's first BFF;) We spend a lot of time with the McCormick kiddos, and I sense that Ada prefers a house full of people.
What else do I think the extended family on both sides might be dying to know....
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Also on her site are lists of grocery store sales matched to available coupons both printable and non-printable. It truly is my new go-to site when planning my grocery store trip. Check it out; it's an incredibly valuable resource. And best of all it's FREE.
She doesn't have a Wal-Mart list, though, and I know that my Scottsboro readers really need a Wal-Mart list. I think Couponmom is going to be the best resource for Wal-Mart. Hope that helps all you fellow couponers.
And if you have a favorite couponing resource, please share. I am so thankful that Jennifer shared this one with me!!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here is the full list of deals.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
And...my dear friend Tutti, who has been a God-send in my life, just started a blog. Woo-hoo!!! Check it out.
Monday, February 16, 2009
The beach trip is looming ahead, so I am going to try to get in lots of extra online tutoring over the next few weeks so that we will have spending money to use while on vacation. (I love to say that--we are going on vacation!! And vacation it will be!!).
I am also trying to tackle house cleaning/organizing projects. For example, this morning I am going through my closet and getting rid of all those pre-baby clothes I have been hanging on to. If they still don't fit, they aren't going to, and it is time to toss them. Actually I plan to take them to Plato's closet to make a little extra cash. I want to start taking classes at Gold's Gym, and I need an extra 30.00 to get started with that. I am hoping Plato's Closet will provide that extra cash. I'll let you know.
And now, I am going to scrounge around the house, looking for .99 cents for a Sonic diet coke. Cross your fingers for me;)
Friday, February 13, 2009
Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
Step 2: tag—eight other untagged people.
Make a list of things you can see without getting up: I'm in the living room, and I see Scott lying on the couch, going through my coupons to remove the expired ones (he's a sweetheart that one. He never stops serving me), my diet coke (of course), and piles of coupons on the floor waiting to be distributed in the proper envelope
Favorite football team: HELLO!!! Auburn Tigers. Sarah, I'm a bit surprised at you.
What are you wearing now? black pajama pants, and an old cross country t-shirt that once belonged to my younger sister
What color is your bedroom? a very sad off white. In my head it is gray with yellow accents. We'll get there one day;)
What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth (for the third time), and I also read my free Woman's Day that arrived in the mail today.
Do you nap a lot? I usually snooze for the last 30 minutes of Ada's nap, which is just enough to make me extra tired when I awake to her crying for me to come get her out of bed.
Who was the last person you hugged? Ada.
What’s your current obsession/addiction? Diet coke. Current, always. And couponing/deal finding, it's always on my mind.
What was the last thing you said aloud? hmmmm...I don't really know...
What Web sites do you always visit when you go online? hotmail, google reader, craigslist, facebook
What was the last thing you bought? diet coke from QT
What are you listening to right now? a commercial on tv
What is something you wish you could do more? go on dates with Scott (I am currently in the midst of a pity party over the fact that tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and it will be like every other day of my life. This pity part is feeling oddly familiar to the pity parties I used to have back in my single days. Lesson learned--I need to get over myself)
What gives you hope? "For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth," Psalm 71:5
What is your favorite weather, and why? Fall, sun shining, leaves beautiful colors, and just cool enough for a light jacket
What time do you usually get up? 6ish. We had a few days when Ada slept until 7:30, and life was good, but it turned out to be a fluke. We are back to 6 am.
What is your most challenging goal right now? stopping the diet coke habit. It is so hard for me, but I am trying. I really am.
Say something to the person who tagged you: Sarah, there is no way I would have survived freshman year without you, my dear friend. Can't we go back in time for just one day--surely we would laugh if we overheard the conversations we must have had back then!
If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? no doubt--Rosemary Beach, right on the ocean
Favorite vacation spot? Rosemary Beach
What is your favorite children’s book? Where the Sidewalk Ends
Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: fried pickles dipped in ranch, and, of course, diet coke
If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be? I would love to run into Kerri Russell or Scott Speedman at some point in my life
Have you ever met anyone famous? If so who? no, not a single one, and I want to so badly. Though, I would surely make a fool of myself.
If you could have any job in the world , what would it be?Honestly, I am doing what I always wanted to do, and if I wasn't a full time mom, I would want to be a teacher. So... I got to do them--the jobs I dreamed of.
Who is your hero? Off the top of my head, my parents and Scott's parents. I now know that marriage and parenting is not easy, and we give Ada a heritage of generations who stuck it out, and did what they had to do day in and day out. That's no small thing.
Who is the last person you talked to? Scott
I tag: my sisters (that's 3), Bethany (my blog friend who has become my real friend, yea), Jessica, Joy, and anyone else who wants to do this thing(I can't remember if there is a certain number of people that I need to tag)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
After much discussion with my mother both over the phone and through e-mail, and after googling baked chicken quarters, this is what I did-- I rinsed the chicken off, I placed it in a baking dish, and I poured marinade over it (that I bought for a few cents at Publix, BOGO). I let it sit all day, so that it would really soak up the flavor. I told my mom that I wanted the outside to be crispy, so I put the chicken in the oven for an hour on 350 (I think? mom correct me on this, if I am wrong), and then for the last 30 minutes (?) I turned it up to 425 (?). Really, mom, if you reading, tell me if this is right. It was a hit!! We all loved it. So, I headed back to Publix to buy some more since it was such a great deal.
The second time I cooked the chicken, I used my friend Tutti's method. I browned the chicken on both sides in a bit of olive oil. Then I put one cup of raw rice in the crock pot, I layered the browned chicken on top, and I poured two cups of chicken broth over all of it. I cooked it in the crock pot for four hours on high, and it was oh-so-yummy. The chicken was falling off of the bone, and the rice was very creamy and flavorful. I added some broccoli, and it made for a very easy, nutritious meal.
And to answer your question, Amy, split chicken breasts are still on the bone and the skin is still on. It's cheaper than buying the boneless, skinless, and it really is more flavorful. I baked the chicken breasts, then I took the chicken off the bone, and I used it to make chicken tacos, but it would have been good as is.
A beneficial side effect of the couponing obsession, is that I am learning to cook new things. It is pushing us out of our dinner comfort zone, and the results have been good so far.
Monday, February 9, 2009
I have a reader who requested that I post a recipe for the chicken leg quarters. I will be back later this week to do that. Until Publix had chicken leg quarters for .59 lb, I was always a boneless, skinless chicken breasts only kind of girl. I am now reformed, however. The skin and the bone add so much flavor and moisture to the chicken, not to mention the drastic price reduction. I used split chicken breasts from Kroger to make the chicken tacos, and again, I don't think I will go back to boneless, skinless. I do have several packages in the freezer, but unless they are at an unbelievable price, I don't think I will buy them again. My mom has been telling me this for years, and I finally understand what she was saying. Anyway...here's the week's budget. What are you cooking this week? I always love a good, easy recipe!!
Saturday night--chicken tacos, pinto beans, mexican rice
Sunday Lunch--leftover tacos, whatever for dinner
Monday night--forgot to take something out of the freezer, so we are eating a stouffer's skillet meal
Tuesday night--pintos and sausage over rice
Wednesday night--chicken in vodka sauce over pasta, bread
Thursday night--leftovers, find your own dinner night, frozen meal
lunches--chicken salad sandwiches, ham sandwiches, leftovers
breakfast/snacks--peanut butter toast, eggs, fiber one pop tarts, nutri grain bars, string cheese
for over 300 more menu ideas, check out this blog every Monday.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
we are also huge coupon fans around here. (you never would've guessed, right?)
well, based on the facts listed above, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I found this.
Hurley is a couponer!! I refrained from leaving a comment to tell him that he could have gotten that toilet paper for free if only he knew how to work the system.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I bought all of the above for 31.91, and that is my grocery total for the week. A far cry from the 100 that I used to spend, and it was always a struggle to stick to the 100 dollar budget. I am so thankful for blogging and coupons and all that I have learned about saving money at the grocery store.
1 bag of Pita chips
3 cans of cinnamon rolls
Mission Flour tortillas
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Ada woke up from her nap at 11:45 am (yes, woke up), and she immediately began to whine--the reason she went down for the nap in the first place. I knew what she wanted because it's a mother's job to learn her child's language--the grunts and garbled words and points and such. So, I realized she was wanting some spaghettios, which I didn't want her to eat. I thought that she wasn't really hungry because she had eaten a lot before her nap, and I wanted to hold off for something a bit healthier. However, her crying and whining and the value of my sanity won me over, and I began to fix her pasta. As she continues to fuss, I hurry just to prevent the headache I felt coming on, and what do you know, I slice my finger on the can. And I do mean slice. It hurt so stinkin' bad. I sort of wanted to cry, ya'll. So it starts to bleed, a lot. And Ada is still fussing. So I quickly get her in her booster seat, strap her in, and, against my better judgement, sit the spaghettios in front of her, while I run to doctor my finger. And here is what happened next.
I also managed to take a shower, and once we were both clean our perspective on life was much rosier.
And things began to look more like this. And this is by far our favorite way to spend the afternoon.
Anyway, I am back in McDonough after driving all day yesterday and tutoring all last night. It was nice to wake up facing a normal day at home. And I do mean at home. There is no way Ada and I are getting out in that cold if I don't have to!! (Though I do have to tutor some students tonight, so I will be driving to their homes).
It was so much fun to be there as Andrew entered the world. It was crazy!! Ann pushed once, and we saw his head. She pushed again, and he was here. Crazy, crazy. And he only weighed 7 lbs 2 oz. Earlier that morning we were predicting how much he weighed. We all guessed he would be smaller than her first two, but I said there was no way she would have a baby less than 8 lbs. How wrong I was!! Andrew was even smaller than Ada when she was born.
Spending Monday night with her brought on some serious de ja vou (sp?). When Ada was born, we sent Scott home to get some sleep, and Ann spent the first night in the hospital with me. It was all the same this time, only we had switched places.
Anyway, I will be back later to post more, but Ada is currently pulling on my shirt sleeve and saying "no, mommy!!" so I better run.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sorry folks, I'm Laura Beth's mom, and this is the second time I've done this. This is post is meant for my blog! Other time, Laura Beth told me how to fix it - but I've just spent all this time downloading these pictures of her new nephew and other fam, and I can't change it all right now - so without Laura Beth's permission, I'm leaving it here and will direct any of my blog readers to this blog - which if I have any readers, I think they all read Laura Beth's blog, too.
Laura Beth is at the hospital helping Ann - so she can post something tonight when she is here at my house with Ada.
Well - I have just downloaded a lot of pictures, beginning with this baby shower at the church. It was Sunday January 25 - and was for the 3 ladies who were all expecting - Ann was due to have Andrew the next weekend. Courtney and Jamie are due in March.
Ellie and Lillie Grace. Lillie Grace is Jamie's little girl, so they are both posing as the prospective big sisters. They both already have one little brother. Lillie Grace is big sister to Gregory, and Ellie is big sister to Luke.
This is Ann and Ellie on Saturday night January 31. We had a pretty good meal that night, and a birthday cake for Ann. We had opted to skip our usual Sunday lunch, since the big plans were to go to the hospital on Sunday night, to have Andrew on Monday.
Ellie with her baby in the carrier, and also Kitty. We are about to leave for H'ville to see Ann who has already reported that the contractions are getting rather intense.
Luke, who would NOT take out his Paa-Paa for these pictures.
Charlie cleaning his glasses before we leave.
I'm ashamed to put this picture in of me. but oh well. The makeup is looking especially white.
And here is Andrew!!! Fresh out of the oven and not happy about it!!!
It's just the best thing in the world.
Steve, Ellie, and Andrew
First touch of the little bitty brother.
Ann and Andrew
This is dark, but it's Ellie and Ann discussing the new baby.
This is Laura Beth holding Andrew up to the computer so that Nana and Poppie in Albuquerque can see him - or was it Stephanie and Hollen and Jonathan and Eric in Arizona?
Hanging out on Mom's bed.