Monday, May 22, 2017

Grammie's Littlest Love Steven

Grammie's littlest love, baby Steven, all ready to go to his doctor's appointment.  He is a bit jaundiced so they are waiting for the results of his bloodwork to see if he will need to spend some time under the special light.

The happy but tired family adjusting to life with a newborn in the house.  I am so glad that we live so close to our oldest son Jaysn, our Rachel and baby Steven so we can spend lots of time with all of them.  Grammie heaven I tell ya!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Steven is Here!

  Our littlest grandson made his way into the world last night after his rockstar of a Mommy was in labor with him for a little less than 22 hours.  He is 19 inches long and 7 pound 1.3 oz. and is a very sweet, alert and cuddly baby.  Jeff and I were able to spend time with the new little family and hold our little Steven when he was just over an hour old.  We are heading back in soon to spend more time with our Jaysn, Rachel and little Steven and feel so blessed!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/13-5/19 2017


   We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of little Steven.  It could be any time now and I am pretty much glued to the phone at this point.  😀  I think I did well this week.  I stayed home for most of the week and stuck to my grocery list when I did go shopping on Thursday.  My energy level is still lower than normal due to the congestion that is still hanging around in my chest, but we are making progress there too.  Onto the savings...

~Saturday's trip to Goodwill was a fruitful one.  I found a food chopper tool that I had been wanting for cutting onions, a spiralizer for making "noodles" with veggies, some blackboard paint, a brand new in package Dr. Brown's bottle, a pair of work pants for Jeff, a shirt for Jeff, a crock to put my kitchen utensils in, a large glass jar with lid, a new sand bucket and shovel, and a new bag of kitty litter.
~Sunday I spent the day in bed but was able to get up and go to our family Birthday/Mother's Day party that evening.  It was potluck style.  My kids blessed me with a bottle of wine and a nice flower hanging basket.
~Sunday night was watched the movie "Goonies" once we got home from the party.  Jeff had never seen it and I only remembered bits and pieces of it.

~Monday we worked in the garden and I found some volunteer cilantro and what I think are cucumbers.  I transplanted the "cucumbers" and seeded in some lettuce.
~We had leftovers for lunch and dinner Monday.
~More free magazines came in the mail.
~I cashed in at Swagbucks for a $10 gift card to Texas Roadhouse.  That brings our gift cards for there up to $35 which will take a big chunk off our bill the next time we go there for lunch.  I also got a 50 SB rebate towards my next gift card purchase.
~I finally was able to get in on some samples at Pinch Me this morning.

~Rainwater was collected and used to water my seedlings and tomato plants that are currently living in the hot tub enclosure.
~I pulled some homemade chicken noodle soup out of the freezer to have for dinner on Tuesday since it was a rainy day.
~We were almost out of pancake mix so I mixed up another batch of it.  I like knowing what is going into my mix and not having to worry about all the preservatives.
~I restocked our little bag that we take with us when we go away with a sample sized antiperspirant and toothpaste.  Both those items were free from the PinchMe box I got earlier this month.
~I've been using the free laundry detergent that we got while "treasure hunting".
~Swagbucks earning opportunities have been running in the background as I do other work on my computer.
~We had some overripe bananas so I made 3 loaves of banana bread with them.  The hubby was pretty happy about that. 😀
~Wednesday night Jeff started his Summer Bowling League (my early Father's Day gift to him since he usually does not bowl in the Summer).  Since it was just me for dinner, I made some artichoke ravioli and had that with a glass of wine and some strawberries.

~I found family packs of beer bratwurst on sale and repackaged them into ziplock bags with 3 each in them and froze 3 packages for later.
~I cooked up 2 of the bratwurst with 2 potatoes for lunch on Friday while the banana bread was also baking.
~The banana peels from making banana bread were used to fertilize 2 of our rose bushes.

~I found a Volcano's National Park from the Big Island of Hawaii (where I grew up) at the thrift store.
~The amazing hubby got fencing up around the pears trees so that Caesar would stop eating the actual trees!  Last year he stripped all the pears from the trees and ate them...this Spring he has decided that the trees themselves taste good.
~We got caught up on some of our favorite TV shows online.
~Jeff was inducted into the local Bowling Hall of Fame on Friday night.  They had a banquet and his meal was free but we did have to pay $25 for mine.  It was so worth it though to have my sweetheart honored like this!

   Still praying here that my next post will be about our grandson Steven making his appearance!  I can't wait to cuddle our newest grandson and tell him how much we love him and have been anxiously awaiting his arrival.  I also can't wait to see our Jaysn and Rachel have their dreams and prayers of having a child become all so real!  Thank you God for answered prayers!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Waiting on Little Steven to Make His Grand Entrance.

Our Jaysn and Rachel are more than ready to meet their little boy face to face.  Little Steven has been slowly turning and is just about in the right position now (head down) to be born.  The first due date was actually today, but then it got revised to the 22nd.  My cousin Jeremy was hoping for the 13th (his birthday) and my Dad for the 16th (his birthday).  There is still Chris and Heather's anniversary on the 21st! 

Bradley and Isaiah are looking forward to meeting their baby cousin too!  Grammie here can't wait to meet him and see all 3 of her grandsons together!

Uncle Jaysn is getting lots of practice on being a daddy with his nephews who think he is pretty cool!  He is so good and patient with them and always willing to play.  And yes, Isaiah is being a total dork...good thing he is cute!

Bradley loves to work on puzzles.  He and Jaysn spent a good half an hour working on this one.  Jaysn is going to be a awesome daddy!

Rachel's first Mother's Day!  Yes, even with little Steven still safely tucked away in Mommy, it still counts.   You know, I got sick with this same kind of virus before Bradley was born and he waited until I was better before he made his grand you suppose Steven is doing the same thing?  My grandsons are known for being little gentlemen after all. 😉

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


   This morning I had a full on panic attack.  Facebook was full of the usual nasty and petty political posts, many of which are manufactured and fueled by hate and the need for ratings, no matter who it hurts or if it is even true of not.  I've gotten used to them and quite frankly, don't believe much of what the mainstream media is selling anymore.  They were not the reason for my panic attack, it was something far more devastating that hits way to close to home.

   Another brave police officer was gunned down in cold blood and killed while doing a routine traffic stop in Montana early this morning.  He had called in a description of the car along with it's license plate while making the stop and then was not heard from again.  Another officer went to check on him when they could not raise him on the radio and found him.  That officer immediately called what happened in and the car was stopped with the passenger fleeing the car while shooting at other officers.  He was captured and both he and the driver are now in jail.  My personal feelings are that the murderer should get the death penalty!

   Before this brave officer started his shift I am sure he had no idea that this would be the last time he would ever see his beautiful family.  I'm sure he thought it would just be another routine night patrolling and had no idea what lay ahead of him. His wife and children had no idea either and went to sleep thinking they would see their husband and father in the morning.  Then came that awful knock on the door, with the devastating news that would turn their world upside down.  A wife is left a widow with 3 children to raise on her own.  She will never know the feeling of being held by her husband or share a kiss with him again.  She will go through life wanting to share all those special moments of their children with him and he will not be there.  Those kids will never hear their father say "I love you", "I'm proud of you" or "I'm here for you" ever again.  This officer's parents will have to bury their son.  As the mother of two law enforcement officers, this just sent me over the edge.

   As we, the families of these brave men and women, go through life each day, we appear normal and happy, but there is always that fear in the back of our minds.  When the phone rings late at night, our hearts drop if our son or daughter is on duty.  I think about my Heather and my grandsons Bradley and Isaiah and about how many times Bradley has cried as his daddy headed to work because Bradley was afraid he would get hurt.  I think about my son Josh, who's job puts him in danger around the world at all times.  I try to hold it together when I hear or read about these stories, knowing that our family could get that fateful call or visit at any time.  Today, I was not able to hold it together. 

   Please hold this fallen officer's family and his fellow brothers and sisters in blue in your thoughts and prayers.  When will there be enough of these killings.  When will we, as Americans, get tough on these criminals and make it so they are not in and out of jail constantly so they can hurt and kill others?  It has to stop...Enough already!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Watching Eating Down the Pantry Challenge Videos and Thoughts

   So, while I have been laid up for the most part with this virus, I have been watching videos on YouTube on more ways to save money.  I found some  "Eating Down Your Pantry Challenges" and that, for the most part, is what Jeff and I have been trying to do lately.  Let me tell you, some of the people who did these videos did an excellent job and others...well, they spent way more money than I do on a normal month where I am not challenging myself to save money. 😬

   For the ones that did a good job, they took inventory of what they had on hand and needed to be used up ASAP and made a menu plan from there.  Their meals looked really good and healthy.  This is the way that I try to menu plan on a weekly basis so it is very familiar to me.  They also utilized leftovers and made them over into other dishes...another great way to save money and not become bored with eating the same thing for several nights in a row.  I tip my imaginary hat complete with flowers and feathers to them. 😉

   Now to some of the others.  Oh my, where to start...  First of all, if your goal is to save money and eat out of your panty, then shouldn't the majority of the food you consume be coming out of your pantry, fridge and freezer and not from the grocery store?  I totally understand supplementing and buying things like fresh produce and milk as needed but do you really need to spend upwards of $300 on those things alone when you have canned and frozen fruits and veggies at home that you could be using for even half of those meals?  And if you are buying lots of fresh fruits and veggies, at least buy things that are in season and not those expensive items that have to be shipped in from South America that are going to cost you and arm and a leg.  Look, I am all for buying a treat now and then, even on a challenge, but do you really need to be buying lots of chips, packaged cookies, snack cakes, etc. when you are trying to save money and claim to be in desperate need of cutting your food bill?  Mind you, these items were not already in their pantry, they went out and bought them while doing their challenge.  

   I think what it comes down to for me is this...why are you doing the challenge and how much do you want to save on your grocery bills?  If you are just wanting to clean out your freezer, pantry and fridge and have a clean start, that is great.  Go ahead and buy whatever else you want.  But, if your goal is also to drastically cut costs for the month so you can pay that upcoming tax bill, a medical bill, contribute to a much longed for vacation fund, a car repair or something else and you have to find that money somewhere, then for goodness sakes, attack this challenge like you mean business and do it!  One woman, who I thought did a great job, had spent $400 on Christmas gifts for her children so she decided that she needed to cut $400 off the food bill for that month.  I like that.  She moved funds from one area to another and made cuts where she could to do so.  She had a family of 6 with 3 of them being bottomless pit eating machines, also known as teenagers. 😉  I could relate to her because I had 3 teenagers and all their friends here eating on a regular basis for years and boy could they pack away that food!    She buckled down and did it all while feeding her family really good meals mainly from the food she had on hand for the most part.  This woman set a goal for herself and met it.  Bravo!!!!  👏   These are the kinds of people who inspire me and encourage me when I am trying to challenge myself also.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 5/6-5/12 2017


   Well I am still sick with this nasty virus and at this rate it looks like I will be spending Mother's Day at home and not with my kids, grandkids and cousin Jeremy.  I'm bummed because we are also celebrating Jeremy's birthday and I so wanted to make it special for him.  I told Jeff that I still wanted him to go so he could take cards for our girls and Jeremy's gift to him and have some family time with them all.  I really need to kick this thing since Steven is due any time now.  Grammie does not have time to be sick and I do not want to pass this on to anyone else.  Josh called me earlier today to tell me that he too has the crud.  He is in Washington DC and has some really intense training coming up next week that is physically exhausting, so he does not have time for this either.  Please keep us both in your prayers and or thoughts.  Onto the savings...

~We went "treasure hunting" twice this week and found some great items that were free to us compliments of college students moving out of their apartments.  The highlight was a solid oak drop leaf table that just needs to be refinished.  I was thinking we could flip it after refinishing it but Jeff wants to keep it.  Other items found...scanner/printer, dishes, cookware, a brand new in box hot air popcorn maker, lots of office and craft supplies, planter pots, a very cool sign that our son Josh will love, a working lightweight vacuum cleaner (which has been so easy and quick for me to vacuum up the daily waves of dog hair in this house), kitty litter, cleaning supplies and a very cool shirt.  Oh we also found some house slippers that looked new in Jeff's size.  I washed them up and they are now ready to go! I almost forgot, we found a really nice card table that will be perfect for extra seating when the gang is all here and we can also take it camping with us.
~Walmart had some of their plants on clearance and I found a beautiful fuchsia hanging basket for under $8.  They usually retail for $25 and up!  I told Jeff that could be my Mother's Day gift from him since I love them but could not justify spending over $25 for one.
~Shopko and their 4 packs of some of their annuals for $1.87 so I bought 6 of them to fill 2 other hanging baskets and some planters I have here at home.
~Many loads of laundry were hung out on the line to dry.
~The Asian Market yielded some really great items that I needed for a fraction of the cost of buying them elsewhere.

~I was able to get some free items at Safeway thanks to their Monopoly game.  I got free pasta, tuna and a Cheddar cheese bagel.
~My tulips are blooming and bring me great can't put a price on that.
~We bought Mother's Day and birthday cards at the Dollar Tree along with some Italian Salad Dressing that I needed for making my Pasta Salad.
~Jeff and I watch the dvd "Passengers" that I borrowed from the library.  We both really liked it.
~Since I was feeling really crummy Wednesday due to the virus and an asthma flare caused by the farmers spraying Round Up on their fields around us, I was not able to make it down to the library.  Sarah graciously pushed through renewing my items for me so that I would not get late charges on them.
~Leftovers were on the menu a lot this week due to me being sick.
~We had turkey that I had previously  made and frozen for dinner on  Wednesday night along with some stuffing and salad.  I took the leftover turkey and made a curried turkey with apple salad with it.

~I watched more shows online.
~More bread was made Thursday morning before the thunderstorm hit because I was afraid we might lose power.
~My tomato plants were getting white spots on the leaves so I looked up what might be causing it and treated them with a small bit of epsom salts dissolved in water and sprayed the leaves.
~I froze some leftovers to use for future meals.
~Mypoints and Swagbucks were worked for points.
~I've been harvesting and using green onions that overwintered in our garden.
~The birds have been more than happy to help clean up all the dog hair I brushed off Caesar.  I see them come and carry some off to their nests.

~The hummingbirds are back and have been providing great entertainment for Doofy and I as they go from flower to flower in all the trees in bloom in our backyard.
~It rained on Friday so I put the potted plants out where they could get watered that way.
~We are still working on all those chicken fried steaks that I got for free and froze a couple months ago.  I cooked up a bunch of them since I knew I would not have the energy to make lots of different meals.
~A free Parents magazine along with a free Bowhunting magazine came in the mail.  These go to Heather and Chris.
~More videos have been watched on YouTube for frugal recipes.
~Heather and her Aunt Cha Cha both gave me a recipe for a homemade cough remedy.  I whipped some up Friday evening and it stopped the cough immediately!

   I will say that me being sick has saved us money.  I had cold meds on hand here at home to use and for the most part have been able to cook except for a few days.  It has been tempting a few times to just order something from the local tavern for dinner, but I have resisted the urge and we had leftovers.  The weather makes my Fibro flare and it, combined with this virus, is doing me in today.  It has, for the most part, been a day spent on the couch which keeps me home and not out spending money.