Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This morning as I was preparing breakfast Clara was working on something for her journal. Elijah decided to join her and learned about making a pie graph. That wasn't in Elijah's educational plan for today, but he had fun working with his sister.


Our cat, Midnight, not sure she likes the snow!!!


I woke up early this morning to a really beautiful surprise. It was SNOWING!!


Noah and Elijah are pictured here with their friend Griffin. Griffin and his family, The Taylors, are leaving for Africa this week. They will be serving in Tanzania as short-term missionaries. While we are excited for the Taylors, we are sad to see them go!!!


Clara practiced soccer today for the first time in many months. This picture was taken about an hour after soccer practice...she was TIRED!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Free the Freezer February

In January we ate from the pantry and discovered that through the course of time we have seriously packed away some food in our freezer. So, for February we are focusing on cleaning out the freezer. It really does need to be cleaned out and defrosted. The reason that our freezer is so full is that I purchase meat and deli items that are on on-sale and marked down and stick them in the freezer. Over time things just get buried in the deep recesses of the freezer.

This past Sunday I inventoried our freezer and did discover some yummy finds...a box of bluberry eggo waffles, a box of gogurt were my kids favorites!! My favorites were the two packages of little smokies and two packages of deli meat...I do love convenience foods. Of course, I did also find 20 packages of sliced peaches. If you like peaches, come on over for dessert!!

And, while I have learned my lesson about setting unrealistic goals, I am going to shoot to spend $100 a week for food this month. $400 seems do-able and almost luxurious after spending $200 last month.

I made a menu plan for two weeks and am only going shopping twice this month. One of the lessons I have learned is that the more you go in the store, the more you spend!!

Friday, February 05, 2010


We're playing BASKETBALL!! We're playing BASKETBALL!!!


Noah and his friends at their homeschool class watching what happens when fire is underneath a glass...voila, water (hydrogen and oxygen) appears on the glass!!


Chef Clara hard at work making chocolate chip cookies!!


Noah received Karate lessons for a Christmas present. His uniform arrived in the mail, he tried it on, left it laying on the couch and went off to grander things. Our cat, Midnight, immediately fell in love with said uniform!!


It was a snow day for the kids in our neighborhood on Monday, but Smith Academy opened anyway. The boys did have fun making their snowmen for art class and we did declare it a pajama day!!


It was an absolutely beautiful morning!! This picture does not convey the true beauty of this quiet morning. It was too cold to try different settings so I settled for this picture.


Happy Eight Birthday...Noah got the best birthday present...snow!! This little man was simply devastated at Christmas when it DID NOT snow. Instead he had a snowy birthday!!


Homemade cinnamon rolls...dough prepared in the bread maker. YUMMY!!


For the month of January our family decided to take the Eat from your Pantry Challenge. I set a ridiculous goal of only spending $50 for groceries for the month of January. Ridiculous I tell you. We really did pretty good!! Until January 27th, we had only spent $87 for food, a mere $37 over my goal.

This picture represents the crash and burn moment of our Eat from your Pantry Challenge. We stopped by the store to grab a couple of peppers and an onion so that we could make fried rice. Seems pretty harmless, right? WRONG!!

What I forgot to mention was a snow/ice storm was headed for our southern town. We got to the store around 5:30 and fell into the "gotta buy milk and bread" frenzy. Call it madness. Call it temporary insanity. Call it what you will...We spend $51.68 in one fell swoop.

My only defense is that I was afraid we would be stuck at home for days in the blizzard!!

All in all we spent $138.39 in food for the month of January.
We also spent about $35.00 for non-food stuff.
And, we celebrated two birthdays for about $20
We took dinner to friends who had a baby for about $10

A little over $200 for our family of six is an accomplishment!! So, rather than $50 for the whole month, we actually spent about $50 per week.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Congratulations Clara!!

Our competitive Clara won the Rock Game THIS week. The rock game is a system of earning rocks for appropriate behavior and losing rocks for inappropriate behavior. The great thing about this game is that I am no longer the bad guy. (Well I'm still the bad guy, but it seems less extreme this way!!)

Clara earned a trip to Starbucks for all her hard work. (I suppose I will sacrifice and take her to Starbucks). Noah and Hannah were not too far behind her. They all did a GREAT JOB!!

Little E didn't really have a snowball's chance in Hades. But, he is learning what will happen if he pitches a fit, says "NO", hits...etc. He also learned to be polite, to take his plate to the sink, to put his shoes away and to play nicely with his siblings. The first week of competition was certainly a success.

This next week we are going to try something a little different...Each child will have a goal for how many rocks they will earn this week. Whoever meets their personal goal gets a trip to the $2 movies.

I hope they will encourage each other!!! It would be fun to all go to the's been a really long time since we have been to a movie theater.