Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A 3 Year Old to Her Big Brother

Lily says with great exitement, "Mama, I'm gonna help Jacob skin his bunny rabbit!?"
And after that was done....
Lily asks, "Can we skin the deer now?"
And so are the days of our lives.....

Count Your Blessings....

Name them one by one. I could not sleep last night. So I started praying and thinking and praying some more. I learned early on in motherhood to try to saver the rocking and walking and night time comforting that goes into gassy, teething, or sick babies. I started a habit of quiet prayer during these times. Prayer can quickly turn a resentful spirit into a thankful spirit.

I cannot blame my sleepless night on Rose, it was just one of those nights. Thinking of the New Year left me reflecting on this past year. There were many challenges and many blessings. I started the New Year with a baby. It doesn't get any better than that! Soon to follow was a new nephew! Thank God for children!

I began to think about how my kids have grown this past year. Of course physically they grew more than I care to count! But they have matured and the four oldest have become such a blessing. There is a point with kids that all the nurturing and pouring in of time and energy and training is rewarded. They know how to do pretty much everything I can do around the house. They know how to take care of one another. We may very well fall short when it comes to text books, but these kids love the Lord, have a genuine desire to grow in the Word, and they know how to take care of each other. I am so very proud of them.
I won't spell out all of the challenges this year has brought my way, but I do want to give God praise for bringing me through every one of them. One thing I praise Him for is protection. I see it everyday. He protected Wendy from serious injury when she took a big fall a couple of months ago. He has provided great healing for her little mouth. She prayed that God would bring her teeth down, and praise God her prayer was answered!
I am also so thankful as we prepare to celebrate Rose's first birthday that I was able to successfully nurse her without supplementing. I had some unique challenges that I have not had to deal with ever before. I know God allowed this and I am so thankful that our prayers were answered and He continues to supply all of our needs.
But even the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
Happy New Year
Count your blessings......

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cute Therapy

Merry Christmas!

picture credits: Abigail , Anna, and Jacob

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Food Lion and CVS

Our Food Lion only marks down meats but ,I am finding that it is worth a trip in to get these deals. They mark down well before the sell by dates too! I purchased the following:
  • 6 pounds of frozen vegetables
  • 2 loaves whole grain bread
  • 2 pounds deli turkey
  • 13 one pound packs of beef hot dogs
  • 2 1/3 pounds sliced honey ham
  • 4 pound whole tyson chicken
  • 11 pound Smithfield ham
  • 3 pound boneless pork loin
  • 4 1/3 pound pork roast

Total spent $55.89 ($1.16/lb.) for meats and veggies

It was a pretty good week at CVS too. I spent more cash than usual because I started with only 5 extra care bucks. I did four transactions rolling extra care bucks and had one 5 off 30 that came by email. I spent about $10 cash and ended with a 7.99 ECB and 3.00 ECB. Next week is looking really good! Be sure to check out Southern Savers for all the details!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

B-cereal, toast with cream cheese and strawberry or blackberry jam
L-homemade macaroni and cheese
D-strawberry and banana smoothie,scrambled eggs
desert after tree trimming....honey bun cake ( recipe at the end, and I will add a photo after it's done) Thanks Marie!

B- cereal, bananas
L-turkey sandwiches, pickles
D-whole wheat fettuccine alfredo, peas

B-cinnamon bread, grapefruit or juice
L-beans with cornbread
D-baked chicken, potatoes, steamed mixed veggies

B-eggs, oatmeal
L-smoothie, pbj
D- grilled cheese, fries

B-cereal, bananas
L-beans and rice
D-Roasted whole turkey, sweet potato casserole, dressing and gravy

B- muffins

Honey Bun Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tblsp. cinnamon

Mix together first four ingredients stirring by hand. Pour half of batter into 11x13 pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour remaining batter on top and swirl the batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.

Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar with 4 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Punch top of cake with fork, pour over hot cake.

Don't forget the giveaway to celebrate my blog-a-versary! If you haven't already go leave a comment!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blog Anniversary and Giveaway!

Monday December 15 will be the first anniversary of Joyful Nine. I can't believe quickly the past year has gone by. It seem like yesterday that I was counting the days waiting for Rose to be born!
I have enjoyed learning to blog and still have a lot to learn . I love sharing photos with family and sharing recipes and just the day to day things of our home with my real life friends and my blog friends, like Monica. Blogging is great for sharing all our frugal finds!
I don't have as much time as I would like to write about homeschooling and our day to day life. This is why you usually see more pictures than words here:) I love taking pictures of everything and if I didn't need sleep you would see multiple posts everyday. However, since I need sleep and we need food and clean clothes, it is more hit and miss here than I would like! Lord willing, I look forward to another year of blogging!
To celebrate my blog-a-versary I will share my favorite blogs to read:
In no particular order... me celebrate my anniversary by leaving me a comment! Every blogger loves a comment! If you are a regular reader, let me know!
I will randomly choose one person from the comments to win a $10 gift card. I will even let you choose what kind of card! You can choose from the following....CVS, Kroger, Wal-mart, Walgreen's, Food Lion, Starbuck's, or McDonald's.
So, leave me a comment! Be sure to tell me what gift card you want if you win and your email address if you don't have a blog. The contest will end at midnight on Monday the 15th. I will announce the winner sometime Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Abigail's First Piano Recital

Abby did a beautiful job in her first recital. She played "We Three Kings". She was very nervous, but all the practice and playing has payed off. She played so gracefully despite the butterflies!
It was a great way to start celebrating Christmas. I am so thankful for Abby's desire to learn to play. It is such a blessing to hear her playing hymns and beautiful music through the house.
Abby, we are very proud of you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

CVS-Black Friday

The details...
  • three transactions
  • began with 23 extra care bucks
  • bought-5 quart crock pot, 3 G2 gatorades, 2 tubes of colgate, 1 Johnson's soft lotion, 1 aussie shampoo, 1 aussie conditioner, 1 king size kit kat, 4 hershey's dark chocolate, one colgate spin brush, 1 pair of Phillip's ear buds, 1 Magnavox universal remote.
  • after rolling extra bucks for three transactions spent $0.61 out of pocket
  • ended with 14.47 extra care bucks

If you have some extra bucks to spare, the sale on appliances is pretty nice. The choices include a waffle maker, coffee maker, popcorn popper, griddle, or 3 in 1 grill. They are on sale for 19.99, and you earn 10 ECB's, making the appliance 9.99 after ECB's. There are many items free after extra care bucks. Read all of them with coupon matches here. It would be worth the effort to get there! Read other savings stories at Money Saving Mom!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu Plan

*sweet potatoes (similar to this recipe)Mom's specialty
*mashed potatoes(I will use salt in place of Lawry's)
green beans
*lemon pound cake
*pumpkin pie (recipe on libby canned pumpkin)
whipped cream
soft drinks
dishes with a * will be made the day before
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rose is 10 Months Old!

We will be celebrating this child's birthday before we know it! She is such a joy and so full of personality! I snapped these pictures one after another, it is so funny to look through them and see her personality. She only knows a few words, but these pictures say a lot!

fyi...she threw her fry and it landed on her head, I laughed so hard!!!

About me...
I love
apple juice
my exersaucer
chewing on Mama's keys
crawling army style
my people
my dogs
being carried
the piano (playing and listening)
my basket of toys
couch fuzz (don't ask)
I hate
having my nose wiped
being put down when i am sleeping
when they take away my couch fuzz (don't ask)
when Mama leaves the room

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crock Pot Applebutter

I was inspired to make applebutter in my crock pot by this post from my cyber-twin Monica! And since I am all for cooking if it doesn't keep me in the kitchen all day, this was the perfect recipe for me! I had done this once before with some so-so applebutter that we had purchased and made the so-so applebutter into the best we had ever had...of course I did not write down how I came to that result. I am trying to take more notes on these little adventures in cooking, so when it turns out good I can actually reproduce it! This turned out really good, not perfect, but really good. Worth trying just to smell it cooking!

The ingredients:
2 large jars of no sugar added applesauce
(rinse out one of the jars to store the finished applebutter in)
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
4 tblsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 adorable 3 year old assistant (Lily)she loves and insists on helping me cook
Mix the ingredients in the crock. Cook on high for 12 hours and low for another four hours. Once it really started to simmer, I vented the lid with a butter knife placed across one end of the crock under the lid. This allows the sauce to reduce and thicken. I did stir it occasionally just to see how it was thickening, and to keep it from scorching around the edges. My crock pot gets pretty hot!
This is the finished sauce after I transferred it to a bowl, so we could have some warm and to let it cool before I put it in the jar. The two jars of applesauce made about one jar of applebutter.

Read more Kitchen Tip Teusdays at Tammy's Recipes!
Read Homemade Thursday at Ship Full of Pirates!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cute Therapy

What? I'm playing dress up with my girlfriends....
picture credit==abby

Monday, November 3, 2008

Menu Plan

B-cereal, toast
L-tuna salad, saltines, or pb crackers, oranges
D-chilli, baked potatos, cheese, sour cream

Brunch-pancakes, turkey sausage, oranges
D-BBQ chicken thighs, macaroni and cheese, peas

B-oatmeal, nuts, raisins
L-strawberry and banana smoothie, turkey and cheese sandwices
D-potato soup, cornbread, peach cobbler

B-eggs, toast,applebutter oranges
L-baked sweet potatos, hot tea
D-baked chicken, mashed potatos, green beans

B-cereal, bananas
L-fried rice with veggies, fruit
D-homemade pizza, brownies

B-pumpkin muffins, boiled eggs
L-chicken noodle soup, corn bread

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Food Lion Mark Downs and K-Mart Super Double Q's

We did not do any CVS shopping this week, but our efforts to collect coupons for Food Lion and K mart really paid off! First at Food Lion, I bought 8 pounds of lean ground turkey, a 4 pound beef roast, and 3 five pound chickens that had been marked down. I bought ten pounds of frozen vegetables, 2 boxes of cheerios, 2 packs of wipes, two jars of whipped cream (very important), and two boxes of saltine crackers. I paid $39 and change for a lot of meat and vegetables! I came across a new site this week that gives great details on shopping at Kroger and Food Lion. Check out Southern Savers for all the details!
Next up was K-mart. I found K-mart to be overpriced much like CVS tends to be. I collected a lot of coupons that could have potentially been good after doubling up to $2. However, I set a goal of not using any coupon that did not make the item free or less than a dollar. I also wanted to try to get a total of $50 before coupons because I had a $5 off $50 K mart coupon. My purchases totaled $55 before coupons. After coupons my total was $12.77. A lot of items were free after coupons, some were more than a dollar, but it averaged to .57 per item. A good result considering these were all item we need or will use.
Read more savings stories at Money Saving Mom!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kiss My Lipstick...

Actually Kiss Sarah Palin's lipstick! One of the many buttons I read last night at a rally in my town! I wasn't sure all day that I wanted to fight through fifteen to twenty thousand people and thirty-five windy degrees to see her and say I was there, but I did! If you know me, you know it takes something special to bring me out in the cold and a crowd to do anything!
I decided I liked this lady in the first couple of minutes of hearing her speak at the republican convention. She is well spoken, extremely poised, and smart. Read all about her on the biography page of her website.
Her conservative stand and Christian worldview is enough for me to get excited about, but I love the fact that she is a breastfeeding, baby wearing, mother of five! I told Tommy, "It is ridiculous how excited I am" waiting for her to come on stage last night. Here are a few pictures from last night....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

CVS Deals

It was a good week at CVS! The end of the month is always a squeeze on the grocery/household budget. The baby items in particular will be very helpful this final week of October. The Just For Men hair color was free after extra care bucks and I had a $2.00 off coupon and I will receive a 7.99 rebate. This item will be donated, but will end up a $9.99 profit for us. We don't celebrate Halloween, but the little girls are dragging around their dolly stuff in their "punkin' heads". When they tire of them we will donate them as well.

In summary: 12 ECB's to start, three transactions, $5.83 in cash out of pocket, end with 10 ECB's for next week. Abby uploaded pictures and threw in one of Rose;) since she always tags along to CVS with us.

Check out Money Saving Mom for other great deals!

Friday, October 24, 2008

October News

October has been a busy eventful month in our house. I am terribly behind on posting, so I thought I would catch up on things in one post.
October has been a good month of schooling for us. Everyone is doing very well and our schedule seems to be working well. In a nutshell, we are up by 8, chores and breakfast are done by 9, most are done with lessons by lunch time. Jacob has to work for a while after lunch usually. But he has some big books to work through. Tommy has taken on the responsibility of teaching grammar to the kids in the evenings. He is doing a great job too! Jacob has started Algebra this year and is doing very well. Samuel is learning to be more disciplined with his time and is completing his work most days by lunch time! Abigail does more than all of us pretty much everyday. She and Anna have started preschool curriculum with Wendy and Lily and Wendy is loving every minute of it. Wendy is a sponge right now! Abby is also practicing for a December recital for piano. She will be playing "We Three Kings". Anna has become quite the reader. We are very proud of her progress and is learning cursive and has nice hand writing.

In sports news, we had a month filled with soccer games and a baseball tournament. Samuel's travel baseball team had an excellent showing in the AAU state tournament. They took second in the tournament which made them 9th in the state! We really enjoyed watching Jacob and Samuel play soccer for the first time since they were age 4 and 6! They played their hearts out, and enjoyed it even though they only won one game. In other news.....Anna's soccer team, coached by her Daddy, has not lost a game and is playing for the Championship on Saturday, weather permitting. Go Fighters!!

October has been great, but not without some stress too. Little Wendy had a terrible fall on the playground....scared this Mama really bad! She fell from the top of a rock climbing wall, and pushed her two top teeth into her gums. We thought they were knocked out completely, but x-rays showed them pushed up in between her permanent teeth. So sad and painful for Wendy, but she is unbelievably tough. We are just waiting for her to heal and are not sure what will happen with her four top baby teeth. Wendy is trusting God to bring down her teeth. We are so thankful that God protected her from other serious injuries because she fell eight feet. Praise God for protection. The very same weekend of Wendy's accident, Jacob had his new bike stolen out of our garage. Obviously this was very concerning to think someone would come into our garage and steal something. The great news is that Jacob's bike was replaced by friends of ours that are in a community group called the Jaycee's...another blessing!
In baby news, Rose is nine months old! She loves food and is currently cutting teeth number six and seven! Her tooth filled grin is almost as cute as her gummy grin was! She is really getting around, by army crawl, our second to crawl this way! She definitely makes her presence known with lots of baby talk, squeals, and giggles. She is such a joy!
I cant' finish this "newsletter" without introducing the newest member of our family. Her name is Josie and she is a sweet heart with a face that is so ugly it's cute! She's a boxer and is full of playful energy and seems to need all of our attention, which we are happy to give!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cute Therapy

click on me if you wanna see my new teeth, I am working very, very hard on my teeth!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Making Caramel Apples

This was fun and easy and not nearly as messy as you might think! And they were delicious! We prepared these before dinner and popped them in the refrigerator. After dinner we went to the library and came home to enjoy our apples. Lily and Wendy could hardly wait!
Here's how we did them...
Anna washed and dried eight golden delicious apples

Anna and Lily unwrapped the caramels and put them in a glass dish.

I had planned to melt the candy in the crock pot, but she was busy baking potatoes for dinner! So I microwaved the caramel a minute at a time stirring after each minute. It took about three and a half minutes.

While the girls unwrapped candy, I put the sticks into the apples. The bag of Kraft caramels came with five sticks, and we saved some sticks from popsicles to use on the rest.

I chopped peanuts and made a pile of sprinkles.

We rolled the apples in the caramel, and scraped the excess caramel off the bottom of the apple with the edge of a knife. Then roll in the nuts and sprinkles. Some wanted only one topping, some did half nuts and half sprinkles.

It was best to tilt the bowl and roll the apple against the side to evenly cover the apple with caramel. We had to melt the caramel a couple of times for 10 seconds between apples.

I sprayed the glass dish lightly with cooking spray so they wouldn't stick.

Lily ate the WHOLE THING! I had more fun watching these two eat than eating my own!