Friday, March 28, 2008

Frugal Friday

I love the frugal Friday posts at Crystal's blog. I have learned so many neat things from all the creative women that participate each week.

I have a simple tip that helped me this week. I made two pans of lasagna one evening and the directions say to bake them covered with aluminum foil. I have not had any foil for a while now. I normally pick this up at the dollar store. It's one of those things that I would rather not spend money on. Instead of foil I covered the two 9x13 glass pans with two cookie sheets and it worked great! The lasagna baked up perfectly. Like I said, simple, but I was happy not to have dry lasagna! I will share this recipe soon too, because one of the ingredients is one of my new favorite things!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Beauty of Spring

I love the change of seasons. This is the time of year to open the windows and enjoy the crisp air and birds singing. The grass is getting greener and the buds on the trees will soon give way to new life. And I love going barefoot and just needing sandals to go out! We can pack away mittens and hats and gloves! Did I mention that I love this time of year?

I came across this website for kids today. There are poems with printable coloring pages and craft ideas for children. I copied this poem and coloring sheet for Wendy and Lily today.

These verses came to mind today also. I am thankful for the beauty of the season and God's promises in these passages.

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; and they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, and even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For all of these things do the Gentiles seek) For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God , and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:28-33

Monday, March 24, 2008

Making Your Home A Haven

I thought about letting the kids have a break from school this week, but I think now is not the time. We have just recently got into a pretty good routine since having Rose. We will attempt to fit in some Spring Cleaning this week though. Nothing too major just some basic stuff. I am going to make a list of just a few things to accomplish this week. If I think too much about all the cleaning that really needs to be done I will just get grouchy. No one needs a grouchy mama:0)!! So keeping it simple, here's my list...

  1. Monday-Laundry- tommy's clothes, clean out refrigerator and freezer, make a grocery list and menu for this week ( attempt to stay within budget for the rest of March), go to grocery store.

  2. Tuesday-Laundry-Wendy, Lily, and Rose, deep clean bathrooms, we have four so this is more than enough for one day!

  3. Wednesday-Laundry-Abby and Anna, sweep/vacuum and mop all floors

  4. Thursday-Laundry- Jacob and Samuel, wash windows so we can see more of all this pretty spring sunshine! Start packing for a trip to Nana and Papa's house next weekend, we are excited!

  5. Friday-Laundry-whatever needs washing! Pack and prepare for our trip!

I will update with some progress, hopefully! Have a great Monday and visit here for some cleaning inspiration!

    Monday Update:
    Monday's list is done! I am so glad I made this list. It gives more of a sense of accountability and I usually lose a paper list or just forget about it in the business of the day! Here are a few pictures: Before:

    Lots of help wiping out the refrigerator:

Doing inventory:


Now the fridge would not pass a strict white glove test, but it is a huge improvement and we know what we have. We made the menu, a list, and got groceries! One more load of clothes is in the dyer that we will finish this evening. I hope the rest of the week is as good! I will continue to update!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

All dressed up for church!
Our bunny cake!

He Lives!

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words.
Luke 24:1-8

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Super Saving Saturday

I'm joining the ladies at Cystal's site, sharing my Saturday cvs deals!
I did two transaction's:
the dove deal went like this:
2 dove body washes 3.99 ea.
1 dove deodorant 3.49
2 dove shampoos B1G1 4.99
1 cvs spray hand sanitizer 1.79
-8.00 dove coupons from the paper
-1.79 (coupon from cvs in my email for the hand sanitizer, yay!)
-3.00 off beauty products online printable
-5 off 15 cvs purchase
=.88 out of pocket!
earned 5 ecb's

second transaction:
2 bags peanut m&m's 2/6.00
2 glade sprays .99 ea.
1 glade wisp flameless candle 7.99
1kid's listerine smart rinse 2.99
1 maybeline lip stick 8.99
1 glade candle 2.99
1 cvs hand sanitizer 1.79
1 gallon milk 4.09
-11.38 manufac. coupons
-5 off 30 from a previous receipt
-5 off 15 online printable
-14.95 ecb's
=1.16 paid out of pocket!
earned 17.98 ecb's

Rose, our newest cvs shopper.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Birth of A Rose

She was definitely worth waiting for, our little Rose that is! After going fifteen days past our due date, Rose was born January 19.

Tommy and I went in to see Hannah, our sweet midwife on friday, the 18th for a check-up, and knowing that we were pushing the limits of waiting patiently on my body to start labor. We had been in much prayer that whole week for things to happen naturally. That morning I had noticed more contracting that I had only felt in the evenings over the past couple of weeks. I didn't take it too seriously because they weren't consistent at all and there was a part of me that just wondered if labor would ever start! The check-up went well, my blood pressure was good and the baby sounded good. I left knowing I was 4-5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. Hannah also gave me a bottle of castor oil to use over the weekend to kick start labor. I was very against that idea, but knew it may come to that very soon if nothing happened. I continued to pray that God would start things. I so wanted this to happen naturally.

Tommy and I went to have a nice, quiet lunch and made a quick stop in the vitamin store and the library. I was having a hard time being on my feet and was feeling a lot of pressure. I was thankful for the changes I felt my body making and was excited that I may soon meet our baby. We did not know if we were having a boy or girl. We brought home pizza for the kids since we had a late lunch.

Through the evening I continued to have contractions. They weren't very regular in timing, but I did try to track them by writing them down. They also were not uncomfortable, they were easy to ignore. I chatted on the phone with several people and spent time on the computer, I did not tell anyone that I suspected labor, knowing that we all needed sleep and that it could easily stop. I went to bed around midnight. I slept pretty well until around 2:30am, I woke quite suddenly having a contraction that frightened me. Knowing that I was already about 5 cm and that my contractions are not usually "painful" until closer to the end, I decided I needed to pay attention to my body and decide whether to wake Tommy and call Hannah.

I came downstairs to the couch and timed the contractions for about thirty minutes and sure enough they were 3-5 minutes apart, again not very regular and still quite tolerable, I again prayed that this was real and it would continue so I could meet my baby. I called Hannah and explained to her that I thought things were changing and I was feeling a little anxious and we decided that she should come on over. I waited another thirty minutes or so and woke Tommy about 4 am. He cleared the fuzzies from his eyes and jumped right into action making the bed and straightening our room. I tried to relax and waited and watched for Hannah, it was a cold night and knew she would need Tommy's help getting her things carried in. When she arrived, she checked me and I was seven centimeters and starting to feel a little more uncomfortable. Hannah and Tommy worked quickly an quietly to set up the room. Tommy brought up my favorite chair and some water for me to sip on. Hannah also called for Hope, her assistant nurse, to come on over. Hope came and I decided to shower thinking the warm water would be soothing on my back, because the contractions were radiating strongly now from my back around both sides of my stomach. Hope was very kind and soft spoken. She encouraged me to relax my shoulders and allow my body to do the work. The warm water of the shower felt great, but it was too hard to stand, my legs were just too shaky during the contractions. Hannah encouraged me when I came out that this part of labor was the hardest, but also the shortest. Tommy and Hope had set up our crock pot with hot water and towels to use as warm compresses on my back. Hannah said that I should try some different positions to bring the baby down and into a good position.

Contractions were very intense now and I got a lot of support physically from Tommy, he was right beside me and I held on to him tightly. Hope worked tirelessly wringing out scalding hot towels to put on my back and stomach and the relief this brought me was amazing. Tommy applied gentle pressure to my lower back. Again, Tommy was amazing, he had slipped out sometime before 8 and had Abby wake up the little ones to get them dressed and feed them. From 8 am until 8:17 am was the most incredibly difficult time and I could not have gotten through without the support of everyone there. I listened closely to Hope and Hannah. I knew at this point that my baby was big and I needed to be patient and controlled. I held on tight to Tommy and he spoke softly to me. Hope said, "Monica, you can do all things through Christ...". I listened closely to Hannah's instructions. I remember wondering if I would indeed be able to deliver this baby. I knew she was a big one! With much relief and rejoicing she was born at 8:17. I just kept thanking God and telling her how beautiful she was. I always cry when I first meet my babies. The joy is indescribable! The four of us talked about how beautiful and big she was and how she did not look like a newborn babe. Tommy cut the cord, Hope snapped a few pictures.

As soon as we were able, about fifteen minutes later, the children came in to meet their sister. I was so thankful to be at home surrounded by my family. The kids took pictures and watched Hannah give Rose her first bath, because she passed her first maconium shortly after she was born. I nursed Rose for the first time. I prayed quietly that she would be a good nurser. We all watched Hannah measure the baby and do her first check-up. It was wonderful to have the children present for all these special moments. We were all so happy that she was finally here. God blessed us with a wonderfully peaceful home birth. Praise God for another safe delivery and sweet baby!

weight 9 pounds 14 ounces

length 21 3/4 inches

head 14 3/4 inches

chest 14 1/4 inches

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week we will start a busy season of three in sports. Anna starts soccer and Jacob and Samuel start baseball. Spring begins Thursday, the birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming, it's a beautiful season to watch God's creations! I am looking forward to warmer days and getting out more with Rose:) Our meals will need to be simple with easy clean-up!

Here is what's cookin' this week:
Breakfast: mostly boxed cereal thanks to our deals at kroger last week
Lunch: burritos, pbj, leftovers, fruit
Monday-whole wheat pancakes, sausage, orange slices
Tuesday-grilled chicken, macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli
Wednesday-wheat berry soup (with venison from the freezer), rolls, peach cobbler
Thursday-grilled cheese or egg salad sandwiches, carrots, applesauce
Visit Laura's site for more menu ideas!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Nephew Is Here

Jackson Xavier Franck
March 11, 2008
7lbs. 6 oz.
19.5 inches
Another beautiful blessing born into the family!
Welcome, little fellow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

CVS and Food Lion Savings

We had a good week with coupon savings! Unfortunately my sleep deprived "mommy brain" is making it hard for me to keep up with my receipts!
We had fun at CVS. The picture is just one of our trips! We were able to get three free gallons of milk to go with the 20 boxes of cereal we bought at Kroger for $15! My favorite transaction at CVS went like this:
3 bags of starbuck's coffee 6.99 ea
-$4 off 20 cvs coupon
-$5 off 15 cvs coupon
-$1.97 ecb's
-$10.00 ecb's
=free coffee!
At Food Lion we bought the three baby items for $1!
Go to Crystal's blog to get the links to great coupons!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sharing Smiles

Boy, was I a tired Mama today! This little girl took the girl's night thing a little too far and we did not get a whole lot of sleep:) But all the sweet smiles and talks we have now make it all better!
A time will come that I get a full nights sleep, but for now I just have to keep going and enjoy sharing smiles:)
This is the day that the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Friday, March 7, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls...

What do you get when you add an easy meal of chicken patties and tater tots, and movies with popcorn and ice cream, and no men in the house? GIRL'S NIGHT!! Tommy and the boys have gone to Maryland to help Cj, Amanda, and Elizabeth move into their new house:) We miss the guys, but girl time is special!

A Diaper Cake

Our "second" church, the one we call "the church across the street" delivered this gift to us yesterday. Can you believe that 15 years and seven kids later, this was a first- a diaper cake. I was thrilled! It is one of the cutest baby gifts I've ever seen. It is full of useful things...diapers and wipes of course, hand knitted booties and a hat, a pink Bible, a reusable ice pack, toys, socks, a onesie, a spoon and bottle, a towel, washcloth, and blanket! It is all held together by beautiful pink ribbon. Hand made gifts and cards are just the best aren't they!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

This meal has become a favorite for us. A sweet family at church brought us this meal after Rose was born. I found this recipe and made a few changes to make it a little lower fat and a "hair" cheaper.
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
  • 5 cups of cooked, diced chicken (I have used a rotisserie chicken and skinless boneless chicken)
  • 1 can of Cambell's healthy request cream of chicken soup
  • plus one can of milk
  • 16 ounces of sour cream
  • one tablespoon poppy seeds
  • one sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. combine the first five ingredients
  3. pour into 13x9 casserole dish
  4. cover with crushed crackers and drizzle with butter
  5. bake 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and crackers are golden brown

We serve this over rice so it's more filling. We could easily eat two pans:)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Very Rainy Day

things to do on a very rainy day...

  • bird watch
  • take pictures, just for fun
  • read books
  • plan our next cvs trip
  • sort coupons
  • be musical, I heard guitar, piano, and harmonica playing today
  • watch a movie, Wendy requested John Wayne, which made me chuckle:o)
  • fold and put away laundry, lots of laundry
  • try to make baby Rose smile and coo, which we did and she giggled!
  • do math
  • sort baby clothes, Rose is outgrowing her clothes quickly
  • bake something, we made granola, YUM!
  • open a window so you can hear the rain too
  • wear bunny slippers like baby Rose:o)

I wrote this just for fun and realized that we did a lot today.

Thank you Lord for the soaking rain.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rose is Six Weeks

Our baby is six weeks old already. Isn't she a doll grinning here!
She has grown to 24 inches and weigh 11 pounds 7 ounces!
Here she is snuggled in her sling sleeping. She loves being held and startles very easily. About the only times you will hear her cry is when she gets scared or startled and if we put her in her car seat awake.
What a "ham"! Don't you want to squeeze her cheeks?!

Super Saving Saturday

This is my 2 year old that asks "You goin' to CBS (that's CVS)? I wanna go wis you Mama" when she sees me putting on my shoes:)

At Kroger, we took advantage of sales and coupons that have printed out with our receipt recently and some manufacturers coupons that matched sale items. Thanks to Abby, my ten year old resident "Coupon Queen" for gathering what we needed:) We spent $30.74. Items that were free were...6 tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste, six pack of Yoplait yogurt, 2 jars of Peter Pan peanut butter, and Private Selection Coffee.
I felt like we had to really work at putting together a plan to make CVS work for us this week. The deals were few and far between. We did get the Revlon buy $20 and get $10 ECB's deal. I really debated this one because I just don't use very much make-up. Again, thanks goes to Abby because she searched for some light nail polishes and a mascara to total the $20 while I walked sleepy Rose around the store. Here's the break-down...

2 stayfree 2/$10, used one $3.50 cvs printable and 2 $2 mc

1 softsoap pump $1.79

1 J&J healing hand lotion, used 1 CVS $1 printable, and 1$1 mc

1 tresseme hair spray $1.99, used $2 CVS printable

3 revlon nail polishes $4.59 each

1 revlon mascara $6.99

Sambucol $12.99

1 dozen eggs $2.05

1 gallon milk $4.29

total before coupons $60.87

used $4/$20

used $10/$50

paid $27 in ECB's

paid $1.53 on cvs gift card

Got back $25 ECB's

Read Crystal's Super Saving Saturday!