Monday, November 30, 2009

Get A Good Habit Going - How Did I Do?

Back at the beginning of November FishMama invited us to join her Get A Good Habit Going challenge. I took her up on the challenge! My "good habit goals" were:
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Complete my To-Do List each day.
  • Be more consistent with my weekly menu-planning.

Eh, was I successful? Not totally. But I think I did improve in each area. This week I need to remember that these are goals I'm going to have to work on for a while so they become second-nature habits.

In the going to bed earlier department, I did ok. I didn't make it to bed by 10:30 every night by any means, but if 10:30 rolled around and I wasn't in bed, my attempt at the new habit did make me stop and say "Hey, I need to quit ____ and get going to bed!" A good, long night's sleep always makes the next day go better!

Completing my To-Do List.... hmm, I tried. I don't think there were very many days that I really did ev-er-y thing on my lists, but most days I did get the major things done, and I have been keeping up with some things that I tend to push to the back burner and let go - like washing the kitchen floor and cleaning the bathroom! Today has been an especially good day, and I think I very well might get everything done! (If I don't spend too much time on here...)

Menu-Planning. Haha, as I type this, I have NOT planned this week's menu at all! Supper tonight was figured out about 4:30 this afternoon. BUT it is on my list for today, and I really hope to have it figured out by the end of the day. One step I did try taking was planning a week ahead so I could shop for next week this week. I liked it when I did that, and I might do it more often.

I really enjoyed this challenge, and I hope to continue challenging myself through December, and even into next year with new goals and habits that I want to achieve or get into.

(Oh, and my bed-time goal for tonight? 10:00 sharp. I'm bumping it up 30 minutes.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Feasts

Yes, plural. FeastS. It was such a wonderful day yesterday. The first time in a long time that Daniel and I actually had time to sit down and eat breakfast together without having to rush so we could leave in a hurry for somewhere.

I had a couple ideas for our Thanksgiving Breakfast, but Wednesday afternoon settled on my last one. I wanted to surprise Daniel, so I didn't tell him what it was, only that I was really excited about making breakfast! Since I knew we were going to sleep in, and that such a feast could take a while to prepare, I mixed up several of the dry ingredients Wednesday night, put them in bowls on the counter with a sticky-note on the lid of what they needed to finish. It cut probably 15 minutes from my time on Thursday.

Our special Thanksgiving Breakfast:
Country Fried Steak
Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
Baked Apples
Skillet-Baked Cornbread
Daniel really likes Cracker Barrel's "Grandpa's Country Fried Breakfast", and when I remembered I had some very thin round steaks in the freezer, I KNEW that's what I had to make (minus the grits - I don't like grits and just don't buy or make them). We loved it! We sat down to eat around 9:30, and breakfast stuck to our ribs (and probably arteries) for several hours. In fact, we didn't have lunch at all. Just nibbled on the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that I made Wednesday, and the leftover cornbread. I *HEART* cornbread - I don't know why I don't make it more often.

Thanksgiving Afternoon we were both busy with each of our projects for the day - which I will be posting about later.

I wanted supper to be a special meal, too, so we had steaks that I'd gotten on markdown. I consulted Daniel on how he wanted them fixed, and he voted to marinade them in some A-1 Chicago Steakhouse Marinade (that I got for super cheap this summer) and then broil them in the oven. We thought about using the George Foreman, but they were not even thickness and he thought the oven would work better.

Our Thanksgiving Supper:
Mashed Potatoes
Baked Corn
The steaks were HUGE. We really enjoyed them, though, and we both cleaned our plates! Later in the evening we did have the traditional Pumpkin Pie, with Cool Whip. Daniel laughed at the huge dollops of Cool Whip I put on our slices of pie, but he agreed - it was Thanksgiving Day and we should eat however much Cool Whip we wanted!

We had such a great day yesterday. Daniel probably got tired of hearing me say it, but it was SO nice to have a whole day at home with just him. Even though we were both working on our projects, just the opportunities to see each other and talk throughout the day and just spend time together was fabulous. But all good things come to and end... he is back to work today, and tomorrow is yet another Saturday of being away from home and socializing (a family reunion).

One of the highlights yesterday was that before we got out of bed in the morning, Baby George was being quite active, and Daniel was able to feel several strong kicks (or elbow jabs, or whatever). I loved seeing the look on his face :) Most of the time I can't feel the movements on the outside, so Daniel doesn't get to feel our baby moving around near as much as I do, but yesterday morning was certainly an exception!

I had such a wonderful Thanksgiving spending the day with the 2 people most important to me: My husband and our baby :) We are so blessed. I often stopped throughout the day to just think of things I was thankful for. The Lord is so good to us!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cleaning the Lava Pit (AKA the Oven)

We all know how it goes. You bake a pie, a casserole, a cake that decides it doesn't want to stay in the pan... and they drip and drop "stuff" all over your oven floor. It smokes and stinks and eventually you forget about it. Until the next big holiday rolls around and you want to impress with your mad cookin' skillz... and sparkling clean oven. And you spend hours either running the oven's "self cleaning cycle" - which stinks to high heaven - and then more hours sweeping and wiping out the leftover residue, OR you spend hours on your hands and knees scrubbing your knuckles raw trying to scrape off the lava-rock-like substance that has become one with your oven floor.

"Here I am to save the day! Mickey Mouse is on his way!" or something like that. No, really, I want to offer you a last minute Thanksgiving Day Feast Preparation tip for keeping your oven lava-free until next year. This morning I decided it was a good time to clean our oven.

Exhibit A: My dirty oven.
Note my mistake in not covering the WHOLE floor of the oven!!
There is baked-on "goo" in the 2" open space on either side of the foil.
Also note that the majority of the "lava" is contained on the foil!
Under normal circumstances (meaning, no open cracks in the foil), I simply pull out the dirty foil, wad it up, toss it in the trash, and voila! a clean oven. Since I was in a hurry the last time I put down clean foil (obviously!) I did have to spend some time cleaning up the edges of the floor. When you're in a REAL hurry and don't put foil down at all... you end up with baked-on-for-life scars like you see in my freshly scrubbed clean oven.

Exhibit B: My clean oven.
Note the baked on stuff from a previous time with no foil.
(it looks much worse in the picture)
It's important to use foil.
Please ignore the runny-looking drips on the back wall.
There was no way I could reach them in my pregnant state.

Exhibit C: My newly foiled oven.
Nice, sparkly clean foil! Note that I've made SURE
to get it all the way to the edges of the floor and then some.

Exhibit D: My tools for the project.
Comet, a razor, a bucket of hot water and a dishrag.

That's all there is to it! The Comet is a fume-free, non-abrasive scrubbing powder so I can use it without fear of scratching the glass in the door or the enamel.

The razor blade... well, I'm sure it could do serious scratching damage, but I use it just like I do for my glass stove-top and it works wonders for removing what the dishrag can't scrub off. Seriously. I even attacked some of the old stuff again today and managed to get some more of it off.

(If you're lucky, your oven door is removable. Then you can practically climb inside the thing and scrub it with great ease. I thought ours came off, but it doesn't. All the more reason to keep the foil covering the entire bottom! Haha!)

After I do all the initial scrubbing, I do wipe it down good with clean water, and then heat it up good to get rid of any soap residue that might be left. This can emit somewhat of a faint odor, but really not much. After that, I put down the clean foil and call it a day.

*Disclaimer: There have been a handful of people that have told me that putting foil in the bottom of the oven like this will mess with the baking temperature, the way it bakes, the way the thermometer reads the oven temperature, so on and so forth. I keep using my oven like I always have, things bake like normal, and I can't tell a difference.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Week Grocery Trip

It was a good trip :) A little splurging for Thursday (we're staying home), several FREE items, a little gift-buying, and some stocking up :)

I now know why I don't go grocery shopping in the evenings. I'm sure it was probably a little worse since it was 2 days before Thanksgiving Day, but every store was a major zoo! Not to mention they were both stores that I've never been in, so I wasn't familiar with the layout at all. However, I did get most of my to-do list done before I left. Daniel got home before me and per my request, made a very yummy taco-soup for our supper (thus the Doritos purchase - following the menu!).

Kroger & WalMart
Fresh Pineapple - $2.24 (splurge for Thanksgiving Day treat)
Utz Chips - $2.50
Doritos - $3.85 (This Kroger didn't have Kroger brand!! Cost me a pretty penny!)
Shortening - $2.82
Marshmallow Cream - $.75
*Creamer - $1.98
All Purpose Flour - $1.66
(2) Dole Pineapple - FREE
*(2) 4ct. Crockpot Liners - $1.39/ea
*Choc. Pudding - $.82
*Powdered Milk - $7.28
(5) Nesquik Choc. Milk - FREE
Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes - FREE
6 lbs. Butter - $1.67/ea (STOCKUP!!)
CoolWhip - $.88 (Thanksgiving Day treat :) )
Skippy Peanut Butter - $1.98 (forgot to use my coupon :( )
4 Apples - $1.57
18ct. Eggs - $1.47
1.4lbs. 85% lean Ground Round - $3.54
18.57lb. TURKEY - $7.43 ($.40/lb)

Shelf Price - $67.59
OOP - $55.02
Saved - $12.57 / 19%

*I forgot that all or part of these items will be used for gifts, so really my totals are:
Shelf Price - $61.06
OOP - $48.49
Saved - $12.57 / 21%

Monday, November 23, 2009

FREE Dole!

Kroger has Dole Canned Fruit 12-15oz. on sale this week for $1. Print the Dole $.50 coupon from my coupon sidebar that will make it FREE when the coupon doubles! You should be able to print 2 of this coupon. Hurry before they reach the print limit!

Simple Woman's Daybook 11-23-09

For today, Monday November 23, 2009

I am thinking... that it's been a long time since I've done one of these! That it's pitiful - it's almost 10am and I've had breakfast and paid one bill. I need to get crackin' on the rest of The List!! That the rain is nice, but I think it should snow for Thanksgiving :)

I am thankful for... a good chiropractor to go to! The extra time Daniel and I had together this morning since his first call wasn't until 9:00 (thus some of the reason I'm getting a lateR start). The opportunity to visit friends on Saturday that we hadn't seen since our wedding over 5 years ago - it was a special visit!

From my kitchen... it will look better after I spend a little time cleaning up the dishes and whatnot that collects over the weekend.

I am going... to the chiropractor later on today (I need to call and make sure they have regular hours today since it is Thanksgiving week), and I also need to desperately make a trip to the Motherhood store to exchange the clothes I got online last month before the time allowance for exchanging clothes in-store is up!!

I am reading... working my way through Angela Thomas' "Living Your Life As A Beautiful Offering", a Bible Study on the Sermon on the Mount that I'm in at our church.

I am hoping... to get everything done on my list today! That would be awesome :)

I am creating... I MUST make bread today. I made biscuits this morning for Daniel's breakfast sandwiches because we're completely out of bread. I also need to start figuring out what Christmas gifts I need to start shopping for.

I am hearing... the rain. I am very thankful for the rain, but a little sad that I'll have to use the dryer again. But I'd rather have the much needed rain and have to run the dryer than have the earth parched from no rain!! I'm glad I figured out what the strange noise coming from the refrigerator was and now I don't have to listen to it anymore. (The ice maker does not work, and something had bumped the switch and turned it on - thus the strange noise.)

Around the house... don't look. LOL. I need to whip it back into shape.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Cooking, cleaning, baking, laundry, dishes, etc. etc. etc. Thanksgiving Day we think we are just going to stay put and work on projects. Daniel is on call this week so we can't go out of town, and we think we'd like to spend the day just working together and getting some things done around the house. Especially since our weekends lately have involved being gone on Saturdays, this day off will be nice.

A picture thought... one of the back roads we drove on our mini-vacation in October. It was a "green road sign road", honest! It started out paved, then got narrower, then turned to gravel. It was basically a pig path following and often crossing a stream-bed! We LOVED it! There were little farmettes and old country houses along through there. It was like driving in a dream :) We did agree that if we would ever live on such a road, we would have a good reason to buy my much-longed-for Suburban (with 4-wheel drive), and Daniel could justify his much-longed-for tractor :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Grocery Roundup 11/20

Today is Friday and I didn't go shopping until this afternoon. There weren't any great and wondrous sales this week (of things I needed/wanted) so I didn't feel like I needed to rush out and grab the good deals before the shelves were cleared.

I didn't have the gumption to take a picture this week, so words will have to do.


1 Gal Milk - $2.99
(3) 8oz. blocks cheese - $1.67 ea.
(2) 5lb. Gold Medal Bread Flour - $1.99 ea.
(1) 5lb. Kroger AP Flour - $1.66
Reynolds Turkey Sized Oven Bags, 2ct - $1.00
Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes (3oz) - FREE
48oz. Wesson Oil - $2.19
200 ft. Kroger Plastic Wrap* - $1.49
1 head Lettuce - $1.45
10.5oz bag Lays Chips - $2.50
18ct. Kroger Large Eggs - $2.37

Shelf Price - $32.00
OOP - $25.17
Saved - $10.83 or 34%

I was happy that my OOP was back down around $25. Knowing that there's likely to continue being a lot of good baking goods sales through the rest of the year, it's nice to have a low-spend week.

*I'm hoping the plastic wrap was not a waste of money. I've been using Sam's brand from Walmart, which works wonderfully. I've tried Great Value brand and Saran Wrap brand and I do NOT get along with either of them at all - they don't stick. At least for me. I just didn't feel like making a trip to Wally World for 1 item, and I'm doing some baking this evening that I need to be able to wrap up pretty good and didn't want to run out of what I have on hand.

Swinging Back Into Savings

My monster project this week (which I can now cross off my list!!) revealed to me how lax I have been in the savings department. It's kinda embarrassing. Especially when I think about the many times I've ranted and raved over the importance of always, Always, ALWAYS putting some money into savings regardless of good or bad times. I guess I got a little starry-eyed since things have been going ok for us this summer and fall. Which means... all the time that I could've been socking away even more, I wasn't. And now it's gone one way or the other.

Kindof. I did just now remember that over the summer we created a nest egg for the baby (supplies, extra medical expenses, maybe even the start of a savings account?), and that money would've gone into savings otherwise. It's just not showing up in the savings, that's all.

This week I jumped firmly back onto the "put something in savings every week" wagon. I might've put some Gorilla Glue under my feet this time, too, just as an added precaution. This morning I promptly entered Daniel's paycheck into the budget and immediately moved some of it over into our savings account. Now that I have the budget and checkbook all balanced, I am determined to keep up with it. And the bill paying. *sweat dots the brow* I'm going to "keep it real" and say that more than a few times this summer I've just barely squeaked in under the wire on getting some bills paid on time. Like so close I could smell it. And it stinks, lemme tell ya that! It is NOT frugal one bit when you have to pay an extra fee to pay a certain bill online because you forgot to mail it and it's due TODAY. To my "Get A Good Habit Going" project, I think I should add "writing bill due dates on the calendar so I get them paid in plenty of time." I've done that before, I can do it again. I know several of you probably have your bills automatically withdrawn from your accounts. I just can't. It's not against my religion or anything; we could and the only reason we don't is because I simply don't want to. It's a control thing, probably. I want to say when and who our money goes to, not some robot. I'm weird like that.

I'm really tickled pink to have this week's project (getting the checkbook and budget caught up and balanced) finished. I have quite a bit of other things I have to do today anyway, so it worked out just in time. And I'm happy to have jumped back on to the savings wagon. Especially since we're planning to build an addition, it is more important than ever that we keep a good grip on the money reigns!

Stay tuned for next week's Monster Project!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Attacking the Money Monster

I'm sure many of you know how it goes.
Please tell me I'm not the only one!

You get the checkbook, budget, whatever money-related stuff you have, all caught up. And then you get all distracted for a week, or a month, or several... and you realize the last time you balanced the checkbook or anything of that sort was APRIL!!!! Yikes!

We have two areas that I balance - our checkbook with the bank statements, and then our budget spreadsheet with the checkbook.

I spent several hours yesterday in the checkbook, and after another hour or so this morning I am finally caught up with that. To the penny! Yay! I was a little "grr'd" at myself when I kept finding little things here and there that I hadn't entered into the checkbook - and of course they were all debits and not credits. Of course. Now I'm working on the spreadsheet. It's going ok, I'm still finding things that I missed entering, but since I know the checkbook is correct, I can just follow it and make sure I have everything entered into the budget correctly. And hopefully it all balances together at the end.

This is one of those projects where I finally decided "enough was enough" and put EVERYTHING on hold while I get this done. Yesterday my domestic duties consisted of doing a load of laundry and putting a roast in the crockpot. Today will be similar, at least until I get this thing done.

Next week I hope to attack the Freezer Monster. At least I don't have to try and balance that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Being A Grown-Up

is hard. Our November is on the verge of insane, with something going on at least 1 of the days of single weekend (not counting church twice on Sundays). Throw in grocery trips, Dr. appointments, MOPs meetings, Bible Studies, Wed night choir practice, all the obligatory things to attend for Thanksgiving (yes, I do want to attend some of them, I very well might opt out of any "extra" events), and November is gone in one big *POOF.*

I've known that our December was likely to be just as busy but really hoped not. Our church's Christmas Choir Concert, Sunday School social, this, that and all the other stuff. Some of them are very important to me, other's I'm obligated to, and other's ... I wish could happen at a less busy time of year.

Today looking at the calendar and trying to figure out when it would suit our calendar to have Daniel's family's Christmas, I realize how very, very, very full December really is going to be. The end of this year is going to be just like July & August were for us... gone every single stinkin' weekend, with a ton more in-between things going on. I really want to sit down and cry.

Growing up, in December - yes, it was different than the other months of the year - but we didn't have umpteen million gajillion different kind of things we had to go to. We had Christmas Day (at home) and Christmas in PA (the one we travelled for). That was it. Maybe I just didn't realize it so much, but it seems like now there are more things that I have to prepare for - be it gifts, food, cleaning, etc. - and I really just want to have a relaxing December. I loooove December. I really do. For me December is all about Christmas. Christ AND the gifts! And instead it's become all about staying sane, squeezing in 1 more function, going 1 more place, planning 1 more dish or menu, and trying to keep one step ahead so I won't end up buried under a pile of whatever.

Maybe I'm selfish to want "what I want and no more." I'm sure to other people that my "no more" is their "what they want," which means to be nice I need to attend and do my part for whatever it is so that they can have a nice December and Christmas, too.

I still haven't given up the idea of becoming a Hermit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shopping Trip 11/11/09

I got stuff for both ends this week. Food and diapers. I still plan to use cloth diapers, but I'm not too good for disposables when I can get them for this kind of deal!!

Walgreens has Huggies on sale this week, and when combined with the perfect combination of coupons, well, it's just a steal. I was sad that their sale doesn't produce RR's (Register Rewards - $ off your next purchase), but it was still a very good deal!
(4) pks. Huggies Diapers (2 of the pks were higher count than any of the shelf tags were for, but they still rang up at the sale price! I'll take 'em!) - $8.99
(1) Huggies Wipes - $3.29 (to bring the after-coupon total to over $25)
(2) Christmas Tumblers (filler) $.29
(1) Walgreen's Children's Activity Book (not pictured - got it for the diaper coupon inside) - $.99
(4) $2 Huggies Diapers IPQ's
(1) $.50 Wipes Q
(4x) $1 Huggies Q from Activity Book (scans once for each item so it scanned at $4)
In-Ad Q that made the Tumblers $.13 ea.
$5/$25 In-Ad Q

Shelf Price - $45.40
Total OOP - $24.58
Saved - $20.82 or 46%
(Diapers came out to $4.87 with tax, per pkg)

Kroger has a nice cereal sale going on this week, and I had even nicer coupons to match!
(8) boxes Cereal - $6.84 / $.86ea.
Newman's Salsa - $.50
Crushed Pineapple - $1.00
Gal. Milk - $2.50
Utz Chips - $1.89
Kroger Chips - $2.99
(2) Kroger FF Sour Cream - $.99 ea. (Markdown)
Kroger Corn - $.79
Great Value Honey - $7.72 (from WalMart)
2+ lbs. Ground Round - $7.37
2lb. Carrots - $.99
Celery - $1.63
2lbs. Cheese - $2.99/lb.
Tomatoes - $1.85/lb ($2.29)
Apples - $1.00/lb ($1.61)
Oranges - FREE (they kept ringing up the wrong price so the cashier gave them to me)
2lbs. Walnuts - $4.49/lb (on sale plus a nice Q!)
1lb. Lunchmeat - $3.50

Shelf Price - $100.25
Total OOP - $62.30
Saved - $37.95 / 38%

Part of this week's expenses are for next week's menu plan. I've decided to plan a week ahead so that if I need something before Wed. of the next week, I can go ahead and pick it up this week. We're out of ground beef, and it's on the menu for next week, so I picked some up. I couldn't believe it, for the first time they didn't have any marked down. There were some hefty roasts in the Markdowns, but no ground beef. I also opted for a leaner grind - more meat for my money is what I say, esp. if I'm gonna pay full price for it, I don't want to have to pour my money down the drain.

The Walnuts and Honey are stockup items. We've been out of honey for a while, and out of walnuts for even longer. Some things (Banana Nut Muffins for one) just aren't the same without walnuts. I was happy to see the sale and coupon this week - they were even cheaper than store brand, and 2 lbs. should hopefully last a while - if I don't get too walnut happy - and I love walnuts :)

Again, I just have to give a shout out to my Kroger store. Their Customer Service is a-ma-zing. I really need to sit down and write a letter to corporate and let them know how great this particular branch's CS is. Everyone is friendly and always incredibly helpful. I've not had that nice of service at any of their others stores that I've been to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting A Good Habit Going

Jessica (better known as FishMama) over at LifeAsMom started a new challenge last week. One that I read about, thought "what a great idea!" and went on my merry way. I toyed with the idea of joining in, and after yesterday morning's MOPS speaker spoke on time management, I've decided to officially take the plunge.

I don't have any "keepin it real" pictures to share, but here's the new habits I want to get going (again) during November:

~ Go to bed earlier! My new "in bed by" time is 10:30 (meaning "no later than" so I really could go to bed anytime before that...). Last night was the first night and I was headed to bed by 10:40... it was 11 till I actually crawled between the sheets, but that's still a whole half hour to an hour sooner than I can easily let my self stay up. My hoped for result of going to bed earlier is that I will feel more rested for the next day and not have to take as many or as long of a nap... and therefor be able to accomplish my next item:

Complete my "To-Do" list each day. Yesterday the MOPS speaker talked about making sure you don't over-fill your list, making it impossible to get everything done in the time frame you have to work with. I think I'm pretty good in that department. Yesterday, believe it or not, I was able to cross out sing.le i.tem on my list!! It was later in the day since I was gone all morning and had a rather significant nap in the afternoon, but by 9:30 I'd even gotten the floor washed, taken a walk AND done my Bible Study!! (Sadly those 3 have been getting pushed back over and over again.) My hoped for result of this habit will be that A) the house will be cleaner (duh) and B) the transition from SAHW to SAHM will be smoother. And for kicks, C) if I get all these things done, I should have plenty of time to do the extra things that need done to be ready for our little Bambino's arrival :)

~ Menu Planning. I like having a menu plan, but I can be a hard-core procrastinator. My goal with this one is to plan the NEXT week's menu so that I can grocery shop for NEXT week THIS week (to fill in the cracks for the odd things I might not have a supply of). I also want to start working on some freezer meal plans so that come January I can spend some time filling our deep freeze with MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) to use in March. The no-brainer result of this will be not having to scramble at 5:00 or 5:30 to throw together something for supper. I have done this before, I just rolled off the wagon somewhere back there and haven't made an effort to jump back on.

I'd like to invite/encourage any of you to check out FishMama's challenge and join us! Especially if your one of my MOPS-mates... I think this goes hand in hand perfectly with what Anita was teaching yesterday! Leave me a comment if you decide to join, I'd love to hear (or read if you post about it) about what your "Good Habit" goals are :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Getting Caught Up

This week has been a "ketchup" week. Finally a week that didn't have anything extra going on until this morning when I had my Tapestry Bible Study at church (we're doing Angela Thomas' A Beautiful Offering).

I made a to-do list either the night before or the morning of each day, and worked on it. I didn't go gung-ho as much as I could have, and didn't get everything done each day, but enough that this evening I feel good about what I've gotten done. The main parts of the house look a lot better!!

One battle this week was ANTS. For some reason they decided on Monday, right after I'd swept and washed the kitchen floor, that they needed to move in. Like usual I put out Terro stations (using scraps of paper), which in turn does attract more ants, but they're supposed to eat it, carry it back to the nest, feed it to the rest of the family and they all die. Or that's how it's SUPPOSED to work. I think this is the 2nd time this year I've had ants in the kitchen. Usually it's not a huge deal (yes, annoying and aggravating) and by day 2 they're pretty much gone. Well, not this time! They drank probably a good 2/3 of my little bottle of Terro over 3 days. They would sleep at night, so I'd get up in the morning and think "Yes! They're gone!" only to look later to find them trekking back in the door for more Terro.

The afternoon of day 3 I'd finally had enough. As much as I did NOT want to have to re-wash the kitchen floor again so soon (I'm realizing that it's not as easy when you're pregnant!), I pulled out the can of Raid and went to town on them. It worked. And I got back down on my hands and knees and washed only THAT part of the kitchen floor. I've only seen 1 or 2 ants since then but I think they are ones that are a bit lost, wondering where everyone is. Otherwise, there has been no new sign of the ants coming back! When I sprayed the Raid, I went outside and sprayed as much of their "path" to the house and back door as I could see, so I should've "got 'em good!" I don't mind ants, I know they have a purpose (eating dead things, aerating the ground, etc) and in general are a "good" insects, but I do have a problem when they start to invade my human bubble.

Also this week I'm happy to say that I provided a thought-out, cooked meal for us each night (as opposed to a last minute scramble to make something)! I used my crockpot twice and loved it. I think I use it more in the winter than in the summer, I don't know why. This morning I put together this recipe in the crockpot before I left for Bible Study, and when I got home shortly after noon I realized I could've waited until I got home. The chicken was already done so I left it on Warm until supper time. It was very good!!

I'm also tickled pink that the house is clean enough that when my MIL called to say she wanted to drop something off after work this evening, I felt comfortable asking "can you come for supper?" Not to make my house sound like a pig-pen (it was getting close to it) but her "dirty house" is always cleaner then my "dirty house." Haha. I even scrubbed the whole bathroom today! It was tricky scrubbing the bathtub, but I managed and it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.

I still have a lot of catching up I need to do, but hopefully next week the overall house will be easier to maintain and I can spend more time catching up on the extra things. Like the checkbook, cleaning out the freezers, etc.

Oh, tonight I also hemmed a pair of jeans! It was the pair that I bought online a couple weeks ago. They were too long but so comfortable. I put them on again this afternoon to make sure I REALLY wanted to keep them before I pulled off the tags and cut the legs shorter. Daniel says one leg is about 1/4" shorter than the other one, but he wouldn't notice it if he didn't know it. That's a little strange since I cut 2 3/4" off each leg, but I'm happy it's that small of an amount and they didn't wind up as high-water pants or terribly crooked lengths :) (And, if I simply hike up the long side then it should be even, right? :P )

Tonight is the first COLD night for our area, it's supposed to get down below freezing. Nights like tonight make me very thankful for a warm house, warm clothes and a warm bed to sleep in :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Cold!

This morning when I got up it looked cold outside. When I opened the door and stepped out to wave "bye" to Daniel when he was leaving, sure 'nough, it was CHILLY!! I checked the temperature just a couple minutes ago, and it says the outdoor temperature is 38°! Brr :) Seems like Fall is really here. If the leaf covered ground isn't indication enough...

Yesterday was a great day! Sunday night I didn't crawl in bed until 2:00, I was busy updating the checkbook which I'd neglected for the last 1/2 of October. I wanted to get that out of the way. So yesterday morning after Daniel left I started the 1st load of clothes in the washer and crawled back in bed for a while. Before I got up I was lying there awake and realized Baby George was moving around quite a big. I put my hand on my stomach and felt him kicking around for several minutes :)

Yesterday morning was also my appointment with the "higher-powered" ultrasound machine to try and see Baby George's 4 heart chambers. It seems like the bigger George grows, the harder they press on my stomach with the wand! Ouch! They were able to get a good look at his heart, and see all four chambers. This machine also had some kind of color-setting where they could make the blood in the heart and umbilical cord be colored (it was like fire orange and ice blue colors). It was neat to see the blood literally pumping to and through my baby's heart!

I still didn't get to see his or her face. I'm a little disappointed, but all the more to look forwards to on the birth-day! George seems to LOVE looking at my back. Yesterday he was once again upside down facing my back. When they looked at the circumference of his head I could see an ear sticking out, and we got a good look at his feet and toes :)

I was so tickled with myself last night when I finally called it quits. I didn't get the bed made (it's made, I just never pulled the covers up to make it look pretty), the table cleaned off, a menu planned, or go for a walk, but I did get everything else done on my list!! That included washing the kitchen floor!! Oh my, I never realized how difficult washing the floor on my hands and knees would be, even at "just" 22 weeks pregnant. Bending over period is getting interesting, and I know it will only get more so!

Last night before I crawled in, I also put a beef roast in some marinade for tonight's supper, using one of the marinade packets that I got super-cheap this summer. As I was looking through the packets, I realized that I got a lot of marinades for chicken or pork, and not very many for beef! I guess I had chicken on the brain when I bought them :) This afternoon I'll put the roast in the crockpot and I'm excited to see how it tastes when it's all done :)

This morning I need to get a shower and get started on today's list. I could crawl back in bed but I'm pretending like I want to "get going," haha. I did sleep really well last night. I have for the past several nights, in fact, which has been wonderful. I'm even back to sleeping on my own side of the bed! (For a while I was more comfortable on Daniel's side so we switched.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Shocking, I Know

Bad things happen when you don't pay attention to the activity in your checking account, you're spending a couple hundred extra dollars each week for a couple weeks for a ministry your church has and you've been too busy to turn in the receipts for reimbursement.

Bad things like: Whoppin', honkin', WHATINTHEWORLD!?!?!? overdraft charges on your overdrawnforacoupledays bank account.

Tonight I'm thankful for:
following Dave Ramsey's "rule" of having an emergency fund
free online account transfers.

Tomorrow I'm callin' the bank. And hittin' the books. Hard. Time to get caught up and STAY caught up.

I'm thinking of converting to hermit-ism or cave-man-ism. The lifestyle where I can take my whittled wooden spear and go catch a fish for supper, run around naked and not have to worry about clothes or bathing or bank accounts. As long as they have high-speed internet in caves so I can keep in touch with all my bloggy-friends.