Thursday, April 30, 2009

Whe have celery!!!

See those little green things in the middle? Those are celery!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whatever Wednesday

Garden Update #3
#1 & #2

Here are my peas. All but one seed sprouted. Look how big they are getting!!!

Here are one of my carrot boxes. I planted 16 in each and 15 in each came up. I do need to thin them out but alas it is raining today.

Here is the other box. As you can see things are getting big. My kids are like me. We love the radish plants because they are the fastest. It is just about time for use to put in a second planting. FUN!!

I am also going to make a gardening calender.So I know what I plant and when plus I will probably add in the estimated date of sprouting. I need to know these things at a glance. I am crazy I know! LOL!!

Tasty Tuesday

What's in your freezer?

We recently did a little freezer stock up. In the top picture you will see our meat supply. On the top right is my sadly dwindling ground beef supply. Next to that is two freezer bags that have 4 vacuum sealed bags of cubed up ham. Next to that are 12 or so vacuum sealed bags of ham slices.
The lower shelf is my chicken shelf. I did two huge chicken breast per bag. I portion all my vacuum sealed bags out to a dinner size. Here is some great information on freezing meat.
This is my cheese drawer. I recently got a little stock of pepper jack. So I cut it into 1lb. blocks and sealed it up. For more info on freezing cheese go here.
I LOVE reusing boxes to organize all my food storage why should the freezer be different. :) I do NOT consider my freezer food storage. 3 month maybe but nothing more. I however do not can meat as of this moment so I gotta have it some where. I buy my meat and most cheeses in bulk and then use my handy dandy food saver to vacuum seal it for my freezer.

If you are interested in learning more about a Food Saver check out this post on Christy's Bargain Jargon blog. YES she found a great deal on these!!
All About Food Storage also has a great post about using your food saver for more than your freezer. I forgot mine could do this!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Money Monday

This is great site that has a lot of advice and ideas to offer. From budget calculators to frugal decorating tips. They cover grocery shopping, debt reduction, and so much more. There are free down-loadable budget sheets and so much more. You can even sign up for their Ezine (email magazine). Go check it out.


Elder Robert D. Hales
Again this week I am referring to this wonderfully inspiring talk!
"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!”"
These are great. Next time you want a new article of clothing, to redo the deck, a bigger TV, and yet another dinner out this week I want you to think of these word. (Yes those are all from my week!)
"Another important way we help our children learn to be provident providers is by establishing a family budget. We should regularly review our family income, savings, and spending plan in family council meetings. This will teach our children to recognize the difference between wants and needs and to plan ahead for meaningful use of family resources.
When our boys were young, we had a family council and set a goal to take a “dream vacation” down the Colorado River. When any of us wanted to buy something during the next year, we would ask each other, “Do we really want to buy that thing now, or do we want to take our dream trip later?” This was a wonderful teaching experience in choosing provident living. By not satisfying our every immediate want, we obtained the more desirable reward of family togetherness and fond memories for years to come."
When our whole family is aware of our goals and financial limitations it makes it easier for us to help each other out. We often ask our children, "Is that a need or a want?" They don't always see the difference but they are learning that a new My Little Pony or Star Wars guy is so not a need. LOL!! Now to convince the Mommy!
These next two quotes really hit home to me. It was if they were meant just for me. They made me see clearer that life is more than just for today. There are eternal consequences for our choices here in this mortal life. Every aspect of this life does in fact impact the next.
"Whenever we want to experience or possess something that will impact us and our resources, we may want to ask ourselves, “Is the benefit temporary, or will it have eternal value and significance?” Truthfully answering these questions may help us avoid excessive debt and other addictive behavior."
:We must want, more than anything else, to do our Heavenly Father’s will and providently provide for ourselves and others. We must say, as did King Lamoni’s father, “I will give away all my sins to know thee” (Alma 22:18). Then we can go to Him with steadfast determination and promise Him, “I will do whatever it takes.” Through prayer, fasting, obedience to the commandments, priesthood blessings, and His atoning sacrifice, we will feel His love and power in our lives. We will receive His spiritual guidance and strength through the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Only through our Lord’s Atonement can we obtain a mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:14) and experience a mighty change in our addictive behavior.
With all the love I have in me and with the Savior’s love through me, I invite you to come unto Him and hear His words: “Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted” (
2 Nephi 9:51)."

Survivial Saturday

Portable Clothes Washer
When we had the wonderful flu crude hit our house in February and every thing from bedding to towels to cloths were pucked on (gross I know!) I thought how would I handle this with out my wonderful washer and dryer?
Supplies Needed:
5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean)
Store in bucket:
Liquid laundry detergent
Stain remover/stain stick
Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
Rope (for clothes line)
Clothes pins

To Use:
Empty contents of bucket.
Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
Conserve water - use rinse water for next load of laundry.

NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.
As found on:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Food Storage Friday

On your MARKER. Get set. GO!!!

One of my favorite food/product storage tools is the marker. I prefer a good ole black sharpie. Every time I open a jar of peanut butter, a new laundry soap, salt or spice I mark the date on it with my sharpie. When that particular container runs out I have a general idea how many I would need to store for X amount of time. I do recommend this for your longer use items such as those listed above. This is great in the bathroom too. Shampoo, toothpaste and the like. Make a note of how long items last you and then watch for a great sale. Then you will know how much to buy for say 3 months or even a year. Be sure to pay attention to expiration date on stock up items.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Under construction

Sorry for the mess. I am trying to add some new features and expand my space. Trying to find the best wallpaper. So please excuse the mess and wish me luck!

Thirfty Thursday

Inexpensive Ways to Get Emergency and Food Storage Supplies

Okay this week I am referring to another great blog I have found. Prepared LDS Family

This gal is awesome. Go check it out. Be sure to look over the whole site! I was amazed at all the info she packed in!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Whatever Wednesday

The order of things
This has been on my mind lately as I strive to do it all. I wondered in what order I should do it. As always the leaders of the church have already provided the answer for me.
We, as a family, have been trying to work on all of these at once. Silly us! Some of these over lap in our house as our 3month and long term food storage are part of my regular grocery trips. We have a water cooler so we do have and rotate our water supply(now if I could get around to filling the 55gal drum I have). Our financial reserve is greatly lacking due to our debts and our striving to become debt free.

Garden up date

I did my planting on April 6th, so a little over 2 weeks ago. Go here for more on my garden

So here are my radishes that broke through on Friday the 17th! I planted 16 an 15 came up. Although Elizabeth helped me plant and we both wonder if we just skipped a spot! LOL!!

Here are my peas. They came up yesterday the 21st. I know we planted 8, so 2 are MIA. Maybe they will come up later. I can't wait to eat peas right off the bush. YUMMY!!!

Here is a closer look at my pea sprout! So cute.

Nothing else has popped their heads out. My strawberry plants have a few more flowers. The rest of my starts are getting a little taller but nothing of note happening there.

UPDATE to my update! LOL!! James went out to look at the garden before he left for work tonight and this is what he saw in the carrot square!!! I am so happy. I was jumping around like a little kid. ALL of the kids put on their boots to come look. Yippee!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Summer Foods We Love

Summer at our house means macaroni salad!! Yummy!! So I made a batch Sunday and we are still chipping away at it. Tyler took it for lunch and James packs it in his too. I just can't get enough of it.

Macaroni Salad
I never measure for this.

Macaroni noddles cooked drained and ran under cold water until fully cooled.
Hard boiled eggs all chopped up.
Pickles (gotta have 'em!!) diced.
Olives sliced (one can is good two if you are using pre-sliced).
Cheese cubed.
Tuna about two cans drained.
Frozen peas add them frozen.
Mayo or Miracle whip to taste.

Another summer time food we love are Chicken Ranch roll-ups.

Chicken Ranch Roll-ups
(These are generally just for James and I)

2 chicken breast cooked and cubed
Lettuce (I like Romain)
Shredded cheese of your choosing (a mexi mix works great)
Tortillas (just plain flour works but I want to try the Jalapeno cheddar ones I saw!!)
Ranch dressing of your choosing.
And BACON. Cooked and crumbled(we forgot until we were eating them :( )
Layer it in the tortilla and scarf it up!!
No pics sorry we were too hungry!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Money Monday

Getting Those Bills Down

Let's take a look at those monthly bills. You know those ones we can't do anything about? Housing, Water, Electric/gas, Cable/Dish, Phone/Cell phone, Internet, Garbage, Car/house insurance, and those pesky evil Credit cards.

I am not going to go into all of those in this post (keep your eyes out for them though). I thought we could look at our water and electric bills today.

In my area our water provider is Firgrove Mutual Water. I pay around $30 to $40 every two months depending on the season (summer is higher). Not a biggy I know, but hey a penny saved is a penny earned! Here is a list of money saving tips. Also get your free water conservation kit. For budgeting I make a half payment ($15-$20) each month. It is automatically set up through my bank.

My electrical company is Puget Sound Energy. I pay around $141 a month for a 1300 sq. ft. home. I know what my payment will be each month because I am on a set payment plan. This plan gets reviewed every June. It is a great way to budget. No more dreading the winter months high bills. Every month is the same weather it is really $35 or $210. Here are 6 ways to slash your electric bill. Here are a few I have learned:

  • unplug it. Phone chargers, microwaves, toaster ovens, and electronics. If they are not being used unplug them.
  • turn the lights off. Open the curtains and let the sunshine in.
  • turn it off. The TV and the computer. They do not need to be on if you are not using them.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Elder Robert D. Hales
This is an incredible talk. So many wonderful words of love and council. Here a few quotes I enjoyed the most so far.
Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are part of our test in mortality. Let me assure you that your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. Through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good (see D&C 122:7). Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

We must remember that the adversary knows us extremely well. He knows where, when, and how to tempt us. If we are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can learn to recognize the adversary’s enticements. Before we yield to temptation, we must learn to say with unflinching resolve, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (
Matthew 16:23).
This was comforting and helped me feel like the Lord is truly on my side even though this(debt)is a self made problem.
Our success is never measured by how strongly we are tempted but by how faithfully we respond.
I hope that I can respond faithfully. I feel more successful with the progress we have made and i hope to improve more.
I have learned that the three most loving words are “I love you,” and the four most caring words for those we love are “We can’t afford it.”
I pray that I can put these words to better use!!! Now I will not feel bad when I tell my self no, or my kids for that matter!
Please take the time to read this talk in it's fullness. It is truly wonderful!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whatever Wednesday


As the weather warms up my family begins our season of evening walks. Elizabeth asks every night at dinner if it is warm enough for an "evening walk". I load the little boys is the stroller or wagon ,depends on my mood, and the big kids grab bikes or scooters. Off we go. I try to make this last 30-40 minuets but again it depends on our mood. It is a nice way to end the day and get some activity into our day.

Walking is a great low impact exercise as well as a great warm up to your regular work out ( I so do NOT have on of these). I am also all about adding more umph to my walk. I found some great ideas here. Here are a few high lights:

Walking is by far the most popular low impact exercise, but in order to get your heart rate up there are some things you may need to do.

  • Walk faster. One mistake we often make is walking too slowly to get the heart rate up. Wendy, About's Walking Guide, offers a great tutorial for How to Walk Faster. Picking up the pace can help you up the intensity of your workouts.

  • Try interval training. By adding short bursts of speed or an occasional steep hill to your walking workouts, you can increase the intensity of your workouts as well as your calorie-burn. Try one of these Hill Workouts on the Treadmill or one of the Beginner Interval Workouts to get started.

  • Use your arms. Make sure you're not holding onto the treadmill and, when you're outside, swing your arms to keep the intensity up. Holding weights as you walk is a no-no (it can cause injury), but consider using walking poles as an alternative.

  • Mix things up. If walking is your sole source of cardio, cross-train with other activities to keep your body challenged. Walking is something we do every day and, therefore, we're very good at it. Learning something you're not as adept at can be a great boost to your endurance and fat loss.

Now here is to putting these ideas to use!!!

Walks are also a great way to get away from distraction like the phone (I do take my cell for emergencies), TV, the computer, dishes, laundry and all other household chores. LOL!! It is a great time to catch up with your sweetie, kids or just with your own thoughts. Plus the fresh air makes my kiddos sleep better! Oh yah don't forget the dog!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time out Tuesday

Time out
I think I need a time out. A time to look at the big picture and set some realistic provident living goals. I feel like I am going full speed ahead some days and others I feel like the weight of the world is crushing me. So I am taking a time out to step back and see where my ship is sailing and adjust my course.
So how about we do that? Let's look at were we are in our money situation, education/employment, emergency preparedness, food storage, health, and spirituality. Where do we want to be and are we on the right course to accomplish those goals?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Food Storage Friday

Where to put it all

The comment I here a lot is,"Where do I store that much?"

I have a laundry room/pantry that I stuff to the gills and i do currently store quite a bit in my mini-garage, but I am running out of room.
So I started thinking of off the wall places to store my food.

I have a shoe holder (you know the pockety ones) on one of my sliding closet doors to hold my seasoning packets, instant oatmeals, fruit snacks, and other odds and ends.

I have invaded my children's rooms. Elizabeth has a good supply of freeze dried fruits and veggies as well as powdered eggs and butter in the upper part of her closet.

The boys room has a great spot but it is used for diaper storage for the time being. GRRR!! ;)

Another idea I haven't gotten to yet is under the bed storage. My bed sits on the floor. So I want the Super Duper Hubby to build me a frame that will accommodate my goodies from the church cannery. (Keep an eye out for that post late this summer.)

Here is a great post from The Pantry Panel. I seriously just stumbled across this blog 2 minuets ago. I can't wait to take a closer look. Any who comment #2 really stuck out to me, but read the whole post.

Commenter #2 said...
I know people who whine about no room for food storage but keep years of accumulated clutter. Look at the items in your home with a discriminating eye and get rid of things you don't use or need. Storage areas housing old board games nobody plays anymore, toys kids have outgrown, yards of ugly, out of date fabric, abandoned craft projects, etc. can be purged to free up room for food storage. When scouting for storage space don't just look for empty spaces but for space being taken up by clutter that could be better used for food storage.

Food Storage Friday--side note

Our biggest sale of the year!
Get 15% off your entire order from Thursday, April 9, 2009 thru Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 6:00PM PST.
Simply enter the coupon code BUNNY during checkout. Act now! Check out our new Freeze Dried Green Beans. We're rolling out new freeze dried fruits and vegetables so check back often.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

On the Cheap
Work outs
I want to get rid of my baby belly. Seriously the twins are 2+ and I still look 6 month pregnant. GRRRRR!! So I am going to get my body back....I hope. So today I scrolled through my cable's on demand and found a plethora of work outs!! No gym fees, no baby sitter needed. Hey I don't even have to worry about a descent workout out-fit nobody will see me!! Oh and if you don't have on demand with you TV service check out the public library's DVD/video section!! So here is to free work outs!
Online shopping
Here are some great sites for those "secret" codes.
Gift wrap and cards
Just come to my house and get some from me!! Seriously I say almost every gift bag and piece of tissue paper that comes in my door. I haven't spent my money on gift bags in probably 5 years!! So save those oh so cute bags, you will use them again!! Also I saw a cute gift tag made from a piece of child's art. Too cute!! Wouldn't the Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles love those!!
Dinner out !!!! Check out this entry at the Bargain jargon for more info! The deals are amazing!!
Also for a family night we like to hit up Sheri's on Saturday. Two kids per adult meal eat for free after 4 pm on Saturdays. For us that means all our kids are free!! Plus the kids get a yummy treat for desert.
I have fallen in love with RedBox!! When you sign up online you get a code for a free rental plus they put out codes every Monday and Wednesday for free rentals, one per debit/card card used. Even if you don't have a code movies are only $1.00 per day!!!
Again here look at your cables/satellite on demand section for all kind of free movies. or your local public library!!

Side note!!

Traditional Garden
If you are looking at going the traditional garden route. No containers, no raised beds, and not square foot then check out Safely Gathered In today!!! While you are there look around! This is great provident living blog!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whatever Wednesday

I got a garden, I got garden, I got garden!! How about you?!?!

Saturday James made his wife a very happy woman. He put in my garden!! Now we have way super crappy ground so...we opted for the raised bed Square Foot Gardening route. I begged for the book for Christmas and got it and now I am planting my little slice of heaven!!
So here are the pictures folks!

Okay so here is my super duper awesome hubby. One box down and one more to go!! I did not go for the 4x4 method. We did a 8x2 box. We added a trellis on the back for our vine plants.

Here you can see out neat little square foots all marked out. It looks so clean and orderly!

All planted for now. I will be adding in a few more plantings over the next two weeks to stagger my harvest.

In the back along the trellis we have 1 square of sugar snap peas (these are in late:( ), one square of cucumbers, one square of pole beans. Then a few open squares for later planting. Then one square of peppers (we will see how they do up here in WA), and two of beefsteak tomatoes (my fave!!). In the front row of the back box we have 2 squares of celery and one of fingerling carrots. The front box has 4 squares of broccoli starts, one of head lettuce, one of romaine lettuce, one square of radishes and one of strawberries (got to get more of those!). We also have a deeper planter for full size carrots that is more portable and not pictured.

For a simplified and easy read of SFG go here. It is a great PDF to get you info quickly and simply.

Tasty Tuesday

Baking Day!!
Now I normally do not have a "day" for baking but I was just in the mood. So I made rolls, bread machine bread, banana bread and breakfast cookies. YUMMY!!!

I was in charge of rolls for all the holiday's since Thanksgiving. Well as of November 22nd I had never in my life made rolls so I learned quick! The recipe I use if from my ward cookbook. They are called Feather Rolls (thanks Celeste!!)
Feather Rolls
In a large bowl ( I use my kitchen aid w/ the dough hook for ALL of this) mix:
1 1/2 cups hot water 1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup sugar or honey 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast (heaping)
Let mixture set about 10 minuets and get foamy.
2 eggs 21/2 cups flour 2 tsp salt
Mix well
Add 2 to 21/2 cups more flour (add flour until it pulls away from sides and is not gooey sticky). Knead 6 to 8 minuets (mix on high). Shape into rolls. Place on a lightly greased 12 x 17 pan. About 5 across and 6 down. Let rise until at least double. Cook at 375 for 15 to 20 mins.( I brush mine with butter.)
Now we had these left over from dinner last night so I cut 6 in half buttered them lightly. Sprinkled with grated Parmesan, garlic powder, and oregano. Them placed them under the broiler for 3 or 4 mins. Awesome little breads to go with spaghetti!

I have been trying to make all my bread. One it saves money and two it is yummmmers. Here is the recipe I love. I do have a few adjustments to it. I use 3 tablespoons of sugar vs. 2 and I often do a mix of wheat and white flour. I also butter the top when it comes out.

Okay so since the oven was on I made Danish Banana Bread too!! Thanks Liz for the super recipe!

Danish Banana Bread

1 cup oil 1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar 2 tbs. hot water
1cup white sugar 2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups mashed bananas ( about 4 large) 3 cups flour (add last)
Mix in order listed. bake in 2 loaf pans at 350 for about 45 minuets. Cool for 10 minuets and then remove from pans.

Oh and last but not least Breakfast Cookies!!! I put this in our ward newsletter this month, but if you are not in my ward well then here is the very cool blog I got it from The American Homemaker !! This gal is awesome and a total blast to read. She is creative and quirky. LOVE IT!! Oh and the LOVED them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Money Monday

Receipts and Budget Review

Here again is the original post

Okay so I am going to chicken out and not tell you my final totals for March. Mostly because I have sat down to add up the last week yet, but.... I do know what I want my target budgets to be so here we go.

Grocery : $100 a week ( wasn't too far off this for March)

Household/toiletries: $100 ( I was under but we are no low on diapers so...)

Dinner out /entertainment: $100 ( I am not telling how bad we did :o )

Clothing: $ 25 (really I could just put this in a savings account for when we need it)

James: $40 (he usually can pull that off)

Gas: $100 (That's more than we do but extra can go into savings or towards debts)

WOW!! That is $765 I am going to challenge my self to stay within if not under those numbers this month.

I will be checking in!

How did you do? Anyone want to share what they learned? Come on I need all the help I can get!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Wasn't that Amazing?
I love conference. I LOVE President Monson!! I can't wait to watch it again. I can't wait to get my Ensign and read it again. I always find something I missed before. Oh I just feel uplifted and peaceful. I feel refreshed!
I laughed, I cried, and I marveled at my Saviors love for me. How amazing that we have such great and wonderful leaders who serve our Heavenly Father with all their hearts.
I can't wait to make these conference talks the high light of my Sunday post over the next six months. I can't wait to learn more about them in our monthly Conference lessons in Relief Society ( Oh Christy is going to do great with these!!). I hope that all of you are able to enjoy, listen, read and ponder these words as well. I hope you find comfort in your trials, hope in your moment of sadness, and I hope the spirit testifies of the truthfulness of the gospel to you.
If you missed conference or are not a member and would like to see this thing we call conference click here for video/audio. The text versions will be available online Thursday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Whatever Wednesday

Free Natural Yard Care Workshop

Would you like to learn about environmentally friendly yard and garden maintenance?
Firgrove Water Company and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will be presenting a fun and informative “Natural Yard Care” workshop series this spring. The workshop series is FREE, but space is limited.
Workshops will be 6:30-8:30 pm on April 8, and April 22 at Graham fire station #91, 10012 187th St. E. Please call Geoff Rinehart at the Health Department at 798-4587 for more information or to register.
April 8. . . . . .Building Healthy Soil, Smart Watering presented by PC Health Department and Firgrove WaterWednesday, April 22. . . . .Natural Lawn Care, Garden Pest Managementpresented by PC Health Department¤