Archive for January, 2009

Santa Chef Beginnings, and my Dad

I promised a pic of the stocking I started yesterday so here it is…


I contemplated putting my real name (Chris) on the stocking. I almost did. BUT I decided if I did that I would likely be forever annoyed that the stockings still didn’t ‘match’. Mike’s says “Daddy”, not “Mike”, so I figured I better stick to the same pattern for mine. LOL

It’s 2pm and I’m drinking a HORRIBLE cup of coffee. Seriously I think I’m going to just dump this pot and make fresh. I like my coffee strong, but this is just gross. BLECH!

I’m waiting on a phone call from Mom with an update on Dad. He was having bad abdominal pain again and so they’re back in the ER trying to figure out what’s going on.

He had horrible belly pain for years and years and in Sept of ’06 we finally convinced him to go to the ER. He went in about 10pm and by 6am the next morning he’d had a grapefruit sized tumor and about half of his large intestine removed. Colon cancer.

He had another emergency surgery about a week later to remove a softball sized pocket of infection from the first surgery. Then the next spring he had another emergency surgery, this time to remove a blockage and put in an ileostomy. Basically a detour for bodily wastes. It was detouring his large intestine completely and draining into a bag attached to his side.

He had that for awhile and was doing fairly well. He gained some weight back, but was having problems staying hydrated, so just before Christmas this last year (’08), he had the ileostomy reversed. That is, they reconnected his intestines so he could use the potty like a big boy. LOL (That’s the way he phrased it, btw.)

I thought he’d been doing really well since then. He’s staying hydrated better and gaining weight. Eating just about whatever he wants, etc. Mom says he told her he hasn’t pooped or eaten anything since Tuesday, though. Apparently he hasn’t eaten anything (or drunk much) because he’s scared of it all coming back up because it can’t get through. (That happened pre-ileostomy for several weeks. He was SO sick! It was awful!)

Anyway. Here I sit, waiting to hear what’s what. I have some laundry in the works, and I’m stitching on my stocking. Kids will be out of school in about 45min. We’ll probably head up to the hospital then if I haven’t heard anything yet.


A New Project

I started a new project today, but it wasn’t the one I expected to start.

See, I made myself a little (ok, long) list of things I want to buy with “saved grocery $”. That is, any leftovers from the $80/wk I had budgeted for groceries. I haven’t actually had a week yet where I have had any leftover, but I have a list ready.

Today I was really wanting to start one of the projects I have scheduled for this year because it’s almost the END of January and I haven’t started even ONE project, let alone finished one. I finally decided I’d start with some Christmas ornaments I’ve been meaning to make for several years simply because I knew I already had everything necessary for that (so no $ required), since they are part of a kit.

I went over to the bookshelf where I’d last seen the kit and picked it up. Well, I picked up what I THOUGHT was the ornament kit anyway. One of the items I was wanting to purchase with leftover grocery $ is a Christmas stocking kit for me, to replace the one I made for myself years ago. At the time I made my stocking, I also made 3 others. One for Mike, and one for each kid (though Matt was still incubating nameless). That meant 4 stocking kits to purchase. I was really pleased with the kits for Mike and Meagan, and ok with the one for Matt (well, “the baby”), but by the time I’d picked those out I was left with ONE choice that wasn’t a duplicate. Mostly because I was stuck with whatever our local Walmart had.

I didn’t like it. At all. It’s a pretty-enough design, but it just didn’t ‘fit’ with the others. Mike’s has Santa sitting at a computer, Meagan’s has Santa holding a sack of toys, and Matt’s has Santa decorating a Christmas tree. Mine? An angel holding a banner that says “Peace, Love, Joy”. Pretty, but it just doesn’t mesh with the others.

Several years later (probably 3 or 4 years ago now) I ran across a stocking kit with Santa baking cookies and thought, “WOW! That is SO me!” The more I thought about it and the more I saw it the more I wished I had made *that* stocking for myself.

This year I decided it was time to do something about that. I decided that if I didn’t buy the kit and make it I would always regret it, since I thought about it each and every year since I’d first seen it. Since it was out-of-print the remaining unfinished kits were getting harder and harder to find. I decided that would be one of the very first purchases I made with “leftover grocery $”.

Wanna take a wild guess what I picked up off the bookshelf today? =)

That’s right! The very stocking kit I was still patiently (well, sorta patiently!) waiting to buy! I’ve had several on my watch list at eBay for almost a month now and have had to watch them end one by one without being able to bid on them because there hasn’t been any leftover grocery $ yet. And then today I went to pick up the ornament kit and discovered it wasn’t ornaments, it was the Baking Santa stocking kit! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!

I totally do not remember purchasing this kit. At all. Not even now that I’ve run across it and have held it in my hands. I simply do. not. remember. And yet here it is! YEA GOD! =)

That was such a cool, wonderful blessing today! Seriously! I immediately opened it open and started sorting out thread colors. I have already embroidered and attached the first piece to the front and will be starting the second (the bit with my name- “Mommy”) on it in the morning after I do a little cleaning. I’m going to make myself clean a little first and use the stocking as an incentive to get something done. hehe

I’m so excited! It’s ridiculusly crazy I know, but there ya go. I will absolutely get a pic of it tomorrow. I would take one tonight, but I’ve already packed it away for the night. And YES, I will get a pic tomorrow, know how I can be sure?

Because my new card reader is working! WOOHOO! Apparently the problem was that my USB card’s wire had detached, so it was basically not hooked up at all. My little brother replaced it with a new USB card a few days ago and now the card reader is working great! That’s how I got the grocery pics on there the other day. WOOHOO!

God is good. =)

Anti-Procrastination Day

I was right. I slept until 1pm today. Didn’t even get up in the am to get my pills!

When I did finally get up, I decided to accomplish SOMETHING today, so I snuggled under the covers with some mending I had been putting off for MONTHS.

Why do I do that? I mean seriously. It might have taken me 45min to get all that mending done. Three pairs of culottes (one with a nasty L shaped tear), a pair of pj pants, and replacing a button on an uniform shirt. Maybe 45min, and that’s including hunting up the thread, needle, and scissors. All that stuff sat on top of my dryer or buried in a ‘mending drawer’ for about 3mo. *sigh*

Well, it’s done now. I also filed our taxes tonight after church. Hopefully we’ll be getting a nice-sized deposit soon. Most of which will go to pay for the house taxes for the year, but still. =)

Mike also took the kitties in for their 2nd round of shots (due about 2wk ago!) and took the kids to the library (books due yesterday!). So both of those were “anti-procrastination tasks”, too.

Another one was the kitties’ flea medicine. It was only 2 days late, but it counts too. They were both such good little kitties! Samson did try to get the mean vet-lady back for poking him, but on the whole they did really well. They purred the whole time Mike and I were giving them the Frontline!

Just think what we could have accomplished if I had been awake for more than a few hours. LOL

It’s midnight so I’m off to bed for some bible-reading and SLEEP. I did get my B12 shot tonight, so hopefully tomorrow I’ll be a little more alert. haha

It is snuggly cold here today.

I was woken up this morning by Mike’s boss. Apparently he was late in because of all the ice on the roads. I gave him a cell # to try and then tried to go back to sleep. It didn’t last long. The kids’ school called about 15min later to say school was cancelled for the day. After that, I turned the two alarm clocks off and snuggled in for some yummy sleep. Except I spent more than a few minutes worrying about my hubby maybe being stuck on the side of the road in his car with no heater. =( I said a prayer for him and then fell into a sleep where I had some crazy dreams.

Anyway. The kids came in around 9ish and I told them it was ok, they weren’t late, school was cancelled. They went off to play Wii and I went back to sleep. I finally got up around 11am and came out and took my pills. Then I snuggled down on the couch with some pillows and a couple of thick blankets.

The kids and I watched TV for awhile. They watched a movie while I slept. Then they took turns playing with the Wii and the kitties while I dozed off and on. The kitties kept wanting to snuggle in under the covers with us, too. Their poor little ears were so cold!

Mike went by Costco after work and brought home sugar, coffee, cheese, and hot cocoa. Kinda like when the guy would go into town in the pioneer days, huh? LOL

So it was a cold, snuggly day.

I would’ve enjoyed it lots more if I wasn’t so durn tired and hurting so much!

It seems that while it was ‘ok’ to reduce my B12 injections from nightly to 3x/wk, it isn’t ok to go more than 2-3 days without one. I slip back into the extreme exhausted, sleep-all-day stage. My last shot was last Wed. Mike keeps sneaking off to bed (and to sleep) before I get it ready. I imagine I will be zonked tomorrow too. =(

The hurting? Well aside from that being normal… lol Really though, some bits of me have been way worse the last several days. Until yesterday my left knee was badly swollen and painful. Bad enough I actually put out a request for a cane. Seriously. Stupid me made it way worse the day I went and volunteered at the kids school. I went up and down WAY too many stairs, and then I stupidly volunteered for the mopping as well.

Both Mike and my doctor got onto me for that one. *sigh* I did spend the next day in bed so as to stay off it, but it was still swollen and painful for days afterward.

Today my knee was not as swollen or painful, but I just pretty much stayed stiff all over. It’s the arthritis caused by the Lyme Disease that makes me so stiff. I’m guessing the weather aggravates it?? I dunno. I just know my hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and hips all ached badly all day (when I was awake).

I feel like an OLD woman some days. My kids are so sweet, though. Meagan brought me a cup of cocoa and said she’d take care of me. =)

Oh, and the ladies meeting? Cancelled, too. So I didn’t have to get out in the cold at all. Yea!! =)

School is starting late tomorrow (if at all), and Mike will be home, so maybe I’ll make it a snuggly day again. =)

What a Monday!

Whew! Am I glad this day is over! LOL

It was a good day, though. I got quite a bit done even though we ALL overslept by a WHOLE lot. Like 3hr worth.

I made 3 trips to grocery stores, stocked up on chicken!!, got part of the bathroom scrubbed down, ate dinner and watched House with the kids (Mike had already gone to bed), and got the table cleared off.

The kids got all their chores done, showered, teeth brushed, and in bed by 9pm. We read 3 chapters of the first book in the Sugar Creek Gang series, and then they went right to sleep for a change.

Oh! I also called all but 3 of the SS teachers with a coupon code (AVA910) for $10 off an order of $10 or more at Oriental Trading Company. (I got home too late to call the rest. We have a ladies meeting tomorrow night, so I’ll give it to them there.)

Off to do my bible reading and go to bed.

Menu and Groceries for 1/26 – 2/1

OrgJunkie has LOTS of menu plans at Menu Plan Monday to check out. Here’s mine for the week:


  • Mon- canned roast beef/gravy, mashed taters, corn
  • Tues- tuna sandwiches and chips (Ladies meeting at church)
  • Wed- Chicken fajitas, spanish rice, refried beans
  • Thurs- steak, baked taters, corn on cob
  • Fri- cheese manicotti, garlic bread, salad
  • Sat- meatloaf, mash taters, peas
  • Sun- beans and cornbread


  • Mon- mac-n-cheese OR tuna sandwich
  • Tues- soy butter/jelly sandwich OR leftover roast
  • Wed- cereal OR grape jelly sandwich
  • Thurs- quesadilla OR burritos
  • Fri- pizza

I sat the kids down last night and had them each pick one main, one veggie, and one fruit for each day this week. Then I gave them the option of adding another fruit or veggie if they want, as well as one dessert and one drink. I will be putting together (cutting, cooking, bagging, etc) their choices to in  new “lunch drawer” in the fridge.

I haven’t been grocery shopping yet. We woke up late this morning. =( I’ll get out and do that in a little bit. Then when I get back I’ll update with my totals. It’ll probably be closer to the $80 this week, mostly because there are a lot of good deals on this week that I want to try to catch. As far as what we need for this week’s menu it’s pretty much just the fruits, bread, milk, and cereal.


IGA shopping trip-


3 loaves of bread – $1.99
2 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch – $1 (on sale 2/$3, plus coupon for $1/3 -3 coupons used)
1 box of Trix – 50¢ (same deal as other cereal)
2 boxes Hungry Jack pancake mix – $3 (on sale 2/$4, plus cpn for $1/2)
2lb carrots – $1.16
10lb potatoes – $1.76
1 pear – 34¢

Total after coupons $9.75!! ($4.00 worth of cpns.)

Walmart shopping trip-


Drano Max cause the shower is clogged =( – $7.24
3lb taco seasoned ground turkey – $3
3lb Italian seasoned ground turkey – $3
6pck Trix yogurt – $2.31
1lb tub margarine – 84¢
1 Green Giant Broccoli Florets 22oz – $2.22 ($1 cpn)
2 Green Giant Veggie Mix boxes – $2.04 ($1/2 cpn)
1 Green Giant Just for One Broccoli/Cheese 4pack for lunches – $2.22 ($1 cpn)
1 Grape Jelly in a mug jar – $1.24
1 Sugar Free Pancake syrup – $1.48
1 Welchs Strawberry Squeezable Jam – $1.95 (55¢ cpn)
1 big can refried beans – $1.08
1 can garlic/onion sauce – 98¢
1 pkg sliced cheese – $2.78
3 Suave shampoos – $1.51 ($2/3 cpn)
1 Ranch dressing for school – $1.62
1 can peaches – $1
1 box saltines – $1.12
1 bag corn chips – $1.33
1 BIG (makes a gallon) gravy mix pkg – $2.58
3.77lb bananas – $1.81
5 Roma tomatoes – 93¢
6 oranges – $1.80
3 gallons milk – $5.97 (price match)
3 cans Quaker Oats – $2.70 (price match 2 for $3, plus 60¢ cpn x3)
1 bag Santitas tortilla chips – $1.50 (price match)

Total after coupons – $60.17 ($7.25 worth of cpns!)

Grand total for the week (which includes LOTS of stocking up) – $69.92


Diamonds trip-

I used $5 of this week’s grocery $$ to pick up 10 individual size pizzas for school lunches, thentook the other $5 budgeted for this week and $23 of next week’s to stock up on chicken breasts at $1.48/lb. I now have 11 pkgs of slightly less than 2lb ea in my freezer!

Grocery Shopping and Menu 1/19-1/25

Here’s our menu for the week…


  • Mon- hashbrown/beef casserole that I never made last week
  • Tues- baked potatoes and salad
  • Wed- stroganoff, peas
  • Thurs- macaroni n cheese with beef
  • Fri- tacos, spanish rice
  • Sat- biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs
  • Sun- roast with potatoes and carrots


  • Mon- burritos and carrots for one kid, tuna sand and applesauce for the other
  • Tues- prob. nachos. Kids have a ‘meet’ so will have to get lunch from the concession stand
  • Wed- bologna sandwiches, bell peppers/dip, apple, brownie
  • Thurs- leftover pizza, carrots/dip, banana, brownie
  • Fri- mac n cheese, bell peppers/dip, apple


  • Oatmeal, cream of wheat, cereal, toast, pancakes…whatever we grab

For more menu ideas check out OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

I’m actually using mostly what we already had on hand meat-wise, so most of the grocery shopping (in 2 trips this week) ended up being to stockpile. Mike said I had $50 for groceries this week, including the $5+ he spent the other day for bread and milk. I stayed under that and actually got a lot of extra! Yeah me!

One of our local stores had a 3-day sale Fri-Sun, so Sunday I went a did a little shopping…

5lb potatoes – $1
10 boxes mac-n-cheese – $2
3 cans Pillsbury Grands biscuits – $1.14 (on sale 88¢, and I had 3 coupons for 50¢ off)
1 box of frosted flakes $1.19
4 cans of whole kernel corn – $1
4 cans of sweet peas – $1
2 boxes of Pillsbury brownie mix – $2.25 (on sale 2/$3 and I had a 75¢ coupon)
2 loaves of bread – $1
4 pkgs of cornbread – $1
pkg of boneless pork chops (about 8) – $4
pkg of steak (about 2lb??) – $4

Total: $19.58

Another local store is re-opening after a fire and has some sweet deals for this week that I price-matched at Walmart. I know, it would be nicer to go direct and help out the little guy and all that, but that would be a 15min trip each way for just a handful of things… I’d lose $$ by the time I took out for gas.

Here’s Walmart-

5 bell peppers – $1 (price-match)
2 heads of lettuce – 96¢ (price match)
1.65 lb tomatoes – $1.65 (and the only way I know how many pounds is because it was a dollar a pound and it rang up 1.65! LOL)
3lb gala apples (my FAVE!) – $3
3lb bananas – $1.45
2 lb Owen sausage – $3.76 (price match and 35¢ off coupons)
2 gal milk – $5
small bag of laundry soap (just enough to get me through to Fri) – $1.68
2 liter Coca-Cola – $1.48
2 liter Dr Pepper – 88¢ (price match)

Total $20.49

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January 2009
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