Monthly Archives: March 2011

Busted…

…or more like completely busted. Our March food budget was considerably over budget. I will leave it at that. Use your imagination…it was not.even.close!!

So, instead of living in the past, I am looking forward to April, and a new $800 food budget. If I break that down by weeks, that is $200 per week. Sounds like a lot of money to spend on food for 7 days, huh? Well, I thought so too until I tried to turn the paper budget into reality. It all adds up on paper!! 

As I reflect back on March, here are some things I learned or noticed:

1. My children will buy their own food when they are desperate enough!

2. My husband eats A LOT…

3. I LOVE COUPONS!! However, I hate that OrganicValley.com will only let you print two coupons for the same item twice per year!! What?? Like we only use two organic creamers per year??

4. Planning meals for the month in advance makes a huge difference! No last-minute trips to the store for ingredients when you plan ahead.

5. Buying in bulk does save money, but it surely doesn’t help the monthly budget…that is part of what wreaked havoc on my March budget. We ordered from 3 different coops during March. However, the food will last for 2 to 3 months.

6. Self-control is a character trait that I seem to possess in lots of areas of my life…however, since the kitchen is like a naked canvas to me, I can get carried away with my tools of the trade…good, real FOOD!!

7. Gluten Free food is VERY expensive…even though I bake/make some things from scratch, it is still more expensive than mainstream baked goods.

8. Eggs are good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Talk about a blank canvas!

9. Speaking of eggs, I wish I had my own chickens…don’t think my neighbors would be so excited about having chickens for neighbors.

10. We also celebrated my son’s 3rd birthday during March…a dear friend suggested that I allow myself an additional $100 in the March budget since I made his birthday cake that would have cost at least that from a GF bakery. Even if I gave myself an additional $100 for March, we would still be considerably over budget…

So, here comes April. We will start from scratch and I will spend some time tomorrow planning our meals for April, clipping and printing coupons, and remembering to be very thankful for all that I do have. We can do this!

Thank you for reading and if you find any Organic Valley coupons that you will not be using, send them my way!! ( ;

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Date with Destiny

We all have one and I thought mine was going to be today…

If you have read any of my most recent posts, you know we are trying to discover what food budget works best for our family. And tonight, my kids wanted Chick-fil-A. Well, they didn’t like my answer when I told them we have plenty ‘o food in the house. In the end, we compromised. I would take them to Chick-fil-A and they would use their own money to buy their kid’s meals. See, the budgeting is paying off! I am saving money every where I turn and making my 5 and 3-year-old children buy their dinner!! Oh boy, this blog isn’t starting out too well…and it gets worse.

On our way home from Chick-Fil-A, I was about 3 miles from home and I noticed two cars in front of me. The one in front was in his lane and the one behind him was halfway in my lane. I remember thinking, she will see me and realize she is in my lane and needs to get back in her lane. Well, I was wrong. She never even looked up until we were side by side. I will never forget what she looks like even though I can’t even begin to tell you what type of car she was driving.

We almost had our date with destiny…going 55mph and colliding head on with another vehicle at said speed is never pretty. I don’t know what she was doing other than not paying attention to driving…which, by the way, is pretty important. I had two of the three greatest gifts God has ever given me in the back seat of my Highlander. And to think that only a matter of inches separated us from our date with destiny. Obviously, today was not our day and for that I am thankful. Thank you Lord for another day!

As a believer, this makes me ponder the inevitable. Death. Do you know where you are going when your time is over? I realize that I have a very diverse group of friends and I like it that way. I am friends with atheists, agnostics, believers of every shade and color, and some who believe but are still searching. I have never been one to be pushy about my beliefs. But, the question begs an answer…do you know?

As a coach, this makes me ponder the “what if” questions that coaches are great at asking. If tonight had been my date with destiny, would I leave this world with any regrets? The answer to that question is yes…the rest of the answer is that I am on a journey and I can have a fresh start tomorrow. Figure out what those regrets would be and do something about them today. Your date with destiny may come sooner than you had ever intended.

What would you change about your life if you knew when your date with destiny would be? There is no better time than now to get started…

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Birthday Pictures and Mid-March Update

Well, it is March 15th which means the month is almost half over. We allowed ourselves $700 for March and we have done well so far even though we had a very special birthday celebration for Sean. We partied with style and he enjoyed every minute of it…so did I!!

Our total spending so far for the month has been $545. I know that sounds like a lot for 15 days, but keep in mind that I ordered a two month supply of meat from our coop and I made a large order with another coop for dry goods and bulk groceries. I have confidence that we will make it the rest of the month on $155.00. I will keep you posted!!

So, on to more exciting things. Our sweet boy turned 3 on March 7th. Here are a few pictures from his special day:

I love to make special cakes for my children’s birthdays. Sean had asked for a “Zurg” cake for months. Zurg is the villain in Toy Story 2. It took me almost as long to put the Lego Zurg (which I used as the cake topper) together as it did to color and roll the fondant. And yes, the cake was gluten and dye free. I used beet juice to make the purple marbling on the bottom round and kale juice to make the top round green. Trust me, you could not taste the beets or the kale!! Sean loved it…I wish I could have captured his reaction. There are no words to say what his facial expression conveyed!

And of course, no birthday celebration is complete without presents. I think he liked his Buzz Lightyear vehicle the best:

And here is Callie, focusing diligently on her latest art creation while Buzz is saving the universe:

And this is what happens when you have your cake and eat it too!!

Saved the best for last…I am one blessed wife and mother!

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Milestones and Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite things about being a mom is sharing and celebrating milestones with my children. We experienced two very unplanned milestones this week. Sean decided last Saturday that he did not want to wear diapers and that he wanted to wear “big boy underwear”. I went upstairs as fast as my feet would take me and grabbed a pair of Spiderman underwear. He stayed dry all day long!! As fitting with his temperament, when he is ready to do something, he will do it…not a second before!! He potty trained himself in 4 days…dry and no accidents since! He has even had dry pull-ups for several mornings. I would love for this streak to continue, but I am not betting any money on it!

Then, Callie decided that she wanted to ride her bike without training wheels. Not about to be outdone by her little brother, she courageously jumped on her bike with two wheels instead of four and took off. We are not completely steady yet, but I have no doubt we will be soon. And, no joke…Callie just burst into my office and screamed, “Mom, I can tie my shoe!! Watch me!!” How apropos!

Lastly, someone’s 3rd birthday is tomorrow…yeah, I know. 3rd birthday!! It seems as if that blonde-haired, blue-eyed cutie was born last week. He has stolen my heart and I have found that it is possible to give my heart to two men at the same time…

It’s hard to find words to aptly describe how I feel about my children. To say I love them does not seem big enough or descriptive enough. To say that they have changed my life and I will never be the person I was before God blessed us with them is accurate. It is fitting that Callie celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday at school this week. Here are a few words from Dr. Seuss that have been on my heart as I have pondered the recent milestones and celebrations:

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.

And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.”

Dr. Seuss
 
 
I have always heard and taught that parenting is an 18 year process of letting go…so glad that I have 13 and 15 more years to do so!
 
Happy Birthday Sean! May your 3rd birthday tomorrow be as special as you are!
 
 
 

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