Friday, November 28, 2008

Creativity Through Limitations

I love what Jennifer from Life From the Roof says in her guest post at Money Saving Mom.

She says, "It’s easy at times to feel like we’re limited or lacking in our ability to “live” because we have less money, but I’ve observed over time, in my own life as well as in the lives of others, that often we are at our most creative when we are provided with limitations and boundaries. As T.S. Eliot once wrote:

“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.”"

This resonates so much with me! I am at my most creative when I have limitations. And I feel like even though our country appears to be having a financial crisis, maybe it's a blessing. For those whose homes are in foreclosure or have lost their jobs, I feel great compassion and I'm saddened by their situations. But I do wonder if this time of "crisis" could lead us to a much needed perspective shift on money and on material items as a whole. I guess getting us to really evaluate our "needs" versus our "wants". And forcing us to be creative with our money, resources and our material items. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that already do this, but I'm not one of them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Friends and Family!

I love you all!

I hope everyone's holiday is enjoyable. I thought I'd go ahead and get my mind aligned around gratitude and thankfulness since afterall it is Thanksgiving. Now if I could learn to do this every other day of the year- with time.

A few things I'm grateful for:

My husband who although we butt heads a lot- I love you so much and couldn't bear to think how sad and lonely I'd be if you weren't in my life. I look forward to these next years of raising our kids together. Also learning how to grow closer by spending time together (albeit we don't have a lot right now) by playing games together, talking, watching movies, going to concerts and our favorite way to spend time together, eating at fun restaurants and enjoying creative cuisines. I love you man!

W- My first born. You're turning into an empathetic and intelligent little guy who can hold his own in conversation. I hope this coming year we can start to have little mom and son dates. I'm grateful you're in my life.

Super N- Such a loving little girl. So tender yet very tough. You've been making me laugh since you arrived. I love you.

Baby J- You've learned to speak your mind already. I just love hearing you chatter in your bed in the mornings. I can't wait to get to know you better.

My family- I've really been blessed with my family. The Hub's parents are incredibly supportive and loving. And my parents care so much about their grand kids. As painful as the past has been I'm still grateful they're my parents. I hope I can continue to show them love.

Friends- Not sure what I'd do without my friends to make me laugh, bring me back to reality when I'm too emotional or angry or sad to get there on my own; or to just accept me and enjoy a cool conversation.

God- That He is good and loving and faithful, although I don't understand it all the time.

Again, have a GREAT Thanksgiving friends and slow down and take it all in.

With love!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trying to Get Back Into The Swing of Things

At the beginning of the year I started budgeting, planning menus and shopping the CVS deals. Everything in that arena was going well until baby #3 came along. It seems that everything in my life got off kilter for a while as I learned to adjust to the chaos of having 3 little ones.

Baby J is now almost 8 months old and has been sleeping through the night for a while, not crying all the time and just generally happier. I'm dealing with my PPD with meds and I'm taking meds for pain that I've been experiencing. I overall feel a lot better. Things still get stressful with having 3 babes but it's gotten a bit easier.

So now that days are a little better I decided to try to menu plan again and stay within a budget again. Our gastrointestinal systems are a bit out of whack and we've gained some weight b/c of eating out, mostly pizza carry out. I also really enjoy making dinner but often I'm so tired by 5 o'clock and that seems to be the witching hour for the kids as well so often a homemade dinner doesn't happen. Some things I've thought of to try to head off the typical 5 o'clock pattern is thinking ahead about dinner and prepping it either the night before or a little at a time throughout the day. Setting out all the ingredients for the meal I plan to prepare the day of the planned meal, the unrefrigerated ones. And last but definitely my favorite, throw a bunch of crap into the crockpot in the morning and let it go all day until dinner time.

Upon realizing the blessing of a crockpot I searched online for crockpot recipes and found a really helpful site A Year of Crockpotting. The blogger's intent was to use their crockpot everyday for a year- I urge you to check it out and take advantage of some of the recipes to make dinner time a little less hectic. Another website that has been helpful too when it comes to making economical dinners that are easy, $5 Dinners. This blogger has made it a goal to make frugal meals, $5 for her particular family, and urges others to pick a dollar amount that allows you to make frugal and healthy meals for your own families. And one more website that I find helpful is The Aldi Queen. Amy Clark provides a few different menus using items exclusively from Aldi's. Recently I've made a decision to shop at Aldi's more so her menu plan and shopping list is very helpful and is just what I needed. I'm so grateful for all the mom bloggers out there who use their powers for good-to help other moms.

I went shopping today for two weeks worth of meals, diapers and wipes. I won't be doing that again with the kids in tow, it was like Bebe's Kids running around the store, momma yelling, etc. etc. But even though it was stressful I'm excited to have a menu plan and all the fixins needed to make some yummy dinners. I'm starting to feel like I can breathe again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Curry Chicken with Coconut and Peanuts over Quinoa

Tuesday: Pasta w/ Sauce and Broccoli

Wednesday: Asian Stirfry w/ Rice and Tofu

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving (eating with family)

Friday: Leftovers!
Saturday: Stuffed French Toast & Turkey Bacon
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

3rd Showing

So perhaps the furniture offer helped. We have a 3rd showing tomorrow with the same potential buyer. I hope she makes up her mind soon; this is starting to drive me nuts. Next I'm going to offer my children...wait that's the whole reason we're moving to a bigger house. Okay so I'll offer the swing in the backyard and the patio furniture instead.

Just kidding! I love my kiddos and couldn't give them away!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Potential Buyer

The potential buyer I mentioned before, apparently is interested in another house as well as ours and she can't decide. We offered to include the furniture we bought to stage our home to try to sweeten the deal...will it help?? We shall see. Oh boy I hope it helps!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Psalm 77

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In my day of trouble I sought the Lord. My hands were lifted up all night long; I refused to be comforted. I think of God; I groan; I meditate; my spirit becomes weak. You have kept me from closing my eyes; I am troubled and cannot speak. I consider days of old, years long past. At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders. "Will the Lord reject forever and never again show favor? Has his faithful love ceased forever? Is [His] promise at end for all generations? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger withheld His compassion?" So I say, "It is my sorrow that the right hand of the Most High has changed." I will remember the Lords works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions. God, Your way is holy. What god is great like God? You are the God that works wonders; You revealed Your strength among peoples. With power you redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you, God. The waters saw you; they trembled. Even the depths shook. The clouds poured down water. The storm clouds thundered; Your arrows flashed back and forth. The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; lighting lit up the world. The earth shook and quaked. Your way went through the sea, Your path through the great waters, but your footprints were unseen. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress-Toward by Gwendolyn Brooks

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
"even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night.
"You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.
Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

Metaphors by Sylvia Plath

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

More Poop

What's up with kids and poop? Why do they think it's so cool??

I awoke this morning to find (yet again) a naked 2 & 3 year old running amuck in poop! They pulled off a doorknob, that wasn't fully attached, and stuck it in poop and then used it as a stamp to make circular stamp patterns all over the carpet. Yeah okay so they're creative and perhaps we have the making of a couple of future scrapbookers with their stamping talents but I wasn't too thrilled. Off to clean up poop and more poop.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Will Our House Really Sell?

So we put our house on the market on November 5th. Thus far we've had 1 showing by a perspective buyer and then we had a sort of open house for realtors in the area. We are told we will have 2 showings this week as of today. This is a slow time of the year for house sales but fortunately our area remains as one of the areas doing above average for house sales...thank God!

But anyhoo...something really cool that's happening is that after the perspective buyer saw our house last week we received a report indicating that she's interested in our house. The report also stated she wanted to take a few days to consider it. Tonight we received word from our realtor that she is coming to see our house for the second time this Tuesday. She also requested the dimensions of our living and dining room spaces. To say we are a bit excited would be an understatement. I guess our house could really sell this week! Of course if not we'll deal with that but it!

Thought I'd share where things are at at this point in time.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama is our 44th President

I'm really happy Obama won! It's very exciting for our nation. To have an African-American as President really shows how far we've actually come in terms of acceptance and respect. Although I know his campaign is all about how there will be change, I don't expect much honestly (I feel as though I'm being realistic, not pessimistic). I am glad though we have someone representing us that is very diplomatic, thoughtful and intelligent. I'll be honest with you and tell you one of the main reasons I voted for Obama was b/c of his wife. She is a tough cookie! She graduated from Harvard, is a successful & proven lawyer and she's a momma. Also, from all appearances she loves and respects her hubby. My thinking was well with a woman like that on his arm supporting him he will do great things.

Little Mr. 7 Months Young

Ahhh Baby J...
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

The House is on the Market

Preparing to sell a house is difficult. It's even more difficult when you have kids, as my friends Susan and Amanda can attest to (and countless others I'm sure). In my mind I didn't expect the process of getting the house ready to go on the market to take so many days and nights of pure exhaustion. Throw in some sickness, a week power outage, delayed house painters and a few nights stay in the hospital and the time frame gets extended even more! This whole process is so stressful that at this point all we can do is chuckle and shake our heads muttering something like, "what did we get ourselves into this time..." Fortunately we see light at the end of the tunnel and we can honestly say that we are truly almost finished. Good thing since the house is now on the market..hah! We still need to finish up some trim work, painting and install the closet screens/doors.