Monday, January 29, 2007

Cheap and Healthy

Since we're talking about food.....,here is an excellent post about budgeting. Great ideas and lots of links to research.

Right, the salmon and ground beef I mentioned in yesterday's post are not cheap but combined with some of these suggestions you will be well on your way to cheap and healthy eating.

One more thing, I don't recommend stealing condiments from local fast food joints. It was this gentleman that thought that might be one more way to save money. I don't believe that is right. Sure, if you end up with extra in your bag when you leave the drive thru, fine. But don't take extra just because you are on a tight budget. I once saw an elderly man fill his pockets with packets of mustard after eating a hotdog at Costco. My son and I stared in amazement.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Health, This and That

I didn't say anything but I did The Cleanse again a few weeks ago. Dave and I did it together. I planned on cleansing for 7 days and I made it but I was not in the right frame of mind. I was grumpy. Poor children. I am excited to say though that I have been off Diet Coke, Nutrasweet and caffeine (for the most part) for three weeks. I will have an occasional iced tea at lunch (at home it's decaf) if I am craving something other than boring water. Instead of adding a packet of Sweet and Low I add a small amount of real sugar. I figure the real stuff is better for me than the who-knows-what-it-does-to-you fake stuff. So, I'm very excited to be off of Diet Coke.

I also purchased 10 pounds of fresh, frozen, wild, Alaskan salmon. My friend Margie made it possible to purchase this through someone she met. He fishes the salmon himself, processes it and flash freezes it within 24 hours. (Margie, correct me if I'm wrong on any of this info.) The salmon was unbelievably delicious. It was bright pink, salmon (duh) colored and had no fishy odor.

I also purchased two, one pound packs of his fresh, frozen, grass fed, antibiotic free ground beef. It too was delicious. I think I am about to buy a cow!! One quarter of a cow anyway. He raises them near the eastern part of New Mexico and processes it just over the border in Texas.

Raw, I cannot go there yet ladies. ;-) I have to wonder if we should be drinking large amounts of milk in the first place. My long time friend and pediatrician told me years ago that: "milk is overrated, it's all about the Dairy Council". I cannot get those words out of my mind. My children drink a relatively small amount of milk. I buy 2% at Costco. I know three people who read this blog who have strong and opposite opinions about MILK so if you get into a debate make sure it is friendly. hehehe.

I didn't make the pasta this weekend like I thought. My minestrone soup was fabulous and I had a thawed roast in the refrigerator so I made that instead. I hope to make the pasta very soon. I'll report back when I do....

I have a sore throat and terrible cough. I don't usually get a cough so this is very strange for me. I'm quite uncomfortable and dread trying to sleep tonight. I went straight to bed after church today and that is why I'm up at 10:57 blabbing on my blog. I've taken high doses of vitamin C and several capsules of cayenne pepper. Did you know cayenne pepper is an excellent mucus eliminator? I learned that in my cleanse book. I also plan on heading for the Vick's, I love that stuff.

My little Lauren is sick too. She ran a fever all evening and is quite hot right now, I just checked. I knew something was up this afternoon when out of the blue she asked if we could cuddle. I promptly put my iron down and sat with her on the couch, she was hot and needed mommy.

That's all for now, which is actually a lot for me, isn't it?

Have a great Monday.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Recipe and Art

Bolognese Sauce with Penne Pasta
Longaberger "Fresh From the Pantry"

2 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes or Italian imported canned tomatoes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chipped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C. olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 C. milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 pound penne pasta, cooked, drained
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Puree tomatoes, discarding seeds. Saute the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley in the olive oil until translucent. Add the ground beef and milk. Cook until the ground beef is brown, stirring until crumbly. Add the tomato puree, wine salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Cook for 20 minutes longer. Remover from the heat. Spoon over the hot cook pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

I'll be making this either tonight or tomorrow night.

Doesn't it sound delicious?

I'll serve it with French baguettes and fresh green beans from Costco.


Monday, January 22, 2007

"Lessons Learned"

God saw fit to heal Dr. Albert Mohler.

Here is his story.

Praise be to God!

Snow Fun!!

Blogger lost a post last night that took me an hour to pull together. It included many links. Ugh. I'll try again later when I have more time (to waste).

So today you get pictures. Pictures of our recent trip to Munds Park, AZ., just south of Flagstaff. It is only 2 hours north of here and a 5000+ ft. elevation change. I love living in Arizona. We may not get the typical seasons here in Phoenix but we are only 2 hours from the beautiful mountains up north and 6 hours to the beach. My family is very happy with mountains and beaches, even if we have to hop in the car.

We knew Flag was expecting snow but WOW! we didn't know we'd be driving in a blizzard. The last 30 miles of our drive was treacherous. Cars were spinning off the road, DPS flying down the freeways with lights and sirens, cars in ditches and 8 people in our Suburban sitting quietly and praying. We stopped at one point to help a lady who spun out right in front of us and was alone in the car. Dave had our vehicle in 4WD and drove 25 MPH. We breathed a big sigh of relief when we pulled off the freeway at our exit. It is then that Dave started playing around and fishtailing the truck in the snow and ice. Goof.

Dani on the night we arrived.

Hannah on the night we arrived.

James and his friend Trevor.

Sarah being silly.

Lauren and her little friend Amber. Aren't they CUTE!!!

It was 19 degrees below zero (-19) on Sunday morning. Dave thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.

We are so thankful to the Lord for this cabin, it belongs to Dave's grandmother and we are allowed to use it any time we want.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Why was I a guest?"

It is when we sing those words that I always begin to cry.

I love this old hymn. Click on the link and sing along. You will be blessed.

How Sweet And Awesome Is This Place
By Issac Watts

How sweet and awesome is this place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

’Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Just In

from Fox

"A young Highland cow is shown covered in snow after storm hits Carronbridge, Scotland."

Poor little guy.

Isn't he cute!?

See, all I needed was a little inspiration....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


A rambling sort of post...

Image by Judy M. Johnson

I've tried different laundry systems but mine works best for me (right now anyway). What is my systems you ask? It's called The Blitz! I would rather take a day (or two) and devote it to washing, drying, folding and ironing rather than a few loads/ day. The clean folded laundry goes in to separate baskets and then delivered to the bedrooms. Sometimes my children live out of baskets. Ah, well, now you know we are far from perfect ;-) On a good day they put their clothes in the proper place.

In the last few days I guess I have done at least 10 loads of laundry. Two separate loads of towels. Ugh, towels....that's another post.

My girlfriend has a great system that works for her. She has the children bring the laundry down every day to a central area and she does a few loads each day. At the end of the day she sends it back upstairs with the kiddos.

Did you remember that I'm a Tide and Bounce and Clorox snob? Yup, that's all I'll use. I will buy generic on some products but not my laundry detergent. My clothes, especially my whites, just don't seem as clean when I use cheap detergent.

Since this is a rambling post about laundry I thought I'd tell you that we are thrilled with our Kenmore front loaders. We've had them for 3 1/2 years and have not experienced one problem. Too bad I bought them before these were out.

How cute is that?! It's blue.

Oh, and if you buy these dandy front loaders I strongly suggest buying the stand. I don't like bending down, unless of course I'm exercising but I haven't been doing much of that so we won't go there either.

Don't you think I should buy that picture at the top of my post and decorate my laundry room around it? Sooooo pretty.

One more thing. I cannot discuss the sock situation here. I am about to pull
a Cindy.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Blessing

Sing to the tune of "Edelweiss"

May the Lord, mighty God
Bless and keep you forever
Grant you peace, perfect peace
Courage in every endeavor

Lift up your hearts and see His face
And His grace forever
May the Lord, mighty God
Bless and keep you forever


Have you ever sung this blessing? To the tune of "Edelweiss"? I hadn't but we had the opportunity to sing it at a birhtday party for a very dear 80 year old friend last night. It was beautiful.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thank You Dave

I know I'm a horrible blogger. It's been a week since our trip and I am just now getting pictures posted.

The game was awesome. When the band started playing the fight song and the players ran out onto the court I began to shed a few tears. Yes, I cried at a basketball game. The campus looked great. It has changed a lot but still has the beautiful, old landmarks. We drove through the campus weaving around the small side streets visiting the old familiar spots; the Science library, Arizona dorm, the SU, Old Main and the Exercise Science building where I spent many, many hours. I love that campus and that old town and I'm thankful for my time there. That is where God chose to reveal Himself to me, alone in my one bedroom apartment on First Ave. And that is where I met my sweet husband.

We stayed at Ventana Canyon in the Catalina foothills. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This was the view from our room

This was taken from a patio in the hotel

A shot looking down at the pool

That is the amazing Sabino Canyon

The storm that moved in made for a cool and crisp visit but we loved every minute of it. Everyone at the resort was complaining about the weather but we enjoyed the beautiful, snow-capped mountains and brisk air.

It was a perfect little get away.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Out of the mouth of Lauren

I took the little girls to see Charlotte's Web today. It was a special date for just the three of us. I even splurged and bought them each a kiddie snack tray complete with an Icee. It was a very sweet movie except that Fern sassed her Daddy and bossed him around and got her own way. Other than that I loved the movie. I pictured Fern's parents to be plump and older but I thought the actors did a nice job. The mom was pretty and sweet. Julia Robert's voice is lovely and fits Charlotte well.

Here is the conversation on the way to the movie:

Lauren: Oh! Look at the flag, it's down half way. Why?

Me: Yes, Lauren you're right. It's like that because a special man, a man who used to be president, died and it's a way to show respect and remember him.

Lauren: He died? Who KILLED him?

Me: (Choke, gasp, cough.) Um, no one KILLED him baby, he died of old age. He was 93. He just DIED.

Lauren: Oh, OK.

And here is what she said on the way home, two hours later:

Lauren: Oh, there is another flag down half way.

Me: You're right!

Lauren: I guess two presidents died.


She just cracks me up!