Saturday, February 28, 2009
I figured out that many people save money by buying cheap convenience foods, like Ramen noodles or boxed mac 'n cheese (items that I never cook for my family because the are lacking nutrition.) Since I cook many basic meals and never buy sodas (except for celebrations,) I thought I was doing the best I could. (In addition to not buying sodas I also infrequently buy items like cold cereal, chips and other snack/convenience foods.)
Well, I have finally unlocked the secrets to reducing our food bill!
As a full-time mother of 7 I have long understood that the way that I "earn" my family money is by saving my husband's hard earned wages at the checkout line. Every penny I work to save equals my monetary contribution to the family.
I am so excited by the amount of money that I am saving (while increasing our nutrition) that I want to share the details with you.
* Make your own bread! Eliminate the need to purchase costly loaves of bread that are filled with additives. Buy a bread maker cheap on ebay, at your local thrift shop, or at a yard sale. Sourdough bread is delicious and cheaper than yeast bread! Homemade bread is wholesome and more filling than store bought.
* Buy items like flour and yeast in bulk. Buying in bulk saves time, gas money, wear-and-tear on your vehicle, and grocery money.
* Make your own tortillas! This isn't as hard as it seems. It is just about time management and making a new habit. Not only will you save money, you will prefer the taste.
* Enjoy air popped corn. Forget microwave popcorn, which may cause cancer anyway and is much more expensive than buying popping corn kernals.
* Drink more water and avoid soda and juice. Soda is fattening, void of any nutrition and believe it or not, juice is very sweet and may contribute to obesity and even stunt children's growth.
* Eliminate sandwich meats which are expensive and full of nitrates. Instead bake whole chickens and stew beef. Store in freezer bags.
* Cook more soups and stews. With just a little bit of meat you can cook a healthful, filling, nutritious and cheap meal! For just $2.95 worth of chicken thighs, a $1 pack of egg noodles, some carrots, potatoes and broccoli (all totaling about $6-7) I am able to feed my family of 9 chicken soup for dinner and have left overs for lunch!
* If there are no city ordinances against it, get some chickens!!! Their eggs are healthful and cheap. Chickens are easy to raise and I love seeing them in my yard. Everytime I drive home the sight of chickens pecking about warms my heart. You might think that chickens are noisy, but they aren't really. It's roosters that are loud, chickens are pretty quiet most of the time.
Over the next few weeks I will be blogging in more detail about some of the suggestions I have just made. Subscribe to this blog or "follow" this blog and you will be notified when I do.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
BTW, This is one of my songs that I dream of recording on a cd for moms.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Today several of our children have been sick with fevers. Two of them had been napping together in the middle of the day. The came down stairs together, but one of them (aged 8,) was in a stupor and with terror asked where Daddy was. I said he was at work. Then the child began shouting about giants and her face was contorted and she was walking about in a panic. The other children and I initially began to laugh, but quickly we noticed that she was not joking around, but rather something serious was taking place. The children then left the room while I proceeded to try to calm her down.
I immediately realized that she was having a fever induced night terror or delirium and that she was not fully conscious. I soothed her and held her and quickly took off her socks and pants to cool her, leaving her sleeveless dress on.
(Btw, when a child is feverish you generally shouldn't remove all of their clothing. They should at least wear an undershirt or tank top as you don't want their body to feel the need to further heat itself. The goal is to not have them be overheated, without causing them to get chilled.)
She began kicking and thrashing and continued crying and screaming. I called for the children to bring me a cup of water and a warmly moistened towel. I spoke reassuringly to her and gave her a drink then I put the towel on her head and settled her down on the couch. By now she was more coherent and calming down. By the time I was brought a light blanket for her and I had brushed her hair, she was awake and had no memory of what had just occurred.
The child that had been napping with her told me that before the terror began she had muttered that she was hot. I think that their napping together, under heavy blankets with socks on must have elevated her temperature and triggered the terror. This was the first time this child ever had a terror, but two of my other children have had them with fevers so I wasn't overly concerned, other than knowing that I needed to cool her off.
I did go to the internet, out of curiosity, to search for information on fever induced night terrors. My google search led me to thelaboroflove.com. This website hosts a page entitled What Causes Night Terrors?
I found some good information, but I was miffed by the ads displayed on the page. I thought, "Ugh. More innuendo! What is it with the world and this crud! It's all over the 'net!" I was really peeved so I looked for the contact info and sent an email explaining my disgust with their advertisement and encouraged them to post ads suited for families.
I am pleased to share with you the reply I received:
Thank you for pointing the offensive ads out to me. The ads in question were placed by IVillage and I have contacted them about it and fully expect that they will take care it of tomorrow.
Yay! Once more I have proved that being proactive is a good thing and brings about results. I feel determined that I will inform every website that I visit that displays distasteful ads of my disgust. I wonder why people don't realize that the public doesn't to want to visit websites that have gross ads. Maybe webmasters are clueless and this needs to be pointed out to them.
I encourage you to help clean up the internet by complaining to webmasters about ads that rely on sexual innuendo. Please encourage others to do the same!
Monday, February 16, 2009
After being married for 16 years I finally figured out how to make a GOOD tortilla. I recall trying my hand at it many years ago, but I didn't have very good results, so I quit. (I should have asked my grandma for her recipe before she passed away!) Well, I finally found a good recipe that is almost just like Grandma's (just a bit healthier since it uses oil.) This recipe was recommended to me by a friend. It is from the cookbook Whole Foods from the Whole World. (Of course you can use all white flour if you want.)
Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. HOT water
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
Mix dough until most of the dough is moistened. Then by the handful knead it until it forms a smooth ball. Wrap it in plastic. (Or put in a baggie.) Let stand for 15 minutes.
Pinch off little balls of dough. Dust it with flour. Pat flat in your hands. Roll out on lightly floured surface. (I roll the flattened balls out on the counter then do a final roll out on my skillet as the heat makes them more pliable and I am able to get them a little bigger and thinner easily.)
The thinner the better some people say. We prefer them thicker.
The skillet must be hot. When the tortilla bubbles slightly and is a little brown (should be about 1-2 min.) turn over. (You can put a tea towel over the tortilla while it cooks on one side. Then remove the tea towel while it cooks on the other side, says the instructions.) I just put each one in between a towel once it cooks so the moisture from the steam keeps them soft.
While it cooks, roll out the next one.
Enjoy! (Please let me know if you like this recipe or recommend another!)
Here's a video that uses a similar recipe. (This cook puts a pan on her tortilla while it cooks. I have never seen anyone do this.)
This is another instructional video, although the recipe uses lard. This reminds me of my grandma cooking tortillas!
Here is a video for making corn tortillas.
Monday, February 09, 2009
I'll share with you our experiences with haggling.
Some years ago when we wanted to buy a quality dining table, large enough for our family of 6, my husband said for the kids and I to pick out the one we liked and he'd make the salesman an offer. I scoffed at my husband and told him that I thought he was wasting his time, furniture businesses don't haggle. Haggling is for swap-meets and yard sales. He said, "I have cash. Cash talks." He pointed out that furniture stores especially like cash because so many people buy on credit.
So once we picked out the table we wanted, my husband informed the salesman that we would be paying with cash and that he wanted to make the man a deal. The salesman offered to bring the price down by $200 dollars. My husband said that he also didn't want to pay taxes on the table. The salesman balked at that. When my husband insisted, he said he would speak to the manager. He returned and though his grin wasn't like the Cheshire cat's, we bought our dining table, which came with four chairs, a bench, and a butterfly leaf for $900 instead of $1200.
I haggled successfully two Christmases ago. It was Christmas Eve and I had wanted to buy my daughter a hope chest. I looked at several stores to no avail. Finally I found one. It was at a nearby store. I remembered that I had seen their advertisement when they had received the shipment of chests several months before the holiday. I did not think they would still have any left. Fortunately there was one still in stock. When I inquired as to the price, I found out that it was on sale.
Unfortunately, after shopping for 5 other children, I wasn't left with enough to pay the asking price. I called my husband to tell him I had found the chest, but that I needed more money. He encouraged me to offer the manager what we had. I said I couldn't, that she would not accept it! He told me he knew that she would. Cash talks! So I mustered up my courage and made my offer to the manager. Imagine my surprise when she said yes, she'd be glad to bring down the price and I ended up saving 40%.
So if you've never haggled before, or if you thought haggling was only acceptable at certain places, remember that cash talks and right now everyone needs money so something is better than nothing!
( I burned my daughter's name and this decoration onto the hope chest. Then my youngest daughter made her first drawing of a girl on it. Now Camille doesn't want the green girl erased!)
Thursday, February 05, 2009
She often sits, (or stands) at the computer and uses the mouse to click on SairahBella's different songs. She is Sarah's youngest fan!
P.S Danielle knows that "Fun In A Bottle" is a song about her grandfather.
Turn up your volume!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Apparently, girls in California are wearing prom "dresses" similar to the ones in these photos. I am surprised they can even be considered to be "gowns" or "formals" at all. I wonder if little under panties, like the kind a toddler wears, come with the "dresses?" How could a girl bend over or sit in one of these get-ups?
If this is all the rage now out in California, this style will be coming to the Midwest in a couple of years. If my son brought a girl home in one of these so called "Homecoming Dresses," she sure would be going home. I just can't believe that parents, teachers and school boards would even allow girls to wear such to a school sponsored event. There should be some rules prohibiting this kind of "attire."
Of course, few LDS girls would dare or even want to wear a "dress" this short. However, this style can still influence our girls if they try to rationalize that since other girls are wearing such short dresses, it's okay for them to wear skirts above the knee.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated in his address entitled To Young Women:
For you to fully claim Heavenly Father’s blessings and protection, we ask you to stay true to the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ and not slavishly follow the whims of fads and fashions. The Church will never deny your moral agency regarding what you should wear and exactly how you should look. But the Church will always declare standards and will always teach principles. As Sister Susan Tanner taught this morning, one of those principles is modesty. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, modesty in appearance is always in fashion. Our standards are not socially negotiable.
The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet is very clear in its call for young women to avoid clothing that is too tight, too short, or improperly revealing in any manner, including bare midriffs. 6 Parents, please review this booklet with your children. Second only to your love, they need your limits. Young women, choose your clothing the way you would choose your friends—in both cases choose that which improves you and would give you confidence standing in the presence of God. 7 Good friends would never embarrass you, demean you, or exploit you. Neither should your clothing.Check out this link to learn how to help teens attend prom by donating formals.
Photos of Short Prom dresses from http://www.simplydresses.com/dresses/short-dresses
Check out my daughter's formal.
This poster was created by DUI Victims Voice , in conjunction with the following photographers on Flickr.com:
1. Don't Drink & Drive! When Will They Ever Learn??, 2. Prom Hair, 3. drawnwod, 4. Prom Toes, 5. Dinner at Ankeny's, 6. Cynthia and Derek, 7. Verbum Dei Prom 2007 3, 8. www.flickr.com/photos/jcasimir/2200912203/, 9. www.flickr.com/photos/jcasimir/2201713834/, 10. www.flickr.com/photos/jcasimir/2201716804/, 11. Courtney Driving, 12. www.flickr.com/photos/jcasimir/2201701650/, 13. My sister, Taylor Klein, age 15
Prom and Graduation Time Increase Alcohol Fatalities
More than one-third of youth under the age of 21 killed in alcohol-related fatalities in 2001 died during the months of April, May and June - prom and graduation season - according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2001 alone, 2,950 children under 21 died in alcohol-related traffic fatalities - 1,012 died during the months of April, May and June.
Monday, February 02, 2009
This photo was taken by Sarah Christensen - age 13. Sarah is a home schooled girl from our area who has Asberger's. The took the photo all by herself with no help. Pretty nice photo!
When we drive to the neighboring Amish town, we see these buggies coming down the road. We love to hear the clop, clop of the horses hooves and wave to the man, woman or child driving the buggy. Although we think it'd be fun to travel in one during spring, summer and fall, winters make us grateful for our car!