Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As Thanksgiving draws to a close, I am reminded of how much we have to be thankful for.  I would be negligent if I didn't mention a roof over our heads, a full belly daily, a vehicle to get from point A to point B, our health, our families, and each other.  I am so grateful for everything God has provided us with this year, even if it's not exactly what I thought/wanted.  But, God doesn't give us what we want, He gives us what we need-whether we realize it or not. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recycling and other dirty things....

I am a huge fan of recycling.  We recycle almost everything- we live in an apartment right now, but we recycle what we can.  My parents also help us recycle by saving their aluminum cans, and we take them to the local recycle place to turn in for a bit of extra cash.  So today, our 55 gallon bin was full, and I decided to take our cans in.  I ended up having 13 lbs of cans, and we still will be getting more- we still have almost 2 full cases of pop around the house!  It sure looks nice though on our back balcony- it actually looks clean! You can recycle for cash in your neighborhood as well- simply google recycling for cash, and see what comes up!  It's a great way to make a bit of extra money as well!  We put our $7 that we got today in our house fund, but some people save it for vacations, or every couple of months they will take the family out to dinner or something else that everyone enjoys!  It's also great for getting out and getting some exercise!  Take a plastic bag (great re-use for all those plastic bags if you're not using reuseables yet!), and go on a walk with the family!  Collect cans as you go through your neighborhood!  Yes, definitely take plastic gloves with you!!  And we put each bag into our 55 gallon garbage can, and when it's full, we take it in!  If you've got young kids too, let them get into it, and help- allow them to wear sneakers and then smush the cans to fit more in each bag! 

We also save our paper to donate to our local school or church (whichever one we feel like taking the paper to!)  This is awesome- it gives the school/church money, and it allows us to recycle our paper as well!  I remember going to a recycling place when we were kids, and having our entire back of our station wagon filled with paper.  They don't do that anymore, or at least I can't find a place that pays for paper recycling.  It was just a lot of trouble, so I don't mind donating for a good cause!

The only things I don't recycle yet are plastics.  And as we get closer to getting a house, we will start looking into recycling those plastics.  Right now, it's just not feasible, in terms of space.  Unfortunately. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday's Fragments

* Today was my son's Thanksgiving Feast at his school.  How cute was it to see 75 kindergarten children in their turkey hats!  I'd post a picture, but I'm not cool with my son's picture posted all over the internets!  Suffice it to say, it was the most adorable thing ever!!  :)  They had pumpkin pie, cranberry jello, and cornbread- each made by one of the classes!  It was so funny though, because they came in, sat down, and 15 minutes later, they were gone!  One of the other moms made a comment that she wished her Thanksgiving could be so fast!  :)  I agree!!

* I'm struggling through Chelsea Lately's latest book.  I don't understand her appeal at. all. She's kind of like Oprah to me, I don't like them, and I feel like I should but I don't, and I can't make myself.  So I just kind of ignore them, and every so often I'll try again, and still won't like them.

* My job is going well.  :)  I like it a lot, and I'm keeping up with the people who have been there longer than me.  I'm also doing way better than the guy who was hired the same time as me- which is good.  :)  I've been doing line, and it takes him 30 min. to bowl out a flat.  In that same time, I can bowl out about a flat and a half, if not 2.  Last time we both bowled, I ended up taking 1 of his overloaded flats and bowling it out for him- in the same amount of time it took him to unload 1 underloaded flats.  I'm definitely still hoping they'll keep me there after the holidays, which is looking pretty likely!  Whoo!!

* I've GOT to get cracking on Christmas presents.  At least write down what I want to get people, so that I can start making them, and getting them wrapped.  We're coming up on about a month until Christmas!  Argh!!  Which scares me- I have to finish more than 1 project a week in order to get presents done for people.  I promise, next year, I'll be more organized!  Yeah, right, I say that every year.  And every year, I fail! (Or at least not do as well as I could!!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

With Thanksgiving coming up soon, I've been counting my blessings.  Moreso now than ever.  I'm coming up on 2 years of being cancer free.  I was diagnosed with Stage 1A uterine cancer on December 2, 2008, and had a complete hysterectomy along with ovary and lymph node removal on Dec. 28, 2008.  I decided that I didn't want to wait, and have it grow/get worse if I waited.  Ever since then, I've been having a follow up every 3 months, and after this last time I can start finally going every 6 months.  Yay!  But I'm so grateful that I'm healthy, and it was caught so soon, and I don't have to worry about it anymore (even though I know I always will!).  I get to watch my son grow up, and I'm looking forward to sitting on the front porch swing with my husband when we are both old and gray.  :) 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Meal Planning/Freezer Cooking

By far my favorite way I've found to reduce waste in our kitchen is once a month cooking.  Now, I don't only cook 1x a month, but I do a large amount of prep work once a month, and freeze it for use later in the month.  For example, I will cook 3 lbs of hamburger meat, and divide it up into 3 freezer bags, and then have it throughout the month- simply remove and dethaw!  Wha-lah!  Ready to sprinkle taco seasoning onto, or mix with Spaghetti sauce or whatever else you want to use it for! I love doing this, because I mess up the kitchen, use every pot and pan in the house, for one Saturday or Sunday per month, and when I'm done, I have most of the meat for the month done!

Lots of time I will also prep out entire meals- simply prep them to the cooking point, and freeze!  Or you can cook them, and then cool/freeze- but I prefer prepping to the cooking point, and then freezing.  Cooking then cooling just takes too much time, I find, but that's just me!  I love it- when my son gets off the bus, I pop dinner in the oven, and my house smells wonderful when my husband comes home from work!  No mess, no fuss, and the only thing we have to decide is what vegetable we're having! 

I know you're also thinking, yuck, I hate casseroles!  I agree to a certain point- and when I refer to casseroles, I don't mean chicken, rice, and vegetable mixed together with a can of soup poured over and frozen.  You can freeze stuffed peppers- prep them, put in a dish, and pour tomatoes over them, and freeze.  You can also freeze stuffed cabbage or baked macaroni and cheese.  And, now with all the sales on baking supplies, you can make cookie dough and freeze it, but more on that in another post!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dave Ramsey rocks my socks!

So a few years ago, I found Dave Ramsey.  I have no clue how I did, I just remember hearing about him, and then checking out The Total Money Makeover from the library, and being totally on board with his plan-immediately.  So we knocked out a few debts to the tune of about $8,000, and then it all came to a spluttering halt.  We moved, health issues, etc, etc, and three years later, we're finally getting back on the plan.  It's not completely how he would do it, but it's close enough, where we feel we can call in one day and scream "We're debt free!!!"

For those of you who don't know who Dave Ramsey is, he preaches freedom from debt- no credit cards, no loans, no nothing.  Pay cash for everything and save up for what you want.  It fits in nicely with our overall goal of living more simply.  He definitely has a take no prisoners sort of approach to his debt reduction goals however- get gazelle intense.  And live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else! 

He also is a strong Christian, and is very proud of that fact.  He often interjects with WWJD type questions- and always has a great opinion about what we should do.  It's funny, because we usually end up asking each other, what would Dave say?  Or what would Dave do? 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Search continues for body of murdered Carmel teen - 13 WTHR

Search continues for body of murdered Carmel teen - 13 WTHR

God, how horrible is this? This young man met a man online, and he was murdered during the encounter. I know we tell our friends/family not to meet people online, or at least be careful about it. I just wonder if this young man was ashamed to say he was homosexual, that's why he didn't tell anyone he was meeting the older man. Scary though. I'm teaching my son not to be ashamed of who he is, and if he happens to like men, I'm fine with that. I don't know- I know I'm all over with this, but I'm so bothered by it on so many levels. Not least of all that no one is really talking about it.

Friday's Fragments

*I am SO tired.  I got up at 3am, and went to work.  Granted I'm done for the day, but I'm still dragging.  I'm just in that area of "I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm trying to be helpful." Which sucks, but hopefully that will go away soon.

*I have got to drop stuff off at the post office, and the library.  Some of the stuff should have gone out earlier in the week, but I had NO cash until now.

*Diet Coke is heaven!  I just finished a giant Diet Coke, and YUM!  It tasted so good!  I know it's not good for me, but who cares?

*I had NO idea that breast feeding had so many accoutrements!  Silly me thought that all that was required for breastfeeding was.... a breast!  And a child, but nothing like nursing pads, cloths, creams, bags, pumps, tubes, and all sorts of other stuff!  And believe me, I found out all this this morning while I was stocking infant stuff!

*Thank Heaven's it's Friday!!!  Tomorrow is our son's school's pancake breakfast.  :)  Yum!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Starting a new job

In our quest to get a house, I've decided to get a second job- preferably one at night, so that I can still be at home during the day, and evening with my family.  That way, we can save up, and we can get a decent down payment together.  To that end, I've accepted a seasonal job at a national retailer as a night stocker.  I'm hopeful that this will not just be a seasonal job, but will be permanent after the holidays as well.  I'm thinking it will be, simply because night crew doesn't tend to stick around, and during the interview, it was mentioned that they are lacking someone in softlines.  Which makes me think that unless I screw up too badly, I'll be offered a permanent position.  Yay!  I'm excited!  It's a great discount, and it's an awesome company to work for. 

I start work in the morning, which kind of scares me, but on the other hand it's just a relief to get going.  I should have started last week, but due to some other commitments, I had to push starting back until yesterday's orientation.  I'm pretty excited overall about it.  It's a good thing, and I'm hoping it's a lasting thing.