Friday, September 28, 2012

Fun times at the Fowler house.....

I'm ready for the weekend. How about you? You probably are right?! Well, I like to have all of my "stuff" done before the weekend starts. But here I am, writing on the blog. Not mopping the floor, or cleaning the bathrooms. Did I mention, I have a sink of dirty dishes because I didn't do them last night? Well, I do. I had a headache and laying on the couch topped my list of things to do last night. Not the dishes. Maybe it's the rain that is suppose to be coming in, but I am having serious headache issues. They are a pain in the...head. So, while the kids are watching Lion King 1 1/2 and eating a "picnic" lunch in the living room floor, I am bringing to you, The many antics of the Fowler children. Who knew three small children could cause so Yeah, we'll go with humor.

  1. When looking at clearance section at Target. There are little girl training bras. My Sweet Pea(one day she may die from finding this out, but until then, it's hilarious. And that's my job, right?) said, "Um I don't think that's going to fit you. It will be too small." Yeah...that's not for me, it might be for you one day. "OH, then I want this." As she points to a size A cup. Her father had a palpitation and  has yet to recover. I may think this is hilarious and I may be laughing at this very moment. 
  2. Sweet Pea loves to read. She can read almost anything. She reads everything. Everything. This is good until a Viagra or Cialis commercial comes on. Not good.. Ever. This just added to her father's palpitation. In fact he has gone straight into heart attack form.  We have to tell her, "Don't read that, close your eyes!" Or the commercial that says, "If you have a mesh bladder sling..." Not fun for a 6 1/2 year old to read.  On a side note: Why must they put those kind of commercials on at 5 o'clock in the afternoon? Can they not wait until after 8pm...just curious! Her sister gets tired of her reading everything. She rolls her eyes and says, "Do you have to read everything?" 
  3. Speaking of my Sweetie Pie. She has got to be the pickiest eater in the entire world. Some days, I find myself praying that Peanut Butter would have the same nutritional value as broccoli and squash. That is all she eats. She will eat fries. But this week she refused to eat fries because they were, "Too squishy." I told her no, they aren't. Now eat them. A few minutes later, she says, "look I ate them." She had spread the fries in a circle around her plate leaving only the middle of her plate empty. AHEM. I said, "No you didn't. You just moved them around your plate." Her response, "Oh, man! I hoped you wouldn't figure it out." 
  4. She also has issues sleeping. As in she doesn't want to sleep by herself at all. Ever. We let her sleep on a pallet in our bedroom floor, if she comes in late at night. Well, it was 11:30pm and she had yet to fall asleep. So, I said, "Fine, just lay down on a pallet and go to sleep in here." I didn't realize our little weeny dog Corndog followed her in. All of a sudden I hear her laughing hysterically. The dog was snuggled up next to her back licking her. What's wrong with that you ask? Nothing is wrong with that at 1 in the afternoon. Not at midnight. I should be asleep. Not up and angry. The dog was kicked out. I am not sad about it. 
  5. My sweet boy. Sigh. At the moment he is telling his sister the steps. AKA the rules. Step 1. Don't step on the pillows. Step 2. Don't touch the TV. Step 3. Don't get on the couch. He must think the living room is his. And only his.
  6.  He seems to think that everyone needs to be reminded to keep their manners. He tells me, "My girls don't know to eat with their mouth closed." Um...pretty sure you're the one that doesn't know how. 
  7. He just said, "Rule 7, no touching my radio.....Hey Mommy, can you help me find my radio?
  8. He has also decided to give me daily science lessons. Yeah. That is about as much fun as it sounds. Lesson #1: When we eat and drink it goes in our tummy and we poop or pee it out. Lesson #2:  "Hey Mommy, when you sit on a toilet you gotta read a book." good to know
  9. When saying the pledge of allegiance, he finds it hilarious to say it in the highest voice possible. This only makes his sisters laugh and his mommy mess up the pledge from laughing. 
  10. He likes to proudly announce, "I'm going to poop in the potty." He then returns and tells me, "See, it only takes a few minutes." I was just schooled in Science Lesson #3. 
  11. He will also say, "The Bible. Chapter 1. Eat pizza pizza. Chapter 3. Eat Peanuts."
  12. While I was cleaning his room, he grabs the bible and said, "Let me look in the bible. Yup, it says you have to clean my room. That's what it says."
At least he knows to look for answers in the bible. And he likes science. Sam does too, as long she doesn't have to eat anything that consist of healthy. Ha! I have floors to mop and bras to hide. And on that note, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I think I know why I have a headache. I just told my son to get off his sister's head. Yup, that's where the headache comes from... 

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dave Ramsey, a budget, and stretching....

And I'm not talking about stretching before a run! I'm talking about stretching my faith and trust in Jesus. Stretching and Growing. Setting Budgets and staying in those budgets. My husband and I are going through Financial Peace University at our church. It's the Dave Ramsey program. It is going to be good and sometimes border-line good, I think. In the end, our plan is to be debt free. Owing no man, anything. I know that we can get through this because, "But He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27 We were already {kinda} on a budget. At least, I thought we were until we filled out his Quick Start Budget. Then I realized, we were on exactly no budget. At all. We set aside $100 a week for groceries. Honestly, I was completely nervous about this. I had been getting groceries for $120-150 a week. I use to be able to get them for $75 a week and that was with diapers. So what was I doing to make my groceries jump from $45-$75 a week. I knew I could make this budget work, I just had to reset some things. Those things were:

  1. Coupons. I had stopped using coupons. I didn't think it made that big of a difference. I was wrong. I was...lazy. While I am not "extreme" by any stretch of the imagination, I do think that $1.00 off here and there do add up. Pairing coupons with "Buy one, get one free" sales = many products, little prices.
  2. Menu.  I create a menu for the week. I usually do four-five meals and two-three nights of leftovers. I spread the leftover nights out, that way there is plenty to choose from but we aren't having leftovers three nights in a row. I usually cook on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I use Wednesday and Sunday for leftovers.  I add what breakfast items, lunch items, and snack items we will need for the week. I only put what we need, not necessarily what we want on the list. This way we don't waste any food and therefore waste money.
  3. List. I put exactly what is needed for each days' meals. I try to factor in healthy snacks. Unless, it is just a drop dead, awesome,  once in a blue moon deal, I leave it on the shelf.  Not on the list, not in the buggy.(Unless, I actually need it and forgot to put it on my list. Not that it has ever happened before....)
So, with my not so new budget ideas in hand, I head to the grocery store. I have my menu planned out: 

  • Baked ziti and homemade french bread 
  • Katsudan(Japanese pork dish) for our date night{We are having date night at home while the kids go to my parents house. We are both able to get in the kitchen and cook and spend time together without, "Can we watch a cartoon, what are you cooking, it smells funny! I don't want to eat it, She's looking at me. Mommmmmyyyyy....." We are getting a dollar rental from Redbox. So by having date night at home, we are saving money!  Dave Ramsey, would be proud! :)}
  • Black bean burgers
  • Smoked Sausage Bisque
My list is ready to go! I'm not too confident that I'm ready but with my trusty side kick Micah beside me, I know that we'll make it work! I went to Aldi and Publix.  In Aldi, I spent a grand total of: $40.71! I left with a buggy full of groceries. If you have an Aldi close by and you have never tried it, I say go for it! Especially if you aren't "brand specific". If you're buying Wal-mart/Target brands anyway, buy Aldi. Your grocery bill will be cut in half. Now that I have shared my love for Aldi with you, we're moving on!  In Publix, I spent a total of: $34.52! And I only used  five coupons, two of them they doubled. So you know I didn't spend 40hours of my week working on coupons.  My grand total for groceries this week was: $ 75.53! Not only did I get all my groceries for a week, but I came in under budget! My list included pork chops, smoked sausage, cheese( 8 cups of shredded and 16ounces of fresh mozzarella!), Shout, carpet powder, toilet paper, paper towels, fruit, veggies, milk, cheese, bread, chips, lunch meat....just to name a few things. So, I hope I have given you some hope, in the fact that if you try really hard and make some changes, you can make a budget and stick to it. Maybe this stretching and growing thing won't be so bad!  Then again, we are only on week one out of nine in our class...... I'll let you know how next week goes! Many blessings on that budget! :)

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Random Post on a not so random Tuesday...

I love fall. It feels as if good ole' Alabama may actually see true fall weather in September. I think the highest temp in the next 7 days is only going to be in the low 80s. I know people from Wisconsin are laughing at us saying, "That is so not fall!" But for me, it totally is!

Speaking of Wisconsin, my husband wants to move to Green Bay. Mostly, for the Packers. Ok, all for the Packers. He hates being cold and yet wants to move for the sake of football.  It is near the water and I do like football.... It also snows in winter. I like snow.  It would be fun to see them play a game.... hmmm....

So I was reading in Proverbs(16:31) yesterday. There is a verse that says silver hair is a crown of glory. My crown has started. I'm not sure to be vain and cry or embrace it fully.  It's only one silver hair. I think I have it pretty well hidden. It's not that bad.

My oldest daughter, Sweet Pea, told me she brushed her teeth with Clorox. I panicked. I never leave bleach where they can reach it. Ever. After her daddy and myself asked, "What!!??" with panicked looks on our faces, she explained it. "Well, that's what it said on the toothpaste." sigh of relief. "Sweet girl, you need to read a little slower because that says Colgate."

I now have added to my crown of glory.

My baby brother #2 is getting married. Yay! Congrats to Ryan and my future sister in law Colbie! I'm so happy for them!

My son keeps asking me when we are getting married. That sweet boy. I have to explain that I'm already married to Daddy. He says, "Ok! When are you going to marry me?" God love his sweet self.

I had to separate him and his sister last night. He was laying on her and hanging off the side of the couch. I can't explain it. He was defying gravity somehow.  I don't know how he wasn't falling off. So I picked them up and sat them on the couch. Maybe I used a little too much force because they {may have} bounced up and down when I let go. They laughed and said do it again!

Oh look, my glory crown is growing...yay....

We're going to the "liberry" today. The kids love to go. I do to. I wish I could go in there with a warm sweater, a cup of coffee, and just read for hours and hours. That would be nice. It's so quite and cool in there. I can't do it with the kids, obviously.  The librarian would be like, "Ma'am, you son is climbing up that very unstable bookshelf. Your girls are arguing over who gets the Fancy Nancy book and...oh look! The bookcases are toppling over like dominoes!" I would be like, " Who knew they actually did that?" Ha, Ha, Ha, ahem. Here is my library card, it was nice to know you. Have a happy life."

I should go inform my kids we are going. My son just walked by in a Superman T-shirt, Spiderman underwear, Buzz Lightyear house shoes, and three hats. Yes, three. He says he's going ice skating on the floor. Thank God we don't have bookcases in the living room.

Oh look, my glory crown is growing...again...
Now I may just cry.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Typical Friday Night....

It's mostly quiet in my house. I hear our dog Cookie barking at rabbits or dogs or squirrels or me(because I want let her in the house!). She's very protective. I like that, a lot! I've had the kids in bed since 8:30pm. I've put them back in bed at least 23.42 million times.

Daughter #2 says, "I'm thirsty." Go get your drink. "It's aaalllll gggooonneee!" She immediately turns to Jello. deep breaths, Jess, deep breaths.  Then get some water. "I don't waaaannnntttt waterrrrrrrr." *In a very stern voice* You may have water or you may not have water, but it is time to go to sleep. Now! "I'll take waterrrr." Her bones decide to grow back. She is no longer a puddle on the kitchen floor. 

Daughter #2,"I forgot to get Sissy's water." {They are "spending the night" together.} Get it and please, go to bed.

Son says, "I don't want to watch Bugs Bunny."
a low growl comes from Mama Bear. "How about Penguins of Madagascar?"
Son says, "That would be good!"

I think they are finally asleep! Netflix, here I come! I have Parenthood episodes to catch up on. 

 I hear bumps from my sons room. I'm pretty sure he is still not asleep. Or he is asleep and is sleep walking. If that's the case then he is tripping over the room full of toys. He, literally, picked up his toy box and flipped it over. I'm not even exaggerating! It was still half full when he did it. They boy has the strength of the Hulk when he is in his true to self, little boy form! Where do kids get all their energy and strength? I may never know.

I {just} consoled a crying daughter. She was in a pool of crocodile tears. Why? Her sister "accidentally"  pulled the flashlight away from her and it bounced off her bottom lip. She was and I quote, "Just trying to shake the light back on." {Um...Sweetie there haven't been batteries in that thing in 6 months. I don't think shaking it will make the light come on!} I think her heart was more broken than the lip was busted. Very little blood, all is good!

It's been a whole five minutes since I've heard a door creak open and little feet frolicking my....never mind. 

That very same daughter who was just crying decided she was "hungawe" It's not supper time, it's bed time. Back to bed.

Daughter #1 is up. She lost the back to her earring.....again. "Sweet Pea, how many times have I told you, 'Don't mess with your earrings?' I'll tell you, too many to count!"

Digging through jewelry box looking for another back to earring. Ha! Found one! Woot!
"Now, back to bed. Don't play with your earrings!"

Son comes tip toeing out of his room. I want to watch the new Alvin and the Chipmunks!" I say, "Dear Son, we don't have that." He replies with a sigh, "But, get the movie suitcase, we do have it!" In the most loving voice I can muster through gritted teeth, I might add, "I can't find it. It's probably under the floor of toys you just dumped out!" WHINE, CRY, TURN INTO JELL-O, CRY, WHINE. 

"Oh look! The Muppets! You LOVE the Muppets! How about this?"
His bones also magically appear again. He is now human again and not slimy Jell-o.
Son says, "Yes! That would be good!"
Off to bed...again.

It's been another 5 minutes of peace and qu....sigh...why? I'm about to turn into a blob of Jell-o and see if I can get my way.

Daughter #2 says, "I miss Daddy." Mama lovingly says, "Me too...he'll be home soon, go back to bed."

"I really miss Daaaaddddddddyyyyy."
"He'll be here soon, Sweetie. Bed. Now." Mommy is running out of patience.

Turn around and go to bed. Now. I know you miss Daddy, he'll be home soon. Good Night. I love you. 


If you need me, I'll be the puddle of melted Jell-o..... hiding under the table, waiting on my hubby to get home. Thank you Lord, that today is Friday!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Feeling Overwhelmed? Have no fear God is here!

Today is Tuesday! I'm linking up with the Time Warp Wife for some Titus 2sday fun!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Of course you have! If you haven't you {might} just be lying! It's so easy to become overwhelmed in today's society. You have to keep up with Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, the news, celebrity gossip, church activities, school activities, extra curricular activities, work, house work, home school, play dates, your favorite TV shows, and the list goes on and on and on. The last time I checked there are still only 24 hours in a day and still only one you. How do you keep up with everything and keep your sanity in check? Well, the answer is: YOU CAN'T. I'm not big on being negative. But, there comes a time you have to say I can't do it all.  You would think the answer would involve some complex equation. It doesn't. Just say NO! Change your priorities.  Tell your kids, pick one activity or sport, that's all we doing. Be the parent, your still allowed to control your children's schedule. Is Pinterest and Facebook more important than time spent with your spouse? Is keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip columnist really more important than making a home cooked meal for your family? Is watching your favorite TV show more important than spending time in God's word? When we step back and put our priorities in order, our time falls into our purpose. It falls into the appropriate place it needs to be. In my life, I try to put:
                                         God First, Husband Second, Children Third

I admit, it doesn't always look like that. Especially when life takes hold of you, instead of allowing God to take hold of your life. I read a blog post called I'm Maxed Out by Courtney at Women Living Well. It spoke volumes to my spirit today. She spoke about Michelle Duggar being overwhelmed around child number 7. I have 3 that I home school, I can't imagine four much less seven or seventeen, for that matter. She was overwhelmed! {Can you imagine?!} She cried out to the Lord that she couldn't do it anymore. The verse He brought to her spirit was 2 Corinthians 12:9. {I added 10 also, because it spoke to me!}

" ...My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong."

So today, boast that you can't do it. That you alone can do nothing. But with Christ, you have more than enough strength to carry through. Set God first, seek him, tell him your weak and can't complete all the tasks ahead of you. His power will rest on you and you will be made strong. So have no fear, God is here!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct  your paths. {Proverbs 3:5-6}

Many Blessings,

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My cleaning schedule...

I am happy for short weeks! How about you? This week has been like I'm ramming my head against a brick wall! It seems like I really have to work extra hard at everything this week. I guess that's just another way to relinquish control over things you just don't have control over and say, "OK, Lord I trust you." And so goes life. Today, I'm going to talk about household....stuff. Chores. Laundry. The mundane things that can completely overwhelm you, if you let it. Instead, take joy in the fact that you are able to take care of your family. Even though, not to many people actually like to clean, it's still a way of taking care of your family. When I look at it that way, it's not near as painful.  If you don't clean, you start having unfavorable "guests" show up and the next thing you know your on the next episode of Hoarders. For the love of Clorox, please take care of your family. (P.S. if you need motivation, you should totally watch an episode of Hoarders. The sheer thought makes me reach for a Clorox wipe.) Until my husbands decides to turn into Bruce Wayne and hires dear Alfred(I prefer Michael Caine compared to all other Alfred's because he's like a sweet, yet very cool grandpa!)  to come take care of my cleaning(and the bat cave) I'll have to settle on my own system of cleaning. :)
My current system of cleaning has been taken from numerous blogs. Over at Time Warp Wife she has a pretty in depth schedule. Mine isn't quite that in depth, but it works for me. I, usually, set aside each day to do one "major" cleaning along with "everyday" cleaning. I knew that I would need something to help me along this school year. With Sweet Pea in 1st grade and Sweetie Pie in K-4, and my son, who just dumped out half a box of animal crackers on his bed,  I needed guidance. I am a make a list kind of person. I NEED a list. So I came up with a list and it has worked wonderfully over the past 3 weeks.

This is what I look like when I clean.HA! .....Just kidding
(this is not my image!)

Monday: Laundry    As in all day. I do laundry once a week. My cousin Marie has always done laundry once a week. I always thought that's crazy. How can you only do laundry once a week? I decided to try it. I loved it! I take Mondays and wash, dry, fold, and put away then it's done for the week. I, occasionally, have to wash a load in the middle of the week for whatever reason. But, one load in the middle of seven days, is totally fine with me. I'm usually done by late afternoon. Especially if I set my timer that tells me when my dryer is done....ahem. I also haven't used as much laundry soap and I did washing every day or every other day. Sweet....I'm saving money in the process! 

Tuesday: Vacuum and dust.    I run the vacuum over the floors and dust and I'm done in about 30 minutes, I guess. Although, I'm not a fan of has to be done. Vacuumed floors just make the house feel and look so clean. 

Wednesday: Bathrooms and Grocery List    I hate to clean the bathrooms. It doesn't take to terribly long but it's one of those "necessary evils" that has to be done. If not, see above comments about Hoarders. All through the day, I write out my weekly grocery list. I tend to find I'm out of things as I go through out my day making meals, home schooling, and cleaning. 

Thursday: Grocery Shopping and Bills   This isn't usually an all day affair. It could be, but I try not to let it be. I still have my daily cleaning to do, supper to cook, and school to be taught. Sometimes, you just need a day to shop....even if it's window shopping.  I like going early in the mornings before lunch crowds get there. (I love being a full time homemaker!) I also have been taking a kid a week with me. It gives us a great "Mommy and me" day. They like to help with loading the groceries and looking at toys. I like the one on one time, they like the hash browns for breakfast! ;) I also like going by myself sometimes too. It is very relaxing to me. (Thankful to my Mama for watching the kids and my sweet husband!) I also do my bills on Thursdays. I {try my best} do them first thing in the morning before I go to the store. That determines my budget for groceries for the week. 

Friday: Floors   As in mopping. I do the family room, which in our home is the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Then I do the bathrooms. This way, I only get the steam mop out once a week. {As long as there are no major spillage issues, which let's face it...!} 

Saturday and Sunday:  Rest!   My days are busy. From 4:30am to 10:00pm. Or from 8:00am to 1:30am.(depending on night shift/day shift) I am always doing something. Three meals a day {times 5}, home school, laundry, cleaning, baths, etc. I like that I can wake up on Saturday and Sunday and have a relatively clean house and not have to do any major cleaning. I need that rest. I don't want to be concerned with a deep cleaning. I would rather be concerned with spending time with my family! :)

Daily Cleaning:  Beds made, dirty clothes but in proper places, kitchen cleaned, floor swept, toys picked up before bed, living room picked up, hall way picked up, bathroom quickly tidied up.

Not that difficult. Just right for me. So do you have a list? Or you more go with the flow or just a once a week, all on one day cleaner? Let me know. Any tips? Show some love and leave a comment! :)

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