A new me in 2010!

Can I make my goal in GPT this year?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Love Dare-Day 2-FAIL!

So I failed day 2.

I blew up today. I got so sick of no one picking up after themselves, leaving the house wrecked and all that I blew my stack. I did do well in that I didn't spew nastiness and I kept my voice down to a dull roar, but I was very negative.

I did manage to do the one thing out of kindness tho. I stumbled across a recipe for Egg Bread and it turns out that it is the same recipe that my DH's grandma used. When I first made it, he took one bite and said, "Grandma?"

So this morning, right before he went to work on the paper routes (DH is disabled veteran who does a paper route for a boredom cure), I popped a loaf into the bread machine. It was ready when he got back since I did a rapid cycle loaf. Nice and warm for him to enjoy.

So I will be re-doing Day 2 again tomorrow. Seems the hardest thing for me has been to control my negative thoughts and words.

I am not giving up tho. I will make it thru this.

In other news...


I will be buying it tomorrow. I am still unsure as to which one I am getting so I will let you all know how it ends up.

It will be a portable since we are renting our home and can't install one, but I am so excited! Dishes are the bane of my existence!

Hope you are all having a great week! Please keep me in your prayers!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Love Dare-Day 2



I made it thru the whole day today without saying ONE negative thing to him. I did say a couple things under my breath to myself, but it wasn't said to him and I was in a different room so he didn't hear me.

So I am moving onto Day 2. I knwo that I still said the two things under my breath, but I feel like that is something that will fix itself as time goes on.

So here is Day 2...

"In Addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, (OY VEY) Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness." (Excerpt from the Love Dare)

So, here we go...

Today's Scripture is Eph 4:32 " Be ye kind to one another, tender-hearted and forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Menu Planning Monday for week of 6/22-6/26

So only planning Monday thru Friday this week.

Wednesday-Chicken Nuggets, Mac and Cheese, veggie

Thursday- Pork Chops, fried tater w/gravy (will use gravy recipe listed HERE), veggie

Friday- Baked Spaghetti, garlic bread

For the most part, this week is a panty/freezer week. The two chicken meals will be from a whole chicken in the freezer, the pork chops from the freezer as are the chicken nuggets. I had to buy a few staples for the week, and a few things for the menu, but all in all, I saved 70.00 this week by using the pantry/freezer.

Do you need help planning menu's for your family? Tired of always wondering what's for dinner? Visit Menu Planning Monday at Orgjunkie.com

The Love Dare Update

Okay, for real...am I really that bad? I am supposed to be on day 3, but I can't get thru day one! 3 days I have been trying to do the day one challenge...get thru one day w/out saying anything negative and 3 days I have failed.

Oh you all, please pray for me that I will be able to get it. I am not giving up on this. Last night we got into a fight and it was right out of the Fireproof movie. I want my marriage to be better. I want the marriage that God intended us to have.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Love Day-Day 1

I was so touched by the movie "Fireproof" that I went out this morning and bought the book, "The Love Dare."

For those that don't know, the Love Dare is a 40 day challenge to help you be a better husband/wife and to improve your marriage.

Here is what the book says...

"Receive this as a warning. This forty day journey cannot be taken lightly. It is a challenging and often difficult process, but an incredibly fulfilling one. To take this dare requires a resolute mind and a steadfast determination. It is nt meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greates benefits. If you will commit to a day at a time for forty days, the results could change your life and your marriage. Consider it a dare, from others who have done it before you." (excerpt from the Love Dare, Stephen and Alex Kendrick)

Day 1:

Day one seems like it will be a simple thing to do. I am smart enough to know tho, that it most likely won't be.

Today I am to say NOTHING negative to my husband. I am extending this to my children also. If a situation arises where I feel like I want to, I am to bite my tounge.

We will see. I will let you know how I do tomorrow, along with the Day 2 challenge.

The scripture for todays dare is Eph 4:2 "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I am sitting here now trying to keep the tears from falling. I just finished watching the movie "Fireproof" with Kirk Cameron in it. All I can say is wow.

Until this movie, I would have said that my marriage was a good marriage, but within the first 10 minutes of the movie I had recognized my husband and myself on the screen in front of me. More so...I recognized myself on the screen in front of me.

As the movie progressed I found myself drawn in wondering if it would indeed work and once the main character found Christ, I found myself longing for what once was. I am not now a Godly person. I won't lie. I haven't been to church but a handful of times since I left my father's home. I smoke like a freight train, I occasionally have a drink. I am very quick to anger...and when I am angry, I spew violent, cruel things from my mouth that burn the other person the same as acid.

I used to be "Godly." I used to walk closely with him. I used to know him.

I have forgotten him.

I have turned away from him.

I want the peace that I once felt. The comfort in knowing that it all was in His hands. The feeling of love knowing that someone other than me cared. I miss that.

So I am asking you all to pray for me. Pray hard for me..lol. I am a stubborn one and He will have to work extra hard on my heart. He already is.

Back to the original topic.

After seeing this movie, I realize that I need to not only find the Lord again, but I also need to be a better wife. After all, isn't that why I started this blog in the first place?

So...I will be buying the book "The Love Dare," and doing the dares in it. I want my marriage to be better. I want my life to be better.

So pray for me and wish me luck with "The Dare."


Recipe-Homemade Calzones

Oh these were so yummy! I didn't get a chance to get a pic of them b/c they got snatched up so quickly!

Please make sure that you read the recipe notes at the end.

1 pkg dry yeast
1c warm water
1t sugar
2T oil
2 1/2 c flour
mozerella cheese
pizza sauce
whatever other pizza toppings you would like to add

For Crust:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in the other ingredients until well mixed. Let stand 5 min.
Roll dough out into rectangles and move to lightly greased cookie sheet or pizza pan.

For assembly.

Spread pizza sauce ON HALF of rectangle. Layer your choice of pizza toppings and finish with adding a good sized handful of mozzerella cheese onto toppings. Fold remaining half of dough over to cover toppings and pinch dough seams together all the way around calzone to create a seal.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 min or until dough is done.

NOTES: I doubled the dough recipe to make 3 good sized calzones. I also used my bread machine to mix the dough. Please note that this is a VERY sticky dough. Unless you flour or grease your hands, it will stick to you and everything it touches.

In other news, here is what has (or will be today) left my house in continuing with the 365 Day Challenge.

2 bags of donated clothing
4 bags of recycled pop bottles
1 very full recycling tote to center

I hope you are all doing well.

It occured to me today that if I stopped for a few, let's say 5 minutes and cleaned a little bit of my bathroom everytime I was in it, that I would most likely have a very, very clean bathroom. Don't get me wrong...it's not filthy, but it could use a little touch up right now.

It also occurred to me that even if your bathroom is spotless, if the toilet or tub are dirty or dingy, the entire thing looks filthy.

So, I am making it my goal to clean one small thing in there every time I go in there.

Will you join me?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Recipe-Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak w/white Gravy.

So yummy. We had this for dinner tonight. Yummo!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (save some cash and buy bone in and cut skin and bone off yourself)

38 saltine crackers (1 sleeve), crushed
1c flour
1 pinch cayanne pepper (optional)
1/2t garlic powder
1/2t baking powder
3/4c milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2c veggie oil

Season chicken breast with pepper. In a bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, baking powder, and saltines. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk together.

Dredge chicken in the flour mixture then in the egg mixture, then AGAIN in the flour mix. Heat oil to 360 degrees. Fry one side of chicken for 3-5 minutes, flip and fry the other side until golden brown or until done.

Cover tightly with foil until gravy and rest of meal is done.

White gravy

2T drippings from chicken
1/4c all purpose flour
3c whole milk (2% works fine)
salt and pepper to taste

Add flour to drippings and cook until light brown and smooth. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over chicken fried steaks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Today's Project--the grocery cupboards

I have not went thru my grocery cupboards since right after we moved into this house (June 08). I know, I know. I am embarrassed.

So lets get this over with...


And After....

Now I can tell what I have too much of and what I need to stock up on. And I got that big and bulky bread machine out of my dining room. I do use it a lot, but it's much too big to leave up on the counter.

Here's what has left my house today as of this writing.

A bunch of expired foods

One de-cluttered Spice Cabinent

My husband had this antique secretary that he hadn't taken very good care of just sitting in my dining room. I needed a place to store my spices. So, six months ago I took the remaining door off, dusted it and moved it into my kitchen. There it sat, organized at first, but by yesterday it was...well..overrun. Things were just being thrown into it, not being put back where they belong. That was my project for the day.

Here are a few before pics.

roll please...here are the afters!

Whoo Hoo!

Here is what has left my house over the last couple of days.

A bunch of old newspapers went to the recycling center, a computer desk, and some old clothes. I am loving this 365 day challenge!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zwaggle Here..Zwaggle There...

I have stumbled across the most awesome site.


Its like Ebay but you get points. Instead of making actual cash you receive Zoints to spend on the site. You pay shipping for the items you "buy". I just got my daughter 2 pairs of shorts for 3.18 in shipping.

If you would like an invitation, please leave a comment with your email and I will send you one.

Don't worry about your email showing in the comment. I have them set so that I have to approve them. Any comments requesting emails will not be shown, I will send the email then delete it so it doesn't show up to the entire world. :)

Zwaggle is an awesome site and I am so glad I found it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy B-day To Me!

Birthdays are always a time of reflection for me. I look back over my life and remember the good times and smile, I frown over the bad times and I shed tears for the times I am still not sure of.

My life has not been all roses and candy. I am 27 and on my third marriage. My first husband was horribly abusive. I barely made it out of that marriage alive. My second husband (my daughters biofather) was lazy and an alcoholic. After six years and being homeless more than once with a child under 2, I moved on. You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. My husband now is a wonderful man. He has helped me to heal all of those wounds that life has left on me. He has helped to take a broken heart and has pieced it back together. I truly believe that God led us to meet and fall in love.

My mom was sick my entire life. I can still remember taking a blanket that the EMT's had left at my house to show and tell in kindergarten. I thought it was so cool. At 13, she almost died. She was literally given 12 hours to live. She says she saw Jesus (all I saw was the ceiling, but I am not going to tell her she didn't see it, I know it's possible) and suddenly she was not dying anymore.

My father was a Marine. He was a perfectionist Marine. Nothing I ever did seemed good enough for him. He was also a Baptist preacher. We didn't get along very well. Yet since he went Home to be with the Lord, I feel as if a piece of me is missing. I miss him terribly even if we didn't talk much.

I have made my share of mistakes. I am a clean drug addict and a sober alcoholic. I will forever be a drug addict and an alcoholic. I am very aware of exactly how little it would take of either to cause me to fall. I once dabbled in the occult. I thought I knew everything. It amazes me now just how little I actually did know.

But I have come thru it. I wouldn't change any of it. All of it has molded me and made me the person I am today. I am stronger now than I was then. I am wiser (I hope..lol) than I was then. I am more self-confident than I was then.

So Happy B-day to me! Here's to another year!

I am woman...hear me roar....meow. :D

Birthday Clipart

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More clutter...

Here is what has left my house today...

10 used file folders
3 hanging folders
25 pieces of useless, no longer needed paper.

In other news, we had the appt for our daughters behavorial evaluation today. The doc is 99% sure that she is adhd, the only problem is that she is only 4. He said that she is an extreme case. So, we have to take her down to Iowa City's Childrens Hospital to be evaluated again. They (along with us) will see if it's severe enough that it warrants meds this young (which I DON'T want) or if they think therapy or other methods will work.

Please keep us and my little one in your prayers.

Monday, June 8, 2009


So I have come down sick with a 24 hour bug. It hit the baby (4 y.o.) first then Damon and now me. Fun. It should be gone by tommorrow.

As a result, I didn't get to start the Master bedroom decluttering today like I had planned. Ah well, there's always tomorrow.

I did however get rid of some stuff for the 365 day challenge.

Here is what left my home today.

2 highlighters
5 packs of unopened post-its
3 packs of pencils

May not seem like much, but its definately noticeable in my desk drawer.

Tomorrow we have a behavioral evaluation for our 4 year old. We are fairly certain that she has adhd. Wish us luck and please keep us in your prayers.

365 Days of Decluttering Challenge

I stumbled across this the other day via THIS blog and it looks like a great idea to me. So, I am going to jump right in and get busy. Anyone want to join me?

Here is the lowdown:

Everyday for 365 days, you must remove (at least) one piece of clutter from your home. That's it! Just think about it. If you removed 365 pieces of clutter from your house how clean and crisp would it be?

I LOVE this idea!

So here we go!

I will be starting today!

Oh Yum! Homemade Oreo's!

These are so tasty! Bet ya can't eat just one! Lol. I have pics of them when they are done, but I didn't think to take any while I was making them.

Homemade Oreo's


1 1/4c all purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa
1t baking soda
1/4t baking powder
1/4t salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 to 1 1/2 c sugar
1/2c plus 2 tbl (1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 large egg


1/4c unsalted butter (I used salted and it turned out fine)
1/4c veg shortening
2c powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbl vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar throughly.

On low, add butter and then egg.

Mix until dough comes together and forms a mass. (I thought I had done something wrong..for a while, it resembles corn meal, but keep mixing, lol...it will come together.)

Drop by rounded tsp, 2 in apart on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Slightly flatten.

Bake 9 minutes. Less if your oven runs hot.


Add butter and shortening to bowl,

slowly add in sugar and vanilla.

Beat on high until firm.

***NOTE**** I had to add a small (like 1/8 c ) amount of milk to get mine to work right. Try it w/out then use your best judgement as to whether you need to add some or not.


Spread cream on one cookie, then top with another.

Recipe makes 25-30 cookies.

Happy Baking!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There are other places too...

So I am not only de-cluttering my house, I am also de-cluttering my computer.

So...tonight I cleaned up my email.

Now yes, this can take a long time to do depending on how much crud you have in there. Mine literally took about an hour. But my email is now cleaned and clear and easy to navigate. I also cleaned out my documents, placing them in the appropriate folder. LOL, you should see my recipe folder now..FANTASTIC! So easy to find them now.

Here's how I did the email.

Step one: Log into your email (this really is a duh moment..lol)

Step two: Pop open your inbox and go thru each message. If you need (notice I said need, not want) to save the message, place it in the appropriate folder. If you don't have a folder for that category, create one. Delete each message that you no longer need.

Step three: Open your spam folder. If you use yahoo like me, then there are probably some good emails mixed in there. Go thru it. You don't have to open each one (unless your email client makes you) but go thru by title checking off (if possible) each one that you don't need. If you find one that you DO need then move it to the right folder or to your inbox to be filed later (see step 5), otherwise, delete.

Step four: Your Folders. Now if you are like me and have a habit of just throwing things in folders and forgetting about them, this is where its going to get boring and tedious. Go thru each folder message by message. Save only the ones you NEED (again, not want). Delete all others. You may be surprised. I was able to delete 4 folders all together.

---Side note: I had a folder in my email for recipes that people had emailed me. What I did when I was cleaning them out was copy/paste the recipes I wanted to save to a word document. Each category has it's own word document, so casseroles, sides, deserts, etc. I was then able to delete the folder all together and still have the recipes, now placed in category's where I can find them easily.

Step five: Once you have done the folders and deleted everything that you didn't need, go back to your inbox. All of those messages that you moved into here from your spam folder now need to be put in there right place. Place them in the appropriate folder.

Step Six: Take a deep breath and relax. Take a look at your nice, clean and easy to navigate inbox! You did it!

Right now (literally taking a break to post this) I am cleaning out my picture folders. I have so many pictures that are doubled and in some cases tripled that I really need to go thru them. It is a very daunting task (I love to take pics), but I will get it done.

I am making a lot of headway on getting everyone's clothes gone thru. I have finally made it to the bottom of that ever growing pile in the basement. YAY! Now I just have to go thru the closets and dressers.

I have decided that I am enjoying myelf. I LIKE living with less clutter. It's very freeing and there's a sort of "high" from looking at something that is nice and clean and clear. I think I am becoming obsessed with everything being in order. I suppose there are worse things that I could be addicted to.

Hope you are all having a good weekend and happy de-cluttering!

Getting Rid of the Old...

So lately I have been on a mission...

A de-cluttering my house mission.

I started last week...lol, if I didn't KNOW better I would say that I am nesting (DH has a vasectomy) because that's what it seems like.

Anyhow, so far I have freecycled a bunch of file folders that I wasn't going to use, a tote full of books that I will never read, and I have a huge box of clothing that doesn't fit anyone. I am going to pull out the really nice clothes (as in look new) and take them to the consignment shop down from my house and the rest I will freecycle. They are all in good condition, just some are better than others. I wouldn't donate something I wouldn't put on myself, my husband or my child.

Anyhow, I am on a mission. I am sick and tired of my house being messy and clutter being everywhere. This may have something to do with the new meds that I am on for my bipolar disorder, but hey, if it is, it isn't a bad side effect.

I want a home that is pleasing not only to God, but that is also pleasing to my husband. I think I am well on my way to obtaining that.

Wish me luck! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Product Review: Ragu Classic Alfredo Sauce

A couple weeks ago I was able to pick up Ragu sauces for 1.25/jar on sale. Since this was almost a dollar off the regular price, I picked up a few of the spaghetti sauces and one of the Classic Alfredo sauces.

I had been wanting some good fettucine alfredo for a while, so I figured that this was an easy way to get what I wanted for a lot cheaper. Normally it costs me around 6.00 just for the ingredients to make the sauce, so for 1.25 I was game.

So last night I cook up the fettucine noodles, steam some broccoli, shread some chicken and whip up the dish using the jarred sauce.

Now normally I will doctor the sauces to taste, but going on a friends recommendation I didn't this time.

Boy do I wish I had.

The texture of the sauce is perfect. I will give them that..it isn't too runny and it isn't too thick..its just right.


The taste is horrible. Not horrible in the "Oh my I wish I'd never eaten that," but horrible in the "I'm eating cardboard" kinda way. It is about 90% tasteless. Every so often I would get a bite that had a little bit of flavor, but for the most part it was bland and tasteless.

Final thoughts? It wasn't worth my 1.25 to buy it. If I was in a pinch I MAY buy it again but it would take A LOT of doctoring to make it taste good.

All in all I give it a 3 star rating.

Menu Plan for the week of June 5 to June 12 and some updates.

A few updates first...my bipolar disorder recently went to a place that I don't like to be. I am considered to be full blown manic right now. I managed to get an emergency appointment at the doc's on Tuesday and they changed all of my meds. Basically if I am manic and on meds, then said meds were not doing what they were supposed to.

I could use ya'll's prayers.

Damon has decided that it is time for us to go back to church. I would have been going myself, but to be honest, my mental health issues make me paranoid of new people and new places so I cling tight to Damon whenever I am in a new situation.

Please keep us in your prayers that we will be able to find a church home that works for both of us. We are both Baptist, but our views on things differ somewhat and it can make it hard to find a church.

Okay, now to the menu...Some of these are just repeats from last week. When my mind took its little walk, things were kinda messed up so Damon and the monkey child (4 y.o) kinda just grabbed and growled.

Meal #1-Meatloaf, Mashed taters, Mixed Veggies

Meal #2- Garlic Cheddar Chicken (this will be a first for us..will let you know how it turns out), broccoli casserole,

Meal #3- BAS (breakfast at supper) Sausage gravy and biscuits (I only use the gravy recipe posted here, not the biscuits...also, I use regular sausage instead of maple...turns out great!)

Meal # 4- Spaghetti, garlic bread, lettuce wedge with dressing

Meal #5- Hamburgers, french fries, homemade Mac and Cheese (this mac and cheese recipe is awesome!

Meal #6 Lasagna, garlic bread and salad

Meal # 7 Chicken fried steak (also a new recipe for us), fried taters and green beans

Wow, we are trying a lot of new recipes this week! I will let you know how they go.

Do you like to menu plan? Need ideas for getting started? Check out Menu Planning Monday at orgjunkie.com!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

So, since I shop Friday to Thursday, I am late getting this up...ah well, maybe next week will be better.

Here's a quick rundown of the meals planned for this week. I have decided that no meal will have a specific day b/c frankly...I am not that organized yet..lol.

Meal #1-
fried taters,

Meal #2-
goulash (we ate this today)

Meal #3-

Fettucine Alfredo (cheating and using jarred sauce..got it for 1.00 the other day, cheaper than making my own)
Garlic Bread

Meal #4-

Chicken and Homemade noodles
mashed taters

Meal #5-

BAS (breakfast at supper)
Sausage gravy and homemade biscuits

Meal #6-

Chicken fried rice (this is an awesome recipe that can be adapted to use chicken, pork or beef...use your best judgement on the soy sauce tho...)

Meal #7

Herb Rubbed pork chops (will post my recipe after I figure out exactly how much of each spice I use)
sweet cornbread

Do You Plan A Menu? If so, join us at orgjunkie's Menu Planning Monday. Over 300 ladies post their menus...get great ideas and great new recipes to try!