Saturday, January 29, 2011

Derek is off to jail

Last Sunday we had an adventure. It was almost time to go to church and I was trying real hard to get there on time. The kids were dressed and ready and I was just about done and was blow-drying my hair. When I finished I hear a whimpering noise. I turn around and Derek is crying and walks up to me and says, "I need help" and shows me his arms, which have handcuffs on them! Apparently Tad had left them out after reserving with Thatcher PD a few days before that. And they were on tight! I told him that he would have to go to jail now because he had handcuffs on and that really scared him. Tad was at work, so I called him to see where the key was. He tried to explain over the phone several areas where it might be but I couldn't find it anywhere. After about 15 minutes, he was able to get one of his hands out. But the other one wouldn't budge. I finally called another officer to see if he could come unlock it and right as I was asking, Derek somehow slipped it off his wrist. I don't know how because that thing was tight! After all the drama, we ended up being about 15 minutes late to church. Not bad.

Here is a video...

Last saturday, Paige was able to go to a cheer camp at the high school. She spent 4 hours learning the cheers and then performed at a basketball game. For $15 you can't beat it! She had a great time!

Here is a video...

And here is the rest of them being silly at the game... Warning, they just ate popcorn and still have some of it in their teeth!

Derek just lost tooth # 5

And just to prove that sometimes I have a clean house....

We've been working on writing Paige and Kevin's names. They're doing really good. Poor Paige has all the curvy letters in her name.

Just in time for Valentine's... having fun with some vinyl.

Not for Valentine's, but some more vinyl lettering I did.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shopping for a month

I decided that I needed another overhaul of how I cook and buy groceries. A few years ago I read this book:
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It had really good advice which of course I had already heard a bunch of times but had never really paid attention to. They basically teach that you should buy a months worth of groceries at a time. They are really hard core and spend about $350 at once and never go back to the store. If they run out of fresh fruit, they start eating their canned ones, etc. They freeze milk, etc. They are a little extreme. So I tried my version of it a few years ago and noticed that I really was saving money. At the time, I was also getting 6 newspapers a week just for the coupons, and so I was also able to get a ton of stuff for free in addition to everything else (I really miss having a Fry's food store nearby!). I had a pantry full of food that didn't cost me very much at all.

But then life changed, I had Darci, we moved, I stopped using coupons as much, and just fell out of the habit. My food supply has since dwindled to an incredibly small amt, and with the economy how it is and everyone - not just church people - stressing the importance of having at least a 3-6 month supply of food, I thought I need to do something again. And then the other day at the store I saw that book again and I thought, I should do that again.

So, I am doing things a little bit different, but still basic principle. When I used to plan out meals I would assign them to a particular day, but it would always get messed up. So this time, I picked out a bunch of meals and just listed them, also listing which cookbook they were in so I could find them easier, leaving a few days for leftovers or eating out (which we never do, but maybe someday my husband will surprise me and take me to a restaurant...). The night before, I look at the list and decide what I want to cook the next day. This is important because some of the meals require beans soaking overnight or something like that. Here is what my list looks like - I definitely don't take the time to worry about it looking professional....but I did scan a copy in case mine gets thrown away, I know what I had planned.

Then on the back side, I list all my ingredients. I don't list the ones that I already have a good supply of on hand, just the ones I need to buy. I also try and pick a variety of recipes where some use fresh veggies and some don't because veggies don't last all month. That list looks like this:

Then I went to the store and got everything on my list. I spent $230 and have about $20 left to spend at Safeway. So that is $250 for nearly everything, including ziploc bags, dog food, etc. I figure I will have to spend $20-$25 per week for extra apples, milk, bread, and misc stuff, like last minute ice-cream cravings. I am also going to make bread a few times and freeze it to have every now and then. So that will be about $350 for everything. Hopefully. When I get home, I do need to spend about 30 minutes or so and repackage the meats into smaller portions and freeze them.

Usually I budget $500 a month on groceries/eating out, and spend somewhere between $500 and $600. I know, I am a great budgeter, right? So now I should have $150 to $200 leftover that I can spend on extra pantry items or days that I really want something else or for things I forgot.

It really did work the last time I did this, so I hope that it will work out this time. It's much easier to go to the store for just 2 or 3 things each week instead of a whole cart of things, especially when I'm usually dragging 3 of the kids with me. I have found that Walmart has the best prices in this area. I never shop at Bashas or Safeway unless they have a good sale and then I just get those sale items there, and get my other things at Walmart, even though I hate the checkout lines there.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Well last week we wanted to go back up to the mountain for more sledding FUN. We got there and started to have some fun when Tad decided that he should drive the truck closer to us so we wouldn't have to walk as far to get out. I said, "I don't think that is a good idea". He said, "Of course it is, we have 4 wheel drive". So he did. And he got stuck. This was about 4pm. It gets dark here at 5:30.

We spent about an hour trying to get ourselves out with our shovels and our wheels just kept on spinning. Finally, I got him to call our friend Aaron (he was too embarrassed to call his dad) to help us out. Then as I was talking to our sister in law, Joleen about possibly coming to pick us up, his dad overheard the conversation and asked if he needed to come rescue us. So Aaron was able to get us some tire chains at the auto store and Tad's dad stopped by and picked them up and headed up the mountain.

In the meantime, the kids were having fun drinking my hot chocolate and playing around. Paige was starting to get hysterical because her feet were cold (she refused to wear the extra pair of socks I gave her before we left). And little Darci was just in regular clothes because we don't have snow gear for her yet. This was actually the least prepared I've ever been on the mountain - usually I have towels and other things, but this time nothing. Derek was able to start us a little fire which he was really proud of. When the fire died out we huddled in the truck until Grandpa arrived to save the day. Of course he made Tad say over and over again that his truck was better than ours.

So the next day the funny part is that Tad found out his 4 wheel drive wasn't working because his hubs weren't locked in. Apparently he didn't think that he had to do that on our truck. So we had all that excitement, inconvenienced a lot of people, and could've saved ourselves a lot of time if he had just figured that out!! So maybe our 4 wheel drive works after all. I'm not going to go back up to test it out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Jan 6th

This snow is all from the same snowstorm about a week earlier. They finally opened up the mountain so we could drive up farther. The kids had so much fun going down the hills. Poor little darci got carsick and threw up about 1 minute before we got to the sledding place. Luckily she was in 2 layers of clothes so I just peeled off her top layer and tossed it. She spent most of the time wrapped in a towel watching, but when I took her down the hill she loved it.

Derek's friend Wyatt came with us.

Snow on Jan 1

Still getting caught up... These pictures are from the snow storm we had on the 29th of Dec. I took the kids up on the 1st and tried to play in the snow again. The mountain was still closed but we were able to go up far enough to play in some good snow and the kids had fun. The mountains all around us had snow capped peaks.

This was a dead end. I didn't realize it until we drove up a bit past these trucks that the road was closed. So I had to reverse down the icy road. It was kind of scary.

I brought up some hot chocolate for us to enjoy.