Saturday, September 30, 2006


Something very cool!

As I was reading my 'favourited blogs' like this one, I discovered an interesting website through her blog called . You can sign up to read books through email! They will be emailed in sections to your email and you can read some great books at your leisure....

Check it out!

Friday, September 29, 2006


So you know how just feel like a moment you've been waiting for, will never come? Well I had that with Ashlyn's birthday, technically I guess it still hasn't come, but the preparations have begun. I've made the cake.

I went to the store and was obviously side-tracked and bought a stinking marble cake mix,...c'mon now, who really buys marble cake?? (except my friend Kelly who is now saying 'well...I do!') anyway ....I have never made marble cake, and can't much see the point of it. I mean, most people either prefer chocolate or vanilla and combining the two just seems...well....weird. Plus there is more effort required in a marble cake in that you have to 'marble' it.

So, I did as I was told on the box from Betty and played around with the marbling effect until I had it just right...symmetrical and all...then realized I'm going to be covering it all with icing anyway so who's gonna care?? After I baked it and cooled it, I was removing it from the pan and split into 3 pieces. I've baked a few cakes in my time and this was a first....and again I thought I'm going to be covering it in icing anyway so who's gonna care.... (ha, ha ..sorry to those of you who will be eating it!) This was SOoo not turning out to be the cake I had dreamed of for my little girl's first birthday.

After ruining my shirt with food colouring, staining the skin beneath my fingernails, turning my teeth green, and stuffing icing into my 2 year olds mouth, just to keep him quiet....I decided the masterpiece was done.

Yes, that is a alien as it may look, I could not make black icing, no matter how much and how many colours I used, the colour kept getting sicker and sicker but would not turn black, so there I was stuck with a purple ladybug (didn't want to use red for fear of clashing) with army green wings and anntennas.

When all was said and done, I decided to show Gabe. He looked at it and said "Ooooo, momma, I yike the turtle..."

Thursday, September 28, 2006


If you have something in your life that you are questioning for fear of others opinion, but you know in your heart it is something God has laid upon you...take comfort in knowing you've made the right choice.

I've 'borrowed' this excerpt from a song (and blog...)

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me Time and time again.
“you’ll never win!”“You’ll never win!”
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says,“Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says,
“This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand
But the giant’s calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. “ you’ll never win!”“You’ll never win!”
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them lookin’ down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus........Singing over me

Fun, Fun, Fun...

Below are four (4) questions and a bonus question. You have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time, ...answer all of them immediately. OK?

Let's find out just how clever you really are....Ready? GO! And remember, no peeking at the answer! (o;

**First Question:You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?


Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are wrong. If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second.

**Second Question: If you overtake the last person, then you are...?


Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST Person?

**Third Question:Very tricky arithmetic!

Note: This must be done in your head only.Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?Did you get 5000?


The correct answer is actually 4100.

If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator.

**Fourth Question: Mary's father has five daughters:

1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini,4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?


Did you Answer Nunu? The answer: Nope! Her name is Mary. Read the question again.

**Okay, now the bonus round:

A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Next, a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?


The answer: He just has to open his mouth and ask

Ahhhh, well hope you enjoyed... I am pretty bad at these, but always laugh at myself when I see the answer, like, "OH ya! how could I be so dumb!!!"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harvest Time on the farm...

It's been a busy and beautiful couple of days here on the farm. Dwight and his dad have been working long hours trying to get the silo filled for the winter months. I've snapped a few pictures while Ashlyn and I roamed about on the gator, in an attempt to show you how things happen in preparation for the long cold season ahead.

First we had to get a few glamour shots of Ashy ....then it was back to work.

This was the beautiful weather we enjoyed while harvesting the corn. The sky was SO blue, and there was a nice warm breeze. Perfect fall weather, it reminded me of our wedding day. (October 20, 2001)

After the guys got the harvestor all ready to go, they headed over to the corn field to begin the long task of filling the silo.
The silo they were filling stands 20 feet around and 76 feet tall, and it was entirely empty, so they had to fill it, wagon load by wagon load.

The red machine on the back of the tractor is the Harvestor, it has arms similar to a combine that guide the corn stalks into its chopper and cuts the corn cob and entire green stalk into tiny little pieces...this is called corn silage. It's very high in energy and the cows love it.

Grandpa runs the harvestor (and in this pic above you can see little Gabe in his 'buddy seat'...a seat that is designed for the little farm kids that go along for the ride!) and Dwight runs the wagons back and forth between the field and the silo. Once he reaches the silo he unloads a full wagon then brings the empty one back to Grandpa to be filled again, this can happen up to 50 times (or more) in a day.
This is the wagon (right) unloading into the blower (left) which blows the corn silage with a very powerful fan up into the silo, 70 feet up! Slowly the silage builds up inside the silo, and eventually reaches the top. Once they have put about 2 days worth of silage into the silo, they need to check to see how far it is from the top and whether they can fit anymore in. Today Dwight climbed the exterior ladder on the silo to check to see how full it was getting.
He neglected to bring up a 2-way radio which is usually used for communicating to the person below. It just so happened that I was the person below. Grandpa came over as soon as he loaded the final wagon. It's very hard to hear the person up the silo and hand signals sometimes work best, but today Dwight was right inside and was yelling to us to start and stop the silo unloader.
Here's the stressful part....just as Grandpa and I were talking about the fatal gases that can accumulate in the silo, Dwight began yelling.

All we could hear was "HELP, HELP HELP..." over and over again. We were shouting to him and he just kept yelling "HELP!!!" We were freaking....Gramps turned on the blower, thinking he would blow some fresh air up to Dwight....I was dialing Grandma's number (I had the portable phone on me, and simply couldn't think of anything else to do....not sure what Grandma would have done, but in a time like this...Grandma's just know)
All I could picture was Dwight with his legs stuck in the unloader, slowly winding around and crushing him, or him sinking slowly into the middle of the silage as he struggles to get out, or the gases penetrating his lungs. My adrenaline was taking over and I almost started body was shaking and Grandpa was pale, he started to head up the interior ladder to get to Dwight.
Just as Grandpa was about 4 rungs up, Dwight's head popped out the tiny window at the top of the silo and he shouted "STOP!!!" "STOP THE UNLOADER..." I yelled for Grandpa and he came back down the ladder coughing...(Dwight had opened the door above the interior ladder to let all the noxious fumes escape down that ladder, Grampa was actually breathing them in!!!) he stopped the unloader, and I called Dwight on his cell phone once the noise had stopped. He said he was yelling "STOP..." not "HELP" as we had heard. He said there was a belt broken and he needed to fix it.

I could have sworn at him. I was so upset and once he came down again, I laid into him. I told him he could never get up that silo without a 2 way radio again, and if he did and WAS yelling help...I'd ignore him. Too bad for you buster, I. can't. hear. you.
He felt pretty bad at having caused so much upset, and took the radio up with him the second time around. We also sent up the camera and he took a few shots...
Here's Grandpa, Ashlyn and I below the silo (this is on full zoom on our camera) and a pic of Grandma and Grandpas house.

This is shot of the sky one hour after we finished filling the silo!!

Thank you Lord for the beautiful working weather!!

Our Family

Here is a recent pic of our little family, it was taken in the backyard at our church.., (would have been nice to have Ashlyn looking AND to not have a pimple the size of Hawaii on my face, but we'll take what we can get.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Need Feedback...

I received a flyer in the mail today from a grocery company that comes to your door and sells in bulk!! What more could I want for my new monthly sounds to good to be true, and so far the only thing I find somewhat weird, is that they make you have a consultant come to your house..but I suppose you'd have to get the information somehow right?

Anyway ...I need your input...have you ever heard anything good or bad about this company or a service similar to it?

Please let me know your thoughts, as it really seems like it may help us, but may be one of those things that's just too good to be true.

DW is back up and running...

So Dishwasher Man came by this morning to fix the problem that had to wait a week to be fixed. He was here for approximately 8 minutes, he asked for our handbook and circuit guide and pushed 3 buttons and Taa-Daa, DW was back.

Dwight an I stood in the kitchen with our mouths agape, when he said "there you go."
.....Ummmm, That was IT??? we slaved over hot sudsy water, getting dish pan hands and .......enjoyed conversation over dishes, and laughed, and worked as a team ....for that??

Wait...perhaps our DW should remain un-fixed for a while longer....

After speaking with Dishwasher man, the hubs and I were pretty appalled at the statistics he gave us. He said there are NO dishwashers (or appliances for that matter) on the market today, that are worth what you pay for them, all will break down within 5-8 years and once you learn the cost to fix them, you'll end up buying a new one. How sad is that. The 'appliance makers' probably just figure if your dishwasher breaks down just after the extended warranty is up, they will have the potential of another sale if the labour price is high enough to have to fix the 'old' one. ....Another reason to just use your hands.

I've just made my fist pumpkin cheesecake..which looks delicious, but I'm going to freeze it and save it for a special occasion. I used the leftover pumpkin to make some muffins for breakfast ...a fast grab for everyone. Mmm-mmm.
I've also gotten some further organizing done...more things to cross off my 'To-Do' list....

Winter shoes out and summers put away
Cleaned up front entrance

We (Gabe & I) also wrote our compassion Children and sent their Christmas Cards...I guess it seems early but they have much organizing to do and the mail in Ethiopia, Brazil and Equador is perhaps slower than in Canada. They each get a Christmas gift with their card, and typically they will send pictures of what they each received from our donations. It's pretty nice to see Gabe taking an interest now that he understands (somewhat)...

He was pretty excited to see their pictures and to make some drawings for them.
He would look at each photo and say their names over and's was cute to hear a 2 year old english boy saying names like 'Mauricio, Temam, and Wina' We also included some pictures of ouselves and the children have told us their parents love to read the letters as well. I can just picture little Temam in Ethiopia, reading the letters over and over again. We received a pic of Temam on his birthday 2 years ago, he was standing in front of a large bread cake (it resembled a loaf of bread) and it had some long tapered candles in it. He was wearing a little suit that is probably so cherished by his family as they were all dressed in very old torn, and tattered clothes.
The thing that made we weep....was that beside this bread cake was a picture of Dwight and I that we had sent in one of our cards, as if we were responsible for this happiness. I knew then that we were (and are) so blessed to be able to give to others. Not to give them happiness, but to share in their happiness.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Here's Ashlyn and her Great Oma.
Ashlyn will be celebrating her first birthday next weekend, we'll be having the family over, and in staying with the budget, I'll be making her cake. Should be interesting, last time I decorated a cake, it looked like Gabe had done it.

I really can't believe she's one. Perhaps it's because her birth is still so shockingly vivid in my mind (it was intense) or perhaps because I just feel like she shouldn't be this old yet. This year has disappeared and I can't tell you where it's gone. I have photos and videos to prove it's passed, but it's as though it's been a moment, and has been whispered away.
My Dolly is one. 1. A year old.

There is something lost .... the baby is disappearing and a little girl is emerging. She is slowly discovering her individuality and is testing her independence. She is realizing I am not a part of her....but that I am here for her. Hard to believe we were once one. For 9 whole months, this precious little babe was physically right beside my heart, and now she'll be a part of my heart forevermore, she's found the spot reserved for Ashlyn.

There will be others...(Lord willing) and their little souls are waiting for me...waiting for me to be ready to have another tiny baby beside my heart. But for now, I am still holding my baby.....

Jesus makes his face to shine upon you, baby girl.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Last Straw...

Okay, This. Is. It.

I think I'm ready, and I'm tired of being tired. I just donated all my skinny clothes and I'm itching to buy some new skinny clothes (when I have money that is!! Can't throw the budget out the window...yet) Soooo....that leads me to my next thought commented, I listened...(ahem, Christin)

Let's do it!!!

I'm roundin' up any ladies for an online weight loss support group. I think between all of us women we could come up with a pretty inspirational way to shed a few pounds. We could encourage, motivate, provide accountibilty and laugh (alot)....

If you're interested, send a comment ...and we'll get this ball rolling...

My button popping off in the grocery store was really the last straw for me, how about you?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Huffy.. puffy

I'm. So. Tired.

Ashlyn was up 5+ times lastnight, she and her brother went and caught a chest cold. Arrrg, these darn weak immunity systems, I'll teach them. It's dirt and worms for dinner again tonight.

I thought that by playing in the calf barn my kids would be building some kind of defence, I mean there is dirt of all kinds out there. But no. this is the second cold this year. The last one was the runny nose kind....ewww. I'll take a chest cold anyday over crusty noses.

So on another note, I'm at a crossroads. I can either dig my heels in and try to lose some of this winter insulation...I know, I know, why before winter would I dare to lose a possible heat source in this cold Canadian climate...seems almost silly doesn't it? I mean these thighs of mine could keep a grizzly bear hibernatin'. But alas, the fact that I cannot get up my 13 stairs while holding my daughter, without huffing and puffing is a sign that perrrrrrhhhaaaaps, I have a little too much weight on me.

You know what's Reaaalllly bad? I found a picture of myself from just after I had gotten married. I had a put on a few pounds and decided I needed to lose them I took a pic of myself in my skivvies. Well, I just found that picture, and darn tootin', I was skinny as a rail. So I decided to show the hubs to get his reaction...and can you guess what he said?

He was guarded at first, I could tell he was afraid to say the wrong thing. I looked at him waiting for a response, and a smile spread across his face.
'What'.... I said..
'Nothing'....He said
'It's just, ..ya, you were skinny, and look at your face, it was so much thinner then.' He said.

Mmmm. Well at least I know where you're sleeping tonight, and it ain't with me buster.
The correct answer would have been; Honey, you've given me 2 babies, you're a wonderful Mom who no longer her puts her needs ahead of others, you've had to focus on other people for a while but now baby, it's your turn. I'm getting you a weekend away at a spa resort up north. You can bring 3 friends and this will just be a kick start to a healthier lifestyle that we can BOTH begin, together.

Ahhh, if pigs could fly.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The Hubs and I have learned sooo many things about ourselves in this less than one week of the 'Super - Budget'... Today's lesson was about our addiction to fast food.

Today we were on a farm errand and were out and about around the lunch hour. Well, as I've mentioned we're only allowed 2 eat outs this month, and we're not gonna waste them on Old McDonalds (as Gabe calls it) so we were having to restrain ourselves from the fast food restaurants on every corner.

'There's just something about that grease...' says the hubs

'I know'.. I say ..'and those, I could suck on them'

"Mmmm, I 'd just be happy to lick a greasy burger wrapper', says Dwight

Okay seriously, has it come to this?? Licking burger wrappers? WE ARE ADDICTED TO FAT. how sick.

Look at it, it doesn't even look enticing....but those pretty burger pictures they have, those are what suck you in.
How long did it really take them to get the lettuce so frilly and perfect and the dots of ketchup and mustard ....and that pretty condensation on the tomato...
Anyway, I'm proud to say ....WE RESISTED!!! Ha! We'll beat those ads, we can re-gain our willpower and fight the evil temptations...!
I was watching the 'Biggest Loser' season premiere lastnight and I was so inspired. These people are trying to become healthy once again and are doing anything they can to make it happen. How wonderful for them, Go people, Go!
Sooo...what about me? Well I guess it all starts with rising above the burger, doesn't it??

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My dishwasher broke yesterday...something to do with the heating coil. It's only 2 years old, and when I called the service people, they said it would be 1 whole week before they could come out to 'have a look at it'. *grrrroan*

I realize a dishwasher isn't exactly a necessity, but let me tell you when you're used to it and when you have limited yourself on your grocery bill and budget and cannot eat out, you begin to miss it.

I am feeling very Amish lately (I guess because I'm becoming more and more domesticated and now because I have to wash all the dishes by hand *double groan*). Dwight became friends with some of the Amish men that built our new calf barn and we've been to visit them and WOW what a different life than any of us are used to. So much simpler and so much more complicated at the same time. Simpler in that, they are back to basics and they do not depend on machines, they are self-sufficient and family oriented. Yet more complicated in that cooking, working, driving, etc. are all very labourious undertakings.

I can really appreciate that they depend on God in all their daily happenings and understand that 'stuff' does not constitute happiness. They are a very tightly knit bunch that have raised their children to understand the pride in a hard days work. I find that very admirable. It's hard to instill a good work ethic in children, especially these days when there are so many distractions. Dwight and I have even debated on giving up the tv. Still hasn't happened ....yet...

So although you won't find me wearing a dress and bonnet tomorrow, I can see why people choose the harder path in life, there is a certain gratification to working with your hands and seeing what the body God designed for you, can accomplish.

We're already instilling a good work ethic in Gabriel...he started plowing yesterday (in his head.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Rapture....ever wondered what it might be like??? Check out this video...

The Grocery Article...

Here is the article I received regarding grocery shopping. I thought I'd just post it since I've talked about it so much. Dwight and I are on a strict budget (and have been for over a year now) as well as chopping back our grocery bill. We hope to be entirely debt FREE in about 4 months. No more student loans, no more car payments, no more Line of Credit, nothing.

And to actually have a savings account!! Wow, this is unheard of! I guess it may seem minor to some, but for us this has been a real challenge, particularly in a world of commercialism. Everywhere you go, everything you see, you MUST have. We are bombarded by ads to buy buy buy. We've been suckered in too many times, so now, we've really felt the need to be better stewards of our money and we've also decided to never buy anything unless we have the cash. No more 'don't pay for a year', or 'credit', or 'equal payments'......just plain old cash. And if we don't have enough? we don't buy it. We are very blessed to have a house to sleep in, a car to drive, food to eat, and bibles to read. We are among the wealthiest in the world!

(sorry the posting will be quite long!!)

"Do you own a restaurant?" a cashier at the warehouse club asked us. "No," my wife, Donna, replied. "But—the green beans!" the woman protested.We snickered. It was an easy mistake. Our contractor's cart was stacked with 42 giant cans of kitchen-cut Blue Lake green beans and cases of peas, tomatoes, applesauce, and ketchup, mostly in school-cafeteria sizes. On our second trip through her line, the clerk eyed our two carts loaded with flour, pasta, and cake mixes. "Kids?" "No," I replied. "No kids."On our third pass, she was certain: "Cleaning service."The cases of tissue and gallons of cleanser would support her theory, but again my wife said, "Nope." And we chuckled. Handing me a three-foot long receipt, the mystified clerk said, "See you soon.""In about a year," I replied.On the way to pack our car, Donna and I grinned at our secret: we shop for groceries and household products only once a year.Lovin' and leavin' Cracker Barrel Our once-a-year buying plan started of necessity and as an experiment. As Donna and I settled into our first house, we found that the due date for the mortgage payment came with alarming regularity. With a penchant for numbers, Donna tightened the budget, and for a few months it helped. Until the shower incident. New to home ownership, we were unaware that upstairs showers are a common cause of dripping in the light fixtures one floor below. "You'll have to take all this out to get to the trouble," the contractor said, pointing to walls and floors with a sweeping gesture. The treatment eventually required remodeling a bath and a half, kitchen, and foyer.Four months later, using our shower again, we started calculating how to pay for it."We'll have to stop eating out," Donna announced one evening, holding up a calculator tape. "Our restaurant tabs last month cost more than the payment on our fix-up loan."I shouldn't have been surprised. The hostess at one diner no longer asked our names when she penciled us on the waiting list. On our third visit in a week, she drawled, "You must love you some Cracker Barrel." She was right. The Reeds' battle of the budget was being lost at Cracker Barrel. And McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and the grocery store. "I guess we'll have to eat at home," I murmured, looking askance at the new stove. I did so hate to see its gleaming surface smudged by—cooking. "I'll do the shopping," I offered. I had fond memories of the Saturday mornings I spent tailing my mother at the Food Giant as she selected a dozen items from a carefully crafted list and predicted to the penny the total the cashier would announce, tax included. My wife, on the other hand, was subjected to laborious monthly buying trips for a family of six, embarrassed by the second cart she pushed behind her mother while complaining just out of earshot about store-brand corn flakes: "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for other families."Challenged, I would join the best of both approaches: frequent, joyful trips filling multiple baskets."We're spending more at the grocery store than we were eating out," my banker-wife announced a month later. "Now what?" That's when a columnist from USA Today came to our rescue. Our family project The man confessed that his weakness was clothes. He couldn't step into a store without buying a sweater or slacks or shoes. So the columnist gave up buying anything for one year. We Americans have far too much stuff, he reasoned. Good for you, I thought as I read this column online in late July and wondered if Donna and I could pull off a similar feat. Our temptation was at the grocery store, but also at the discount store, the mall, and Every trip for a gallon of milk produced a tab for $100. What good is milk without chocolate, right? Pantyhose cost $100 dollars—with the requisite make-up, power tools, and DVD. It was as if the stores could read the balance in our checking account, and we would not be allowed to leave until that amount had been exacted."I think we should stop buying anything for a year," I said, relating the columnist's experience to my patient wife."Okaaaaay," Donna said. "Can we try it for a month and see if we're up to it?"One month with no exceptions, we agreed. Not even gifts, because in a pinch one might accept a bucket from Kentucky Fried Chicken as an anniversary present. We bought supplies for the larder and gritted our teeth. Could we go one month without buying anything?Suburban pioneers The first two weeks sailed by. Our project had that new-car smell, all leather and elbow grease. We approached life like frontier people. Ma and Pa Ingalls didn't run down to the Merchantile four times a week, now did they? By week three we were drinking powdered milk, the lettuce was gone, and we really missed fast-food French fries. In week four Donna put her foot through her last good pair of hose and was forced to switch from dresses to pants for work attire for the remainder of the month. I was itching for a midnight run to Target until Donna tallied the results. "Our expenses were less than half what we'd been spending. We can pay all the bills this month!" she announced. "If we survived one month, could we make it three?" This was becoming our project. Based on what we'd learned, we made new lists, including back-up pantyhose. We also began calculating really important matters—specifically, how many rolls of tissue and bars of soap our household uses in a month. Donna counted loads of laundry and the soap required. I measured our chest freezer and estimated what can be squeezed into seven cubic feet. "Don't forget Thanksgiving," Donna pointed out. "Will a turkey fit in there?" "Not likely. Maybe a big chicken."And together we planned three months of meals. "What about milk and produce?" I asked, cringing at the thought of powered milk again. "Could we buy a few perishables for ten dollars a week?" Donna offered. She stashed 13 fresh tens in the china teapot for the next quarter of a year. "I can't live without Cracker Barrel once in a while," I confessed."And I need Value Meal Number One now and then," my wife admitted. Our compromise: gift certificates. We bought a few gift cards for a monthly meal out and a drive-thru experience. The cards went in a drawer near the teapot. Encouraged by our savings and the leveling of our shopping-hyped endorphins, we were asking by Thanksgiving, "Can we make it a year?" Soon we were plotting a big, one-time-only buying spree for the week after Christmas when lots of stuff would be on sale.For a $35 membership at the warehouse club, we bought a year's worth of food in large sizes at about half the cost of weekly trips to the store. "This is like following my mother around Winn-Dixie," Donna said. Then she reached for a nine-pound box of Raisin Bran, the name-brand, two-scoops kind. After small sprees at the hardware and discount stores, we planned to buy nothing else. The only exceptions would be prescription medications, dry cleaning, and car repair—for a whole year. The year without shopping"Remember Diane's washing machine?" Donna said one day in early December. Diane, her husband, and two children were serving as missionaries in an Asian country with an inadequate stock of washing machine parts. We'd met them while they were on furlough. "When they were packing to return to the mission field," Donna said, "Diane told me she had to take everything they needed for four years. Even replacement hoses." "You want to order parts for the washer?""No. I'm saying we should think of ourselves as missionaries." And so we did. Our absence from the stores took on a spiritual dimension. Wal-Mart was in America, and we, apparently, lived in a distant country. Did we stay out of the stores for a whole year? Mostly. Our exceptions that first year were the purchase of meat for the freezer in October, a couple of birthday presents for family, and funeral flowers. Was it easy? No. Eating at home requires work, but after three or four months, we appreciated the routine. Evenings became together time—cooking and washing up—but together. The second year we repeated the buying spree, budgeting one limited clothes allotment for each of us during sale season. While our adherence now isn't quite as legalistic as the first year, we've learned there's a lot of stuff we don't need. In our married life, I felt God had provided for us sufficiently, but, in all honesty, we'd not spent our money wisely. I didn't think of us as wasteful—we didn't wear Rolexes or drive Beamers or throw out leftovers. But we did fritter away cash in small amounts.How much became clear as with our monthly savings we started paying off small nagging debts, and eventually large nagging debts. We charged about half the items we bought in the stock-up, but the supplies were all paid off in three months. Then we doubled the payments on our car loans and the new stove and shower, paying them off in less than half the time the financers predicted. Except for the mortgage, we're debt free.And it's all because we went a year without buying anything. Eric Reed is managing editor of MP's sister publication Leadership journal.Taking StockCheck out these 11 tips we found helpful for buying a year's supply of everything.
1. Calculate how much you use. Measure everything, from cake mix to motor oil.
2. Count the cost. Project expenses and comparison shop. The warehouse club is a bargain on many items, but not all.
3. Switch to reusables. We were astonished by how many rolls of paper towels, disposable razors, and plastic cups we used.
4. Create new storage. We converted the coat closet and two closets in the basement into pantries. For extra meat storage, our local market has freezer drawers available.
5. Visit websites. I found advice for stocking a fallout shelter that was helpful. And the once-a-month cooking community aided in menu planning and large-quantity shopping.
6. Plan detailed menus. During the trial, we scheduled all our regular dishes, then multiplied the supply list by four.
7. Remember hardware. Our locally owned store has good buys on brooms and nails and light bulbs and duct tape.
8. Think seasonally. We stocked salt for snow removal and briquettes for summer barbequing.
9. When you run out, go without. We lived without some favorite items when supplies ran out early. Fortunately, there were three rolls of toilet tissue on the shelf on December 31.
10. Make a game of it. The $10 trips for perishables taught us to buy in-season veggies, buy-one-get-one-free items, and to come in under the limit.
11. Pray over your spending. We asked for God's help getting our budget under control, and we discovered a new sense of stewardship over his blessings.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Ashlyn likes to spend time outside on our back lawn where we can see the barn kitties. They are quite social and one kitty in particular has taken a liking to Ashlyn, his name is Henry.

He's quite affectionate and can handle Ashy's little hands pulling his fur. Here she is going in for the grab...

Even Sadie joins the fun..

Gabe on the 'orange tractor'.

A boy and his dog.

Gabriel and Grandpa workin'.


Dun, dun, ..dun!!!! Here it is, the biggest grocery shop ever!!
I decide to conduct the affair on Saturday instead of today as I just wouldn't have enough time after Dwight was done milking tonight. SO, I asked my friend Jen to be my cart pusher/list scratcher/other brain so that Dwight could stay home and watch the younginns.

Off we went. I had scribbled out a two page grocery list and sectioned it off to 'dairy, bakery, meat...etc' to try to prevent chaos. First off was 'Food Basics'. It is the cheapest grocery store round these parts, and I figured I would get all the dry stuff and canned food there.

We ended up buying a majority of the list there, even some things I thought I would buy bulk. ( I decided not to buy a membership at Sam's Club as it just didn't seem to be much of a savings, after Jen and I went through and calculated. She was kind enough though to let me use her membership to buy a few items there.) While we were at Food Basics, we were getting some looks and two people asked us if we loved juice ( I had filled a flat with frozen juice)
....Jen just said, 'ya I really do.' They weren't sure if we were kidding or not.

The cashier was wide eyed when we came to her till. She was a little teenager who finally said...'This is a lot of cans..hee hee!' (Mmm-hmm) " why are you buying so many cans..hee hee?" (I'm buying all of my groceries for the month) "Oh WOW really..hee hee'.

Once we were heading out to load up the truck, I felt around for my keys and realized I had left them in the car. Lucky for us the doors weren't locked either..(I blame the scarfing of Taco Bell in the truck prior to shopping) We loaded up and were off to the next store.

'No frills' is also a fairly cheap grocery store, but has somewhat of a better selection of some items. I buy the diapers from there, they are able to withstand anything miss Ashy poo can throw at them, and they're still cheaper than Pampers. This is where Jen and I were finally getting googly-eyed from the list and all the shelves. We were headed for a melt-down.

I reached for 2 cases of pop from a high shelf and they came down too quickly nearly hitting me in the nose, I yelled for Jen and she was embarrassed so she hid herself in a freezer, gee thanks. So I walked over to her after getting the cases in the cart and she was laughing at me, I started laughing too and eventually my pants button popped off...oh shoot...that was even funnier...well I was bending down to pick up the button and SMACK, I plowed my forehead into the cart handle. Jen desperately had to pee, so she was crossing her legs holding it in and I didn't have to pee but was still trying to hold it in. We were both bent over silently shaking, WHEW!! the two guys behind us thought we were mental, but it was a much needed break.

Next was Sams Club for a few frozen dinners (pastas, wings and soup) and then we were done. Yee haw!!!

It took about 3.5 hours, a budget of $600 and 4 carts. Here are the receipts, and I came in at $599.04!!!!! Can't get much closer than that. I put a pen in the picture so you get an idea of how long the 'Food Basics receipt is.
My meal plans are all made up for the next 4 weeks and today we're having pork chops for dinner :)
I'll keep you posted on how things are going, and if my writing becomes strange near the end of the month.......please,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Early Riser....

Today has been a less than fair attempt at becoming organized. I began the day with an early rise at 5:30. I love being alone in the morning darkness, when the sun is just thinking about waking up. I brewed a sweet smelling hazelnut coffee for the hubs and I and then nearly vomited afterwards. I obviously need to put something in my stomach other than just caffeine.

I turned on the news and sat in silence for about 3 minutes, when the poops woke up. Apparently she was reading my mind, as per the norm. I swear my girl child can anticipate my every move. I went upstairs and began our 'new' daily routine (part of that is getting dressed upstairs, when we wake up)

Once she had a warm bottle in her hands she was so loving, this is incredibly rare, so I took advantage of it and snuggled with her for as long as she found tolerable. I think it was a good 8 minutes....I was in heaven!!! Once she decided the 'moment' was over, she was back to her busy self. I soon found her in the playroom 'surfing' on the 4x4 and holding onto the desk. Yes, rolling back and forth while standing on a mini 4 wheeler. 5 minutes later she was standing on the lid of the toilet holding onto the tank, laughing wildly while eating Gabe's potty stickers. And now you're thinking I don't watch her...well I do, and I was cooking her delicious breakfast (sectioning and peeling oranges and making scrambled eggs) while trying to watch her........ she's ungrateful, I tell you.

How can 2 children be SOO different. She even put my hair supplies in the toilet the other day....she is 11months old people! what am I in for?? Please pray for me and my sanity. If I can at least remain sane, the rest won't matter. I can get a plumber, see the Dr., remember the Heimlich maneuver, but if I'm not sane, we're all in trouble.

To Do's Done:
-I've written my monthly meal plan and master grocery list. Tonight I'm going out with Jen to get the Sam's Club membership (big box store) so I can buy things in bulk.
-Jars and old canning supplies have been moved off of the basement shelves to make room for pantry items.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

To Do's

Okay so here's where I stand and I figure if I write it down, you all can hold me to it!:

What's Done
-laundry organized
-house clean (both floors)
-lawn cut (for now)
-outdoors now winterized (furniture put away, toys in garage, trees pruned)

To Do - (this list is SO much longer!)
- try to write a 'daily routine' and stick with it
-write a grocery list for our 1st attempt at monthly shopping (we will be starting this on Monday the 18th!!!)
-clean out Dwight's Grandmas pickles and her other canning items from basement shelves, to make room for all the cans from the 'monthly shop'
-prepare meal plan for entire month (so I know what to shop for)
-organize bookshelf in den
-organize various baby items in attic (swing, jumperoo, etc.)
-sweep and hose off deck
-Round-up around all trees and gardens

We'll start with that and see how well I do!

Things are quiet around here today, Dwight and Gabe and Grandpa have gone to the 'Outdoor Farm Show' and Ashy poo and I have just finished our lunch. She has had a lot of fresh air this morning with Oma and I, so she'll be down for the count soon. Then I've got some list making to do!

Part of the reason I'm trying to become much more organized than I am, is to see if I can run a household and try to home school. It's a way for me to test the waters early, before I actually dive in. If I can be organized enough to keep up a routine around here and not struggle with it, having it become second nature, then I think I will be able to put something else on my plate.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Woooo Hoooo! My mama has the kiddies right now and I am on my way to organized dressers and a clean laundry room. I can actually see my folding table!

What a total mood lifter, to be organized!

Thanks Mom : )

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Tomorrow is a day of organization. I will:

1) Neatly store all summer clothes
2)Sort through and donate all clothes I haven't worn in 2 years (Even my "Oh maybe one day I'll be able to fit into them again" jeans)
3)Pull out all fall/winter clothes and put neatly away
4)Organize all footwear, putting away sandals (*sigh*) and pulling out shoes
5)Make dinner
6)Try to remain sane for yet another day. (*double sigh*)


I was hit so hard while sitting in the pews on Sunday. We were hearing a message from a man by the name of Bill McLeod. He was preaching about revival and how our Church so desperately needs it.

He spoke so wonderfully about so many things, but the part that really hit home for me, were his words on forgiveness.

As most of you know, my father left our family and chose another life with another woman, when I was very young. Although I didn't understand it very well when I was little, the more life I lived, the more knowledge I have obtained, and the more responsibility I have been given, ...the more my bitterness was solidified. I could hardly bear to think of what my father did (especially after I had children of my own) and I wanted him to hurt just as much as my heart did.

I have never sought Christian counselling for my feelings and just lived with them deep inside me, knowing they were wrong, but I couldn't just forgive and forget.

Until Sunday...

Pastor Bill McLeod went on to tell us a story of a man and woman who had attended his church. He received a phone call from the man late one night and the man was crying, and begging Bill to please come over as his wife was going to leave him. Bill got dressed and headed over to their home. The wife was in one corner, her head in her hands and the man was in the other corner, slumped on a chair, crying also. The husband proceeded to tell Bill how he had cheated once on his wife, how he was so very sorry, and that she was now going to leave their home and him. Pastor McLeod asked the wife if he could tell her a story...she nodded and he went ahead.

He told her the story about a man who was in debt up to his neck, over $500,000 dollars and couldn't re-pay his debt, even though it meant he would be going to jail. He was scheduled to see the judge that day and made his way to the courthouse. Once his time before the judge came up, he became sad and begged for forgiveness of his loans and debts he said he had nothing to re-pay the $500,000.00 but that he would do anything for the judge and begged to not be lead to jail. Everyone at the time knew it was unheard of for a judge to let someone off the hook.

This judge looked at the poor man with compassion, and spoke gently to him. He told the man he was forgiven, that he no longer had debts, was a free man and to remember what the Judge had done for him.

When the man was released he was overjoyed and walked out the courthouse doors. As he was walking home, he saw a man that had loaned$5 dollars from him....he walked up to the man, grabbed him by his collar and told him to 'pay up...or else'.

When Pastor Bill had finished telling the story to the couple, he asked the woman if she understood what the story meant. She looked at him and replied an honest....No.

He said, The poor man is you, and the Judge is Jesus.
Because you are Saved, Jesus has forgiven you of all of your sins...too many to count. He has given you freedom by dying on the cross for YOUR sins. Even in his last hour on the cross, he spoke to God saying 'Father forgive them (us) for they know not what they do'.
(How compassionate! How Loving! and to think he did this for ME and YOU! )

Your husband has committed a sin against you and is now begging for your forgiveness, Jesus has forgiven and died for more than 500,000 of your sins and you cannot forgive your husbands one sin?

The wife understood and took her husband in her arms. They have gone on to become a strong Christian couple devoted to helping others in marriage.

As he spoke these words I could only think of the one sin I had been unable to completely forgive. I cannot imagine holding on to one sin, when Jesus has forgiven me of so many. He DIED for MY disgusting sins, because he loves me so much. I am white and pure in Gods eyes because of his gift of salvation.

How could I know that, and not forgive?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Western Fair..

As I sit here eating cotton candy and hot chocolate, I thought I'd tell you about our visit to the Western Fair on Saturday. We decided to go once we discovered the price of admission had been lowered AND the kids get in free!! woo hoo! The clouds were looming overhead but that didn't stop our enthusiasm. We packed the double bus and were on our way.

Parking on the fair grounds was full, so we resorted to the next best thing...parking on some strangers lawn. The long haired, sunglassed, ummm interesting man was only asking 5.00, so the hubs couldn't refuse. I was a little more skeptical, but alas, I was not driving there we stayed. After much debate on where to put my purse...(it came along) we were packed up and ready to hit the midway.

The first thing Gabe found intriguing was the childrens train... the 'toot' was a little loud to him so he was glad to have blankie to plug his ears, he remained this way for the first half of our walk. Both children were as quiet as mice for the first bit, mouths agape, eyes popping out of their little heads. (As they watched Mommy and Daddy shovel an incredible amount of fair food into their mouths)

We didn't go on any rides, (hate to spend all that money on fair food only to vomit) and we went through some of the buildings (there was an international Food fair in some of them...) and we played a couple games, we made sure we only played the games that get a prize every time. Both kids ended up with a poorly stitched, cheap fair toy and were on cloud nine to get them.

We waddled our way to the animal barn where Gabe was just thrilled to see the cows, like he'd never seen them before.

We saw pigs and piglets, (I felt so sorry for this big mama, locked in a cage like that with her girls hanging out, just to be poked and bit by her NINE babies) horses and goats, sheep and chickens, and Gabe's favourite part was the rooster that kept cock-a-doodle-dooing at child was losing his breath from giggling so hard at that rooster, watching his big red comb shake every time he would squawk. Ashlyn was impressed by the big white goose that honked at her, he was just her size.

Once that was exhausted we headed over to watch the death - defying feats of the trapeeze artists on their motorcycles. The hubs and I thought this was amazing while both kids couldn't have cared less. Gabe just wanted a ride in the "huge tractor" (monster truck) and

Ashlyn played in a sand box full of rice for a while. Eventually both fell asleep and we just walked around people watching and soon found ourselves meandering through the arts and crafts building.

We somehow found more room in our stomachs for an elephant ear which was enjoyed while on our way back to the car. The kids, and we, were covered from head to toe in icing sugar by the time we were done.

Once we were home I let the kids try some cotton candy and Gabes face was priceless. He was like " WHY are you feeding me insulation???" but then it melted on his tastebuds and he was begging for more. We still have some left and I just can't resist the fluffy stuff. My teeth are loving me.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lessons in daily living...

On the farm we have cows, cats, and pigeons, maybe some mice and and occasional rat, but today my story is about a cat, or barn kitty as we call them.

She was a grey striped momma cat that had raised quite a few kittens here, and was very good at her position of Mom/scavenger/entertainer and people lover. She was quick to bounce up and give your ankles a rub and twist her wiry little tail around your legs. (I feel like I'm writing a eulogy....well I guess I am)

Well you know whats coming...she had been sick for a while and today she was unable to move. She could move her eyes and make sad little crys but her body was out of her control. We didn't know what was wrong with her, but her breathing was becoming laboured and it was apparent that she was not going to live much longer. She was in her end stages.

I cannot bear to see an animal (or person) in pain, particularly when there was nothing that could be done to save her little life. I was feeding her water through her open mouth by dripping drops of water onto her tongue. She was just making little crys, like.. 'thank.. you.. for.. caring....' I knew what had to be done but surely couldn't do it. Dwight reluctantly agreed and so I carried her little body away to let her go. Poor baby.

I could only think of the bible passage:
Luke 12:22 'Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

I thought of how God cared about this little cat like I did and that he knew everything about her, he had provided her with a pleasant life and how he knew I would have compassion and mercy, and help her to be at peace, not hurting anymore. I thought if God cares for the birds and this little cat the way he says does, then just imagine how much he cares for me, and us.

I can't begin to tell you how much I want to please our God, He loves us so very much and desires for us to love him, with all of our being and everything we have. I will love him and serve him and I am so excited to see what he has in store for me.


So I've finally come to the conclusion that my son has a Chinese accent. It's just certain words he says, and certain letters he cannot pronounce yet. Here are a few of the words I enjoy hearing him say:

Ho = Hole (ie - there's a ho in my shirt)
rehwee = really ( I like hearing this one used several times in a row ie- Mom, I rehwee, rehwee need some hewp)
pantayoons = pantaloons (I taught him this word for the sole reason of hearing him say it the way he does)

I really love this age (2.5), he's just such a conversationalist and really picks up on new phrases. The other day we were in the kitchen and he wanted Ashlyn to follow him so he said 'c'mon amigo, this way' . Gotta love Dora The Explorer. He's also learned please and thank you and how to count to 5 in Spanish, thanks to Dora. So maybe some TV isn't such a bad thing, huh?

As for Ashlyn, well her injuries are coming along nicely, the forehead scab has now fallen off (she probably ate it, she seems to find every possible thing she shouldn't eat ...and eat it, the other day I found a cricket bum in her mouth...I got it out and was so relieved she hadn't swallowed it, but she kept coughing and sure enough the head was lodged at the back of her tongue. Are you puking yet? This is my life folks....) and her nose scab is shrinking nicely. Babies heal so fast, it amazes me. She has fallen lots since, but not on her head, thankfully. As posted earlier, she likes to head - butt, but has realized I'm not always around to practice on, so she's taken to smacking herself upside the head. I wonder about her sometimes : )

We had friends over last night and they have 2 children (12 and 10) They played very nicely with Gabe and Ash and it was a fun night for all. The parents have home schooled their children and I can't say enough good things about these kids. They have personalities that are so entertaining, they love the Lord so much and discuss it so freely, they are very respectful and yet so completely normal. It really threw the whole stigma of, HS children being un-social, out the window. Dwight and I have been tossing around the idea, and although we haven't made any decisions yet, it was just nice to see that it can be done.

Well onto another subject...we've also been tossing around the idea of building a greenhouse. I would love to have some space to play in the dirt, grow some veggies and get some plants started. We also like the idea of having some chickens and are thinking about building a small coop. Well I should say I like the idea of having some chickens in my freezer. I thought maybe it would be hard to 'bring them away' at the end, but as soon as I think Swiss Chalet sauce I'm okay with it all. Dwight on the other hand can NOT stand chickens as he once had a bad experience with a flock of chickens pecking at his little boots when he was small. But he eats 'em up just fine....(some kind of revenge I'm sure)
If you have any knowledge on greenhouses or raising chickens (or any other knowledge I could find useful), please lemme know.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Simple Recipe

Thought I'd post a super quick and easy recipe for anyone looking for a simple, hot meal. (notice I didn't say nutritious ..!) It's a recipe my friend Jen and I learned in our highschool cooking class....ah, the good ol' days!! Gabe just devours it.

KD Lasagna (yes ..KD is Kraft dinner)
I lb. ground beef
2 boxes Kraft Dinner ..Mac' N Cheese
1 Jar favourite spaghetti sauce
1 cup diced Mushrooms (or any veggie)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

How to:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown beef in a skillet. While browning beef, make KD according to box directions.
When beef is brown, add mushrooms and cook an additional 2 minutes (or so)
In a 13x9 casserole dish, layer beef, KD, Spaghetti sauce, then cheese and repeat.
Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is bubbly.

Enjoy!...(you know you want it...)
(I was going to post a great looking picture of it ... but blogger is having some issues with pic posting. )

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Typical Day on the Farm (see post below first)

So we then hop on our handy dandy Gator (love this thing!) and burn to the back of the farm, to the pasture fields.

We then fill the tanks with water from the back well. chug-a-lug.

Somewhere in all of those chores, Dwight pops in for breakfast and a chat. What happens then is really depending on the day and the weather and the machines and the cows. Sometimes he plays mechanic and he fixes things, sometimes he plays farmer and he cuts hay, or combines, or plants etc., sometimes if it's raining he plays good ol' Dad and is frolicking with the kids inside, and sometimes he is playing vet and is treating a cow for any given illness.
The kids and I are often outside with him, or playing on the lawn, or Gabe's riding in the tractor with Dad (he even has his own buddy seat!) and Ashlyn and I are cleaning the house.....she spits, I polish.

Once lunch and the afternoon are gone and done, the kids and I venture out to the calf barn and do the evening chores. This involves the same stuff that's done in the morning, except with the tag-alongs it takes twice as long. Okay by me though. The kids really enjoy getting out there and Gabe doesn't mind getting dirty!
After all is done in the calf barn, the kids and I head in to make dinner and wait for Dwight to finish up.
Our work day usually ends around 6:30 and the kids are in bed by 7:30. Then it's Peace and quiet!!!

A Typical day on the farm (#1)

I thought that today I would give you a run-down of a typical day on the Farm.

This is Dwight and Drew during an evening milking in the parlour, but I thought I'd post this picture to show you this is where the day begins. Dwight gets up (or I get him up by incessantley poking him) by 6:00 am and is usually milking the first herd by 6:30. While Dwight is milking the cows, his dad is feeding the calves and will run the corn silage from the silo into the bunk (large feeding area with troughs) for the cows that have been milked. The cows are then allowed to make their way out to the pasture fields, and graze until evening milking.

Dwight then makes up a batch of his acidified milk for the calves and makes sure their buckets are all full. You can see the pail of milk in the pic here, it's off to the right side of the picture and it has a tube running to it. The tube runs into a nipple that the calves (or Gabe .... kidding , kidding) can free-feed on anytime. Before we started the Acidified milk program, we were feeding fresh milk bottles to each calf. We currently have 25 calves in the barn, you can imagine how long that would take...whew.
Once the babies are taken care of we have to make sure the herd has enough water... ( see next post)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Around the house..

Today has been uneventful. Thankfully. It's those eventful days that do me in.

I've been hearing about all the kids going to school today ....and I have to admit, I can already get tears in my eyes just thinking of Gabriel on his first day. Isn't that awful, I still have 2 years before he's there, so what in the world am I crying for? I'm such a baby.

I cleaned out my pantry today and decided to take a picture because I thought it looked so organized, and because it will never last. I 'purged' (as they call it in the organizing world) and am now preparing myself for a interesting experiment.
A friend emailed me an article on a couple who decided to go on an extreme budget. It involved doing their shopping for an entire year in just ONE day. It included groceries, gifts, clothes and other necessities. They even thought of dining out (which was severely cut-down to twice a month) and bought themselves gift certificates for the restaurants. All the money for expenses was spent in one day, therefore whatever money came in each month could be applied to debt (which was the point of their extreme budget - to pay off their debts as quickly as possible). They wanted to keep track of money spent and if something ran out, then they had to live without it. they even put away a $10 bill for each month to buy milk and fresh veggies.

Impressive huh? well now I've got you thinking that's what we're doing. but no. We ARE going to try it for one month though. And if it works, we're going to do it every month. I'm WAY too brainwashed by those Wal-mart displays that cry out 'buy need this!' I run in for one thing and walk out with 10.

I have way too much stuff, and I'm sick of it. So, therefore it's something I can work on. And work on it, I will.

If you're interested in the article, let me know and I'll email it to you.

1 Timothy 6:10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Froggy Fresh

Triple washed??? Hmmmm think again. Do you see what I see?

Here are the other ones...poor babe must have a real headache.

Ambulance ride...

We were heading out to the barn to feed the baby calves, and as usual, Ashlyn was going to ride in the 'little red wagon' with her new purple rubber boots and play with her toys and be a good little girl.

She had different plans.

Gabe and Ashy-poo and I made it to the barn and I began checking the baby cows and stirring up their milk pails. This is when Ashlyn decided to throw in some of her drama, to spice up the boring routine. She stood in her wagon (not unusual for little miss surfer girl) and this is where she added some new choreography, ...she let go of the handles to clap her hands (after all she was standing on her own...) and WHOOPS....over the 3.5 ft high railings and -SMACK- on the concrete below, face first. She then bounced on to the top of her head, and landed on her back. The wind was knocked out of her.

I was standing in the door way and watched the entire fall happen as though in slow-mo. I screamed, and ran, but not fast enough...I just missed her. She was screaming an almost silent scream, I scooped her up and ran for the parlour, where Dwight was.

By the time we made it into the house her nose had starting bleeding badly, and her forehead was a purpley colour and her left eye was swelling shut. She and I were bawling and Dwight had run to get Gabe (who was alone in the barn, with the calves....probably loving it..). He decided to call ambulance dispatch (he knows these #'s from being a volunteer fireman) they decided she should go in via ambulance.

So there I was in the ambulance (again) with my hurting daughter. Once we arrived at the hospital Ashlyn thought she was fine and was chatting with all the nurses (hi and uh-oh repeatedly) and they were loving it. The Doctor said we had to watch for a concussion, and that she may get a black eye but all in all she survived with just a goose egg, some bleeding, scrapes and cuts. Thank you Lord.

Here is the little Dolly after we got home from the hospital ....these pics look pretty awful, but she is in very good spirits....

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Okay, I've found the solution to those unwanted Telemarketing calls. As we all know, they use a script to keep you on the phone as long as possible, trying desperately to squeeze money from you, and somehow can anticipate your next answer with another question. WELL my friends, you now have your own script!!! Check it out, and let me know if you end up using it! I can't wait for my next call, hee hee.

Mr. (and Miss) Dressup

Mom and I went for an 'outing' yesterday.
I remember the good ol' days when an 'outing' meant some time for Mom and I to enjoy a lunch together, perhaps visit the mall, and hit several different shops. Then we'd peruse the craft store, or go to the bakery for some treats.

Well, it's Dollarama all the way baby. That is, now that I have a baby, or two. Since we had the mini-tag-alongs with us, we decided it would be safer to go to a store that offers both toys and essentials (as well as food, crafts, dinnerware, linens, electronics, sports, and toiletries......all for a BUCK!)
I become a hoarding maniac in dollar stores. I get giddy. They have a way of making me think that 'I need something' and at the same time 'it's okay' because it's only a dollar. Dollars add up you know. Into twenties and fifties.

I must tell you...regardless how much I spent at Dollarama and Dollar Giant (yes...yes, we hit 2 dollar stores, laugh as you must.) I had SO much fun. I can tell you about how Mom and I tried on all the Halloween masks,

just to make my children laugh (or cry), or how we put feather boas on Ashy poo, or how we decided we must only talk in a 'Louisiana/red-neck/from the Bayou' accent. Oh my goodness, we almost peed ourselves. Literally. It was one of those moments where it was completely uncontrollable laughter, from the deepest regions of our gut. Guffaws. People were staring and we couldn't have cared less. It was priceless. Even my children were concerned...Gabe said " You sick Oma???". Even funnier.

After the Dollarama, we decided it was time for a high class dining experience. The McDonalds WITH the play land. Woooo weee, we were going all out today. The grande finale you ask?? to top off our memorable day we decided to go through the car wash, just to watch the expression on their little faces.

Ahhh the memories.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gooood Morning Sunshine...arrrg.

Here I sit.
I. just. woke. up. My voice is gravelly and I couldn't figure out why I was still soooo (yawn) tired.

7:13 am
Miss Ashy poo is awake already and chirping in the next room, oh please don't let her be 'painting' again. Clock says 7:13...well guess it's that time. Hey...wait a sec...., the sun....where is the sun?

It's not supposed to rain today, and those would have to be some mighty black clouds to cover the 7:13 am sun, which is usually seeping through my blinds and curtains. (Sidenote - After having to keep a bright night light in our room when we had babies with the breastfeeding and diaper changing, you learn to appreciate the true blackness of the night. We try to help this, by having both blinds and curtains in our bedroom. There could be a spider dangling 2 inches from my mouth, and I would be blissfully unaware.)

Well Ashlyn says it's 7:13 it must be 7:13. As I wobbled down the stairs with a wet Ash in hand, I was beginning to think something was wrong with the sun.
Was it sick, Was it as tired as I? having to rise and fall for the routines of others? Maybe today was the day (as many as us have felt)it had had enough demands, complaints, and peer pressures (from the stars...the pressure could only come from the stars, they must be the only ones drinking up there...falling out of the sky like that)..? Well if that was the case and the Sun was finally taking a stand, then, Hooraayyy!! I'm with you all the way buddy!

I marched to that change table with a quickness to my step, ready to call the hubs, who, being in the barn, wouldn't know the sun had taken a stand today...and he must know of such a catastrophic event, I had to tell him.

I finished up with Ashlyn and jogged to the phone. As I was pressing the little buttons, I glanced at the stove............and read the green numbers. Whhhoooaaaa now. Excuse ME???? did I just read 5:17???? Rub eyes, and ....(sigh) yes. I read 5:17.

I knew then it was not the sun taking a stand. It was the hubs. HE was the one responsible for pressing the one and only button that could have caused my imagination to run away so wildly AND to get me up Sooo early. You see he is in charge of the 'clock radio'. His hands are not only large but clumsy...VERY clumsy at that time of the morning. So he pressed the little 'hour' button rather than the large 'off' button.

Well I was still listening to the phone ring in my hand, but the call had turned from exciting to angry.

Hubs - 'Heeellllloooo?'

Me - 'Hello...(matching his low voice, not by trying, but by the 'early risers growl')'

Hubs - 'Oh hi!...........Oh.hi.' 'I didn't mean to...'(laughs)

Me - 'that was a dirty trick...'

Hubs - ' Well at least I'm almost done, and it's only 6:00!'

Me - ' mmmm. great. bye.'

Turns out he tricked himSELF into getting up early. Well I had to laugh. ...At him.