Monday, February 28, 2011

E-Mealz, It's Worth a Try!

I've bought groceries every way imaginable.  I bet you have too. 

I've made menus for 2 weeks at a time, constructed my grocery list from the menu, then bought the items needed.  I've shortened the menus to 1 week at a time and done the same thing.  Most frighteningly, I've even walked in the grocery store with no menu and no list and just waited for inspiration to strike as I strolled the aisles.  This, I can tell you, is not the smartest way to do it. 

I heard someone say once that they don't mind cooking, it's the figuring-out-what-to-cook that becomes a chore.  I totally, whole-heartedly agree! 

Enter e-mealz

I heard Dave Ramsey endorse e-mealz on his radio show.  I once saw a lady with an e-mealz grocery list shopping in Kroger.  And last, a teacher-friend at work was telling us how she signed up for it and so far is liking it. 

So I made the plunge.  I signed up, for $5 a month, for someone else to plan my menu and make my grocery list.  Yes, you heard right.  For $5 a month (and you have to pay three months at a time), e-mealz will send you a 7-day meal plan and a coordinating grocery list to go with it.  The plan is posted every Sunday which works out well for me since I usually buy my groceries on Monday anyway. 

Of course, you can still pick and choose what meals you want to make.  For instance, one of the meals this week was cheesy enchiladas, but we just had enchiladas a few nights ago.  So I marked that meal off the list.  Each meal is numbered, and on the grocery list, beside each item, is the coordinating meal number.  Just say cheesy enchiladas was meal #4.  I went to the list and marked off any item that had #4 beside it.  Also, I rarely, okay never, cook 7 big meals in a row.  We are not afraid to eat leftovers, so my family could probably make 5 meals last for 7 days. 

E-mealz generates the meals from what your chosen store's sales are for that week.  Saving money will be nice, but the convenience of it all will be even nicer!

I can't wait to see if this actually works for me.  If it doesn't, I'm out $15 bucks.  If it does, I've saved my sanity! (and hopefully some money as well!)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Closing a Chapter

Our renters move in this weekend.  I'm almost giddy about this - - all of our hard work (cleaning, painting, etc) is finally going to pay off!  I hope they make as many good memories in that house as we did. 

Meanwhile, now that that house isn't taking up every waking moment, I can sit back and enjoy this one, and that is exactly what I plan to do today.  I realized the other day that in the 2 weeks we've been in here, I haven't had an entire day by myself in this house yet.  Between sick children staying home from school and Brad taking off days from work for various reasons, it just hasn't happened.  Yes, I've had a couple of hours, after getting home from preschool and before the bus ran, to myself, but not an official whole day.   So what do I plan on doing today?  As little as possible! 

In case you are having moving-posts fatigue, I'm here to go on record that this will be the very last post about this for a very long time, 'cuz

It's time to move on.......

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moving Was The Easy Part

Since we moved, I feel like my life has been a whirlwind, and honestly, I'm ready for it to stop.  I want to stop and enjoy our new place!

However, the house we moved out of has to be prepared and ready for the renters to move in at the beginning of March.  So we can't stop just yet. 

This, the cleaning of the house we lived in for 9 years, it turns out, is harder than moving!

We have spent what seems like every spare moment of our lives scrubbing, wiping down, sweeping, painting, and all-around cleaning our old house.  It's a shame we are shining it up like this for other people when we would not even do it for ourselves!

That house is cleaner than it EVER was with us living in it.  I just hope our renters appreciate all this hard work!  But even if they don't, I will know we did it with the right motives.  I want them to be proud of their new house.   

I can't tell you how many times Brad has said to me, "Promise me we will not let our new place get into this shape."  My honest-to-goodness response is, "I'll try." 

And I will.  But I'm not the very best housekeeper in the world.  But I'll try. 

I think after just 1 or 2 good days of work at the old house, it'll be ready.  BTW, I have painted every doorframe in that house, except the ones with the kids' growth charts on them

Thanks for reading, and have a blessed day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Are In

Saturday was moving day, and the very first thing I want to do is thank everyone who helped us move.  Clay, Brooks, and Ronnie helped Brad move the furniture.  My mom, my sister, and my niece helped finish packing the kitchen and moving all the boxes and smaller stuff.  Jennifer P. helped by taking Poptart with them to the church for a little while and then helped me unpack in the new house.  I don't know what we would have done without every single one of you.  I think we would still be making trips - we certainly would not be as far along as we are right now. 

Moving is definitely hard work!  I know you all had other things you could have been doing on a Saturday morning/afternoon, but we are so glad you helped us.  We will return the favor anytime. 

The "old" house as we now call it needed alot of cleaning, and my mom and dad (yes, my dad.  He can sweep with the best of them) came down to clean.  That was a great help as well since I had to take Poptart to the doctor yesterday (strep throat).  I guess moving literally makes her sick.  She is missing school today too but will be back on the bus tomorrow morning, believe me. 

Thanks for the e-mails and phone calls during our move.  Now, I want every one of you to come visit us!  But maybe not all at the same time, it's still a pretty small house!

Have a blessed day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I've Been Waiting Three Years To Post This

Remember when I posted this back in August?  Well, I'm happy, happy, happy to tell you that Brad's first cousin has done his time and is getting out today!

Right now, as we speak, his wife should be there and the process should be underway for him to walk out of that prison. 

Brad and I are both waiting on our phone calls!  We can't wait to talk to him (without the lovely beeping in the background) for as long as we want, not just the allotted 15 minutes!

We have loved and supported them through this, and I want you to know it hasn't always been pretty or easy.  In fact, it's mostly been very hard and sometimes very, very ugly. 

Things aren't going to magically be "happily ever after" just because he is out, but as his wife has been saying lately, "Focus on the positives."  Sounds cliche, but in this situation, believe me, it's the best attitude for everyone involved.  There's plenty of negatives, but for today and each day following, let's all focus on the positives. 

And today, there is an easy positive to find - He is coming home! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Most Beautiful Sound In The World


After months of overnight sleep studies, clinic visits, and phone calls, there is finally silence. 

Brad got his CPAP machine yesterday, and last night, for the first time in YEARS, there was silence. 



Monday, February 7, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

This past weekend was quite a busy one, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the move. 

The kids were out of school Friday because of yet another non-producing ice storm we were to have.  I had agreed to take a good friend to the hospital for some oral surgery Friday morning, and although I was nervous about getting out on the roads at first, it ended up being fine, just like driving on a really, really rainy day.  Since the kids were out of school, Brad volunteered (gladly) to stay home from work and keep the kids entertained.  My friend's surgery went well, and she is recovering with a good bit of pain of course.  Hope you are feeling better today!

Gogurt spent the night with a friend Friday night, and Poptart was heartbroken she could not go as well.  She considers Gogurt's friends (especially this one) her friends as well, and she just can't quite understand why she cannot spend the night at the house of a 6th grade boy along  with her brother. 

To ease her hurt, I took her to see a local high school's performance of Annie.  I didn't tell her where we were going, only to get dressed and hop in the car! She was excited but since Poptart doesn't take to new situations all that easily, it immediately made her nervous.  She kept asking me where we were going.  I told her it was a secret.  She quickly blurted out emphatically, "I don't like secrets....'cuz I don't know how they end up!"  Hmmm, come to think of it, that's why I don't like secrets either, or any type of change for that matter. 

One we got there and she realized what was happening, she was perfectly fine.  The production was great, and we've been singing Annie songs all weekend long.  Poptart had only watched the movie Annie once, and it was just a few nights ago so we are new fans.  The song, "It's A Hard-Knocked Life" is perfect for her.  Poptart can tend to be dramatic about how "bad" her life is.  So now when she starts whining about something, I break into song.  It really annoys her.  But she stops the whining. 

Saturday was a day spent at a ladies conference at a local church.  And I'm kinda ashamed to admit it but when I got home, I basically sat and watched MSU play (and beat) LSU, barely.  Then Ole Miss came on and I watched them too.  What I'm trying to say is that I got nothing accomplished Saturday afternoon/evening/night.  I think we even ate cereal for supper that night.  Oh well. 

Sunday was a great day at church.  Unexpectedly, we brought 2 extra kids home with us from church.  It was great.  Each one of my kids had a playmate for the afternoon.  It wasn't a totally drama-free afternoon as my daughter had a breakdown after getting in some slight trouble for riding off without telling me where she was going.  She was crying and telling me she was never going anywhere for the rest of her life, not even to church.  I convinced her she was in fact going to church and we were leaving at that very moment.  Then, in the car, she kept saying, "I don't like myself, 'cuz I make bad choices."  Geez, where does she get this stuff? (And yes, I assured her we all make bad choices and she was still very much loved). 

I haven't forgotten that we are moving, but this past weekend was not devoted to that goal, not in the least.  Now I'm sitting here with a list of things I'm supposed to be doing.  Things that are devoted to the goal of being ready to load up on Saturday. 

I did finally tell one of our neighbors we were moving.  I believe he was sincere when he said he was sad to see us go, but I tried to lift his feelings by reminding him how much quieter it would be across the street now without the never-ending yard full of kids playing army/football/etc.  He said quieter wasn't always a good thing.  Awwwww, sweet. 

I am going to really, really try to post more this week than I normally do.  So check back often, k?  It's a big weekend for our family, and for more than just one reason!

Y'all have a great day!