Sunday, December 14, 2008

Turkey and Dressing

Clay and I provided the turkey and dressing for a Progressive Dinner we had with friends this weekend. We had fun preparing the dishes together!

The turkey was completely FREE with a Kroger coupon (no purchase necessary)
Clay injected it with Tony's Injectable Marinade in Honey Bacon BBQ. He let it cook for several hours at 325 degrees. Clay also made a yummy turkey gravy.
The platter is on loan from my mom. Isn't it beautiful?
I made my mom's yummy chicken and cornbread dressing.
It is the BEST dressing you will ever have. It can be a meal all on it's on. Here's the recipe which will feed a large crowd. You can half the recipe for a smaller gathering.
Chicken and Cornbread Dressing
1 whole fryer (I use 4 large chicken breasts to save time OR you can use an already cooked
Rotisserie chicken to save even more time :)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped (I use 2 seasoning packs- frozen veggies- to save time)
1/2 cup butter
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 batches of cornbread (I use Jiffy corn muffin mix)
4-5 boiled eggs, chopped finely
1 bag of Fritos
2-3 cans of chicken broth (I use about 30 oz.)
Boil eggs and set aside. Make cornbread and set aside. If using whole fryer, boil chicken in water, allow to cool, and debone. If using chicken breasts, cut into small chunks and cook over medium heat in large stock pot. Remove meat when meat turns white and is no longer pink. Add butter and veggies. Saute over medium heat until veggies are clear. Add meat back to pot. Stir in cream of mushroom soup. Add chopped boiled eggs. Break up chunks of cornbread and stir into soupy mixture. Crush bag of Fritos with hands and pour chips into mixture. Add chicken broth slowly. Stir often and stop adding broth when mixture appears creamy. You do not want it to be soupy. Place the dressing in a large casserole dish. It can either be refrigerated overnight or baked right away. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes with foil cover. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve with turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Enjoy!

God's Provision

A local men's Sunday School class serve the Lord by giving food to seminary families in need. We were the blessed recepients of this month's bounty. Two huge boxes of food were delivered to our door for FREE on Saturday morning. We were so surprised and honored to be given so much.

These groceries would be helpful no matter what, but they are especially helpful this month. Clay will be taking off of work so that we can travel home and spend time with family the week of Christmas. No work=no pay. These full boxes are just another way that God provides for our every need.
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
-Matthew 6:25-27

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

here's one of our recent dinners of beef stew over rice and cornbread
do you like my new Christmas dishes?? i got them at dollar tree! 4 bowls, 4 plates, and 4 place mats- $12!
Weekly Menu
Tuesday-- Oatmeal w/ brown sugar and cinnamon
Wednesday-- Sausage and biscuits
Thursday-- Yogurt parfaits and bagels
Friday-- Banana/PB Smoothies and toast
Saturday-- Pancakes and bacon
Sunday-- Eggs and toast
Monday-- Cereal
Tuesday-- Thursday -- Sandwiches/leftovers
Friday-- Clay's Work Christmas Lunch
Saturday-- Sandwiches/leftovers
Sunday-- Leftovers
Monday-- Sandwiches/leftovers
Tuesday-- Breakfast for Dinner- Sausage/egg skillet, potatoes, and biscuits
Wednesday-- Church Christmas Dinner- bringing corn casserole
Thursday-- Enchiladas and corn
Friday-- Homemade pizza and Chocolate-chip cookies
Saturday-- Progressive Dinner w/ friends- bringing FREE turkey and cornbread dressing
Sunday-- Cookie Exchange Party- bringing 2 dozen chocolate/peanut-butter cups
Monday-- Chicken Parmesan, pasta and sauce, broccoli, and TX toast

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tuesday Shopping Trip and Menu Plan

I know this posting is super late, but I thought I'd go ahead and share my shopping trip from this week and our menu plan.
I went to Town Talk and Wal-Mart on Tuesday. There weren't many good sales in the fliers. I guess all the good deals occurred last week for Thanksgiving, so all the stores were being skimpy this week. I still found some great deals at Town Talk and did some pretty good price-matching on produce at Wal-Mart.

How did I spend $10. 65 at Town Talk and get all this?
1. 8 apples = $1
2. 3 plum tomatoes = $1
3. Lipton Ranch Seasoning (2 packs) = $.89
4. 3 packs of Taco Bell Taco Seasoning = 3/$1
5. 3 packs of McCormick Enchilada Seasoning = 3/$1
6. Imagine Organic Beef Broth = $1.59
7. Del Monte Carrots (1/2 off of $.69) = $.35
8. 2 cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup (1/2 off of $.99) = $.50 x 2 = $1
9. 1 can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (1/2 off of $.99) = $.50 (this is
usually over $1 a can!)
10. 1 can of Campbell's Tomato Soup (1/2 off of $.99) = $.50
11. 1 pack of Terra Kettle's Krinkle Cut Chips = $.79
12. 1 box of Betty Crocker Sour Cream Potatoes (1/2 off of $.99) = $.50
13. 1 11 oz. pkg. of Nestle Butterscotch Morsels = $.79
Total = $10.65 (no food tax in TX)
Menu Plan for 12.2.08-12.8.08
Tuesday - Cereal and milk
Wednesday - Oatmeal with apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon
Thursday - Yogurt parfaits and bagels with cream cheese
Friday - Eggs and Toast
Saturday - Beignets (my dad sent me home with Cafe' Du Monde's Beignet mix from New
Orleans :)
Sunday - Breakfast Burritos
Monday - Cereal
Tuesday - Sandwiches/leftovers
Wednesday - Sandwiches/leftovers
Thursday - Day date with Clay! (Noah-sandwich at school)
Friday- Sandwiches/leftovers
Saturday - Sandwiches/leftovers
Sunday - Leftovers
Monday - Sandwiches/leftovers
Tuesday - Breakfast for Dinner- French toast, bacon, and apples
Wednesday - Church Care Group Meal - bring salad
Thursday - Taco Soup and Puppy Chow
Friday - Date with Clay (Wow 2 in 1 Week! Noah eats pizza at Kids' Night Out.)
Saturday - Chicken Mitchell (family recipe), green beans, and rolls
Sunday - Frozen Meal (probably Chili Colorado that my mom sent home with me :)
Monday - Beef Stew and Cornbread

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

i couldn't resist...

I had to snag these great deals! I got some of the ones I mentioned before (see previous post) and also got a few more!
*3 boxes of Chex cereal (can't wait for that Puppy Chow and Chex Mix :) = $3.98
*2 cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup - $.60 x 2 = $1.20
*2 cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup - $.60 x 2 = $1.20
*2 Green Giant Veggie Steamers- $.50 x 2 = $1.00
*3 cans of Green Giant Whole Kernel Corn - $.30 x 3 = $0.90
*3 cans of Green Giant Cut Green Beans- $.30 x 3 = $0.90
*2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls- $1.25 x 2 = $2.50
I also bought:
*Community Coffee (not on sale, but we can't do w/out :)- =$4.77
*2 cans of diced tomatoes- $.48 x 2 = $0.96
*4 cans of Swanson's Chicken Broth (on sale $.48 each + buy 4 save $.50)-
$.35 x 4 = $1.42
*5 boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix (price-matched $.39 each)- $.39 x 5 = $1.95
Total = $20.78

Thanksgiving Week Deals

I won't be doing any grocery shopping this week. Tomorrow the boys and I are going to Louisiana to visit family for Thanksgiving. Clay has opted to stay here and work, work, work, and study, study, study. I'll be making a big pot of Veggie Soup to get Clay through a couple of days. I do know about these deals though at Wal-Mart this week:

: Sweet Potatoes - $.25/lb. (I wish I wasn't missing this sale. If I had more time I'd get some and make mashed sweet potatoes to freeze for a later meal :)

:: Green Giant Veggie Steamers - $1 - (This isn't actually listed in our local flyer, but I've heard of this deal. You can also use $1 coupon from a recent Sunday paper insert and get it FREE!)

::: Campbell's Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken - $.60 each

:::: Stovetop Stuffing - $.98

::::: Green Giant Canned Vegetables - $.50 each (Albertson's has these 3/$1, so you could price-match at Wal-Mart and save even more!)

:::::: Pillsbury Crescent (or Cinnamon Rolls) - $1.50 each (Use 2 $.25/1 (Crescent Roll coupons) and get them $1.25 each.)

::::::: Chex Cereal - 3/$5 - (Use $1 wyb (when you buy) 2 coupon and get the cereal 3 for $4!)

Writing these deals out have inspired me to make a Wal-mart trip. Even if I can't use everything this week, a lot of these things can be stored for later use. I'm really craving some Puppy Chow now with that great Chex sale!

Did any of you find great Thanksgiving sales for this week? I'm really looking forward to shopping on Black Friday. I'll post my deals next week.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

shopping trip and weekly menu

I did my weekly grocery shopping yesterday. I shopped at Wal-mart where I did price-matching on mostly produce. I also shopped at a discount grocery store called Town Talk. It carries many items that are about to expire, overstock from popular grocery chains, discontinued items, etc. This was my first experience and I will definitely be returning for some great bargains!
I spent a little over $18 and got these great items at Town Talk!

1. 3 lbs. of organic onions --- $1
2. Back to Nature Cinnamon Graham Cracker Sticks--- $.50
3. Nilla Wafers --- $1.39 (still cheaper than normal!)
4. 2 pkgs. of Newman's Own Organic Alphabet Cookies --- $.50 each
5. Dare Baguettes --- $.50
6. Tyson Chicken Nuggets --- $2.95 (I passed these up at Wal-Mart because they were almost $5, so I decided to get them here. It's more than I like to pay, but they are easy and Noah loves them :)
7. Community Coffee (100 small bags) --- $2.99 (This wasn't a great deal. I was just excited to see Community Tea! I can buy the coffee here at several grocery stores, but still haven't been able to find the tea and creamer. Yea for Community products!
8. Tribe Organic Hummus --- $1.29
9. Owen's Breakfast Kolachies --- $1.99
10. Pillsbury French Bread --- $1
11. Weight Watchers Single Serving Cheese Snacks --- $1.29
12. Lander Kids Bubble Bath 50.7 fl. oz. (for my sweet Noah :) --- $1.99
Weekly Menu for Tuesday, November 18 - Monday, November 24
Tuesday- Cinnamon Toast and Fruit
Wednesday- Oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar
Thursday- Banana/Peanut Butter Smoothies and Toast
Friday- Eggs and Toast
Saturday - Breakfast at Wild Bills (Seminary Campus Cafe')- w/ FREE coupons
Sunday - Pancakes and Fruit
Monday- Breakfast Burritos
Tuesday- Friday --- Sandwiches/leftovers
Saturday- Chili Baked Potatoes
Sunday - Leftovers
Monday - Sandwiches/leftovers
Tuesday - Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Caesar Salad, and French Bread
Wednesday - Breakfast Quiche and Fruit
Thursday - Veggie Soup and Salad, leftover bread
Friday - Frito Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Saturday - Dinner at Friend's House- bring 2 loaves of French Bread
Sunday - Cheese Quesadillas and Refried Beans (leftover from pinto beans used in chili)
Monday - Chicken Parmesan, Pasta and Sauce, and Green Beans

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quick Breakfast

One of our favorite breakfast meals is a fruit and yogurt mix with crunchy topping. McDonald's makes an excellent Fruit and Yogurt Parfait complete with strawberries and blueberries and crunchy granola. And only $1, not bad! Several months ago I created one similar to it and served it to my family for breakfast. It was a big hit. Noah loves it, Clay loves it, and I love it- plus it's healthy too! Now it's one of our regular morning additions.
Fruit and Yogurt Mix with Bagels and Cream-cheese
Vanilla yogurt (I buy a large tub of it and it feeds around 3 people twice during the week)
Seasonal fruit (I use strawberries or blueberries in the spring/summer and apples in the fall/winter)
Granola or Cereal (I use Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Clusters cereal. You can find a recipe for homemade granola here.)
1. Place several scoops of yogurt in small bowl. (I sometimes use a glass bowl because it shows the layers better.)
2. Cut up seasonal fruit and add to bowl. (You can do this in layers or all at once. It depends on how pretty you want it to look!)
3. Top with granola or cereal.
4. Serve by itself or with bagels topped with cream cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kroger and CVS Deals

Here are my CVS and Kroger deals of the week!

I got these for items for a little over $11, which doesn't sound that great until you consider that I got $9.49 in ECBs to use next week! This was my first CVS experience and I will definitely be going back next week for more deals.
By the way, this toothpaste (Creast Pro-Health Whitening 4.2 oz.) is on sale the whole month of November. It's completely FREE! You buy it for $3.49 and get $3.49 in ECBs back!!
*You do have to have a CVS card for these deals*
1. The ground meat (Angus Premium Ground Beef) was on sale $1.99/lb. (with Kroger Plus Card). I had a Kroger coupon (these are sent in the mail for having a Plus card) for $1.50 off after spending $5 in the meat department.
End price= 4 lbs. for $7.57. (about $1.89/lb.)
2. The Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls were FREE with coupon.
3. The Crescent Rolls were on sale for $1.67 each. I had a coupon for $.75 off when you buy 2. End price=$2.59 for 2 cans
4. The Community Coffee was on sale for $3.99 for 12-16 oz. package. I had a coupon for $2 off (from the Sunday Paper)
End price= 16 oz. coffee for $1.99! It's usually almost $5 at Wal-mart!!

I also got some things at Wal-Mart. I did some price-matching on produce, but all-in-all didn't have that many deals. Nothing spectacular to post anyway.
Happy Shopping to everyone!

my meals

Here are a couple of my favorite meals recently:
Pinto beans, Squash Casserole, and Green Beans
We enjoy eating pinto beans pretty often at our house. They are extremely cheap and so easy. Great source of fiber too. I usually place the beans in the Crock Pot with some Tony's seasoning, add twice the amount of water as the beans, turn it on high and let it cook all day. By supper time you have a health and tasty meal!
Sometimes I make rice to go with the beans (i.e. Louisiana Red Beans and Rice :) and occasionally I add sausage if I have it on hand. This time I paired the pinto beans with my Nana's Squash Casserole (yum, yum) and green beans, cooked in bacon and onion.
Chicken Pot Pie and Green Bean Bundles

I added a cute turkey to the top of the pie for a fun Thanksgiving flair!

I received the Chicken Pot Pie recipe from my Aunt Tiger and the Green Bean Bundles recipe from my friend Melissa.

Friday, October 31, 2008

free chipotle burrito

Tonight was Free Burrito Night at Chipotle! We were able to receive free food for just dressing in foil from 5 p.m. until closing. I enjoyed my foil ponytail holder, foil bracelet, and foil choker. Noah was decked out with a cool foil hat. But the best family member was Clay. He was covered chest to knees in foil. He looked like a big burrito!
We enjoyed going to the same restuarant in August and received free burritoes for their back-to-school event for all Seminary students. The burritoes are HUGE! They are literally several pounds worth of food. Noah barely touched his tonight, so it looks like one of us has lunch for tomorrow as well. And the only cost of a meal for 3 (plus leftovers-not to mention a fun time!) was $1.60 at a local Family Dollar for a roll of aluminum foil!

Monday, October 20, 2008

pray for the daltons

Some good friends of ours left for West Africa on Friday to serve as missionaries with the IMB. The Dalton family is such a special family to us. When we first moved here, over 2 years ago, Billy Dalton, was the first person we met. We had to make a call to the Seminary to find out what to do with the loads of moving boxes we had piling up in our living room and in our front yard. Since this was a Sunday the only department available was the Security Dept. Billy was working this particular Sunday and came over to our house to help us out. He gave us all the ins and outs of proper box disposal. But more importantly, he gave Clay his phone number and said that if we needed anything to give him a call. He also mentioned that the Security Dept. was hiring if Clay was looking for a job. Of course Clay was looking for a job! We moved to Fort Worth with a 12 day old baby and needed some income badly. Clay did end up contacting the Security Dept. and landed a job as a Security Dispatcher. This job got us through our first year of seminary life!
While Clay was being trained as a dispatcher, he had to make a few rounds with Billy to get more familiar with the campus. Billy introduced Clay to Christ the Redeemer Church, which has been our church home since September 2006. On our first Sunday at Redeemer Church, I met Heather Dalton. Heather and I served as Nursery Coordinators and one-year-old sunday school co-leaders together. During this time we spent a lot of moments learning from each other and laughing together. Not only was she a ministry partner, but a great friend as well. I learned a lot of great advice from a more seasoned mom than myself. Their children, Leianna, Caleb, and Nyah are also very important to our family. Noah and Caleb are the same age so they were quite the buds. They both have a pretty mean arm when it comes to baseball!
Here is a picture of Noah, Leianna, and Caleb. This picture was taken in May when they moved from Fort Worth to South Carolina to visit their family for the summer before moving overseas.

You can visit the Daltons' website at and find out how to pray for them.
We love you Dalton Family!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

great deals

Clay and I pray often that we will be good stewards with our budget. I get so excited about a good deal! I went to Kroger and Wal-Mart today. I usually only go to one store, but Noah was in school today, so I didn't mind making 2 stops with just one kiddo in tow :)
I called Clay several times during my excursion to check my math. Nothing bothers me more than getting to the register and not getting the deal I was anticipating. I used coupons at Kroger and price-matching at Wal-Mart. Look below for details about my great savings!
This bag of mini-ricecakes was on sale for $2 at Wal-Mart. I used a coupon for $1.50 off any package of Orville Redenbacher's mini-ricecakes that I received last week in a mom's package (free) while shopping at the same store. So, my end price was 50 cents!
I divided the large bag into 13 single serving bags. That means that each single serving is less than 5 cents. Wow- what a deal!
I received some coupons in the mail for having a Kroger Plus Card and used them on things that were on my list. The ground meat (Angus Premium) was on sale for $1.67/lb. I had a coupon that if I bought $5 worth of beef I got $1.50 off. One pound of this beef is usually over $4. I got 3 1/2 lbs. for $6!! Another coupon was for $2.50 off $10 of fresh poultry. Each package of 2 1/2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins was half off for using my Plus Card. Then I also used my coupon, so I ended up getting 7.5 lbs. of chicken for about $10. That's approximately 75 cents/lb.!!! My coupons also allowed me to get FREE strawberries and an 8 pack of Gatorade. I got a total of 14 items. I spent $20.96 and saved $47.57!! I call that a deal!

my lil' artist craft

I was googling one day looking for Christmas gift ideas and came across a fun craft for displaying children's artwork. I'm always looking for fun ways to show off Noah's cute drawings and paintings. Magnets just don't do the trick. This inexpensive project was just the ticket for my fridge!
i also made a couple to give to my mom and sister
Instructions for Making Art Hanger
You will need:
1. 1 paint stick (free in paint dept. at Wal-mart or any store that sells paint)
2. craft paint (color of your choosing)
3. paint brush
4. permanent marker or paint pen
5. 3 clothespins
6. adhesive magnetic tape
7. wood glue or craft glue
8. scissors
What to do:
1. paint stick and clothespins with craft paint, allow to dry; you may want to paint a second coat
2. glue the clothespins onto the paint stick- one on the left, one in the middle, and one on the right, spaced evenly across the stick
3. write message such as "my lil' artist" across the stick using marker
4. cut 3 strips of magnetic tape and apply to back of stick
5. stick to fridge and hang artwork!

first post

I've decided to have my own blog! I enjoy blogging about my boys (you can view that blog here)but I also have interests of my own! I plan to use this space to share my thoughts, ideas, recipes, crafts, questions, bible readings, etc. as they pertain to godly living. My goal, as in everything I do, is to give God all the glory. May He use me as a wife, mother, and homemaker to honor my family and others around me, including those that read this blog!