Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's for Dinner? 8-18-14 through 8-25-2014



I decided I would have a theme night for most days of the week to add variety.  However, I am a little bit of a free spirit and can not have Spaghetti every week or Mexican night every Wednesday.  So which night is which theme will vary from week to week.  But I thought it would be helpful as I plan my week out to have the easier meals/crockpot meals be on busier days.  Planning also will help me so I can either start cooking dinner in the morning if I have down time or take meat out to thaw the night before.  However, unexpected things come up on days that would otherwise not be busy and for those days; freezer cooking or a frozen skillet meal will do in a pinch.

Monday - Italian - Spaghetti and Green Beans and leftover birthday cake for dessert

Tuesday - Breakfast for Dinner - Waffles, eggs, and bacon

Wednesday - Steak or Burgers- Quick Stew Meat Over Rice and Green Beans

Thursday - Mexican/Salad - Walking Tacos

Friday - Pizza - Frozen Freschetta Pizza

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Cornbread Waffles with Chili and all the toppings (much like a taco salad)



                           




Grocery Haul 8-16-14

Another video, I have been filming the last two weeks but it took me this long to post it.  I will plan on having these up every Friday.  That way if it is a deal you can score where you leave you should still be able to go shopping.

This week I took my daughter, Hannah, with me. We went to JcPenney, Smith's, and CVS drugstore.  We spent a total of around $68 on all of our groceries.  My friend, runs a small food bank and had extras so I went to her house and picked up romaine lettuce, bread for the freezer, a couple bags of apple slices, and some bottles of dressing.


Grocery Haul 8-8-14





I decided to do something different and film my grocery haul.  I hope you enjoy it.  I am trying to stick to $125 a week for consumables (food and most everything else you buy at the grocery store).  On these trips, I went to my local Walmart Neighborhood Market and Smith's Grocery Store.  I spent around $84.  If you want me to post more videos let me know.

Thanks for following me on my money saving adventures. (:



Click here  to watch the video.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Hitting the Walls in Life

Surely, if the Berlin Wall can come down.  The smaller and seemingly impossible to knock down walls in our life can with persistence and patience come down too.

Just like exercise when we hit a wall if we keep moving we find that our energy increases and our capacity enlarges.  We are no longer fighting against our weaknesses and excuses.  We become stronger.  We gather more confidence for next time.  And sometimes when we hit the same wall again we start to make excuses and give up in our mind.  We must not stop we must not give up.

I have hit a wall the last weeks with my budget.  With great sales, one on toys, one on clothes, and another deal for Christmas and birthdays I overspent. In August, there are two of my kid's birthdays and 5 other family members with birthdays so the budget is not working.  We have hit a little wall but I will break it down.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hannah is Now THREE

This little girl is now three years old as of yesterday.  She now thinks she can drive, go on dates, and get married.  But we might just settle on taking her to Disneyland.  
 She has grown up so much in the last year.  Here she is taking a selfie, with Aunt Alyssa and her brother, Taylor
Meeting her brother, Ryan, for the first time, when he was a day old on August 18, 2013.

 Matchy matchy stripes
 Memorial Day Picnic with the Merkley Fam.  Cute Picture of Taylor, Hannah, and Madison.
 Impromptu science experiment on the front porch a couple weeks ago.  See below.  We were reading a book about rain and thought it would be fun to do something hands on.
Fun with sparklers, before the big firework show put on by Uncle Jeff in Great Grandpa Averett's backyard.
I love this girl.  I love having a daughter.  And feel so blessed to have her call me MAMA.

Slow down, Heaven Can Wait!

The title of this post sums up most of my thoughts.  Last night, I was running on the elliptical machine at the Rec Center.  I was trying to find a point to focus on.  I am right in front of some windows that overlook the big pool down below.  I decided to focus on a point in the ceiling beams right in front of me.

I started thinking about my Grandpa Merkley who passed away 5 years ago this August.  And I started running with the thought in mind, "Grandpa I am coming." (no, I do not have a death wish).  I just was excited thinking about someday being with my Grandpa again and wanting to live my life in such a way to be worthy of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  And to have the blessing of being with my family forever.

 I kept noticing  that the heart rate on the monitor kept beeping but I was in the running zone and did not pay much attention to it.  A couple minutes later I looked down and saw that my heart rate had gotten all the way up to 175 beats per minute.  YIKES!

I compare this too life.  Sometimes we get going too fast or have anxiety over our long to do list and all of our imperfections.  We end up tripping over our own feet or running ourselves into the ground.  Heavenly Father is often infinitely more patient with us than we are with ourselves.  He wants us to change and become better people.  And often the changing is the hard part.  While his divine love and help, he gives liberally to us.

At church on Sunday, in Relief Society, our women's meeting, a sister got up to bear her testimony and said something I just loved.  She said, it is not so much the destination or the end result but the process/the living that is important.  Definitely something to think about while keeping an eternal perspective in mind.  The process is what refines us; the process is the purpose of life; and the end result comes because of the process not in spite of it.

SLOW DOWN, HEAVEN CAN WAIT.  OR IN OTHER WORDS, SLOW DOWN, HEAVEN is WAITING.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Goals Update


Read the Book of Mormon as a family.  Study and read the scriptures.
We need to be better at this most nights Brian is at work and by the time bedtime rolls around.  I am spent.  Why does the whole process of bedtime seem to take 2-3 hours some nights?  I am continuing to study out of the scriptures and conference talks.  I recently listened to all of April conference while doing my cleaning job and working out.  I miss my scripture study group; but mainly miss my friends who have are now in Montana and France.
Get along with and love my family. I do love my husband and family. Do I sometimes lose my patience with my kids?  Are they mostly cute and good kids?  Yes.  Do I sometimes vent and whine to my husband? Yes.  Does he usually have patience with me and try to do everything to remedy the situation?  Yes.  We love each other and have fun.  But we are not perfect but we are trying to forgive and be better everyday.
Go to the temple once a month.  We are doing better at going to the temple.  I love the peaceful feeling there.  I loved being there with everyone when Logan and Haley were sealed in April.  I love that we have almost all gone on missions and married wonderful people.  My sister-in-laws are amazing.  My brothers have chosen well.
Run a 5k.  Not even close.  No, I have not done this.  I am working out on the elliptical at the Provo Rec Center.  My goal is to do a 5k on the elliptical/treadmill and keep my heart rate between 121 and 14o and do it in under 38 minutes. Right now, I am doing a 14.5 min mile on the elliptical on the treadmill so I need to get my time down a couple more minutes.
Lose 35 pounds. I am down about 8 pounds since the beginning of the year.  Why am I not losing weight?  I know most of the reasons.  I just wish it were easier. 
Invest in relationships with grandparents and great grandparents.  Yesterday we went to Great Grandma Sanders and played at the park.  We pulled plastic and and hose over to the park and the kids made a waterslide down the the hill.  Taylor even accidentally got Grandma wet.  Then we went back to her house, had popsicles, and made chocolate chip cookies.  Grandma Merkley has been at a friend's funeral in Nauvoo but we will get to spend more time with her next week when Jean, Elaine, and the cousins are in town.
Pay off debt and have savings.  We are now and still are debt free.  We are still saving just not as much as we were since we now have the expense of a second car.  We were able to get all the medical bills paid off in May.  Such a scary situation, we are so blessed to still have Ryan with us.  I will do a post on him soon.
Trade in car for SUV/minivan.  We bought a 2004 Izuzu Rodeo from Sean and Amy who will be moving to Pennsylvania in about 2 weeks.  The kids call it the big car and love to ride with the windows down.  It has already been broken in from Hannah peeing on the front seat (but we did professionally clean it) (:  We also took a trip up to the mountains which is a yearly tradition in such a beautiful place.  We still have the other car.  And unless we feel like we can't afford it anymore we will continue to have two cars.  
work on goals with my kids and husband.   This year we have accomplished a lot despite how little I feel like I get done on a day to day basis.  Yes, my house is a mess half the time.  And there are a lot of days, the kids and I look less than presentable.  But we are a work in progress and that is the important thing; we are working and actively working towards our goals everyday.