Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just a few of my favorite things....

So, one of my sister's best friend Valerie C (not to be confused with my good friend Valerie P) is a loyal reader (thanks girl!) and is SUPER crafty. I mean seriously, her jewelry looks like stuff you'd spend some REAL money on at a store. The premise of this post is to follow a couple of rules and do a blog meme. I've never understood what meme stood for in the blog world. I guess after 4 years I'm still learning.

So on to the meme...


1. Mention the person who nominated you. Be sure to check out her blog.

2. List six unimportant things that make you happy.

3. Tag six blogs, state the rules and notify them with a small comment on their blog.

So here we go:

1) I love being a mommy. It's not really 'unimportant,' but it does make me truly happy. I was meant to be a wife and mom, and it has literally changed my life. I love reading about parenting, practicing techniques, and being totally informed. I feel that Eric and I make the right decisions for our little family of 4....which leads to #2

2) I LOVE to read. I loved it when I was little, hated it in high school/college, and love it again. I've always been a fiction reader, and have occasionally ventured into nonfiction, via parenting books, breastfeeding/pregnancy books, couple/marriage/Christian books, bible studies, etc. I just love to soak up the information. Reading the past 7 months or so has actually hindered my #3....

3) I love to scrapbook. I started back in 2003. My mother in law introduced it to me and I love sitting around and looking at my old scrapbooks and pictures. I love when friends or family enjoy looking at them too. I was trying to get caught up before Micah was born, and was really getting a lot done last summer, but I haven't done anything now since last August!!

4) I LOVE Eric. He is perfect for me, we enjoy each others company. I love falling asleep with him every night. I love watching him teach our kids things. I love how patient and sweet he is with Cara (and Micah!). I love that I can listen to him and just be enough for him. I love that we agree on so much. I love that he has given up his spending ways so that we can live frugally and allow me to stay home with our kids. Love him!

5) I love breastfeeding. I should probably look into being a lactation consultant or something. I love it, and I love helping others do it. I love when people ask me questions about it (wink!), as if I know more than them! haha. I do have the most fun book about it that my friend Deanna gave me back when I was pregnant with Cara: "So that's what they're for" Hilarious! :)

6) I'll just end with lots of things I love. I love my dogs. I love getting mail. I love making money from very little. I love being frugal. I love planning parties. I love birthdays. I love teaching my kids about Jesus. I love the sweet coos of a 6 month (when did that happen??!?!?!) old and the sweet "I love you mommy" 's of an almost 3 year old. I love my sister and mine and Eric's family. I love my friends from baylor, santa fe, and Katy. I love KBC. I love NewGround. I love trying to grow a garden. I love my husband. I love my kids. I LOVE my God! :)

Ok, 6 blogs I read religiously: To all my friends who aren't on here (because I have about 50 or so I read), it's not personal, I just didn't think you'd do it, you've posted a lot lately, and I wanted to let you all read some blogs that I have discovered and love!)

1. The Happy Housewife. Love her blog, lots of good information on keeping your kids (all 7 of hers) entertained without a tv, she homeschools, she loves God, she makes bread from scratch, she's awesome :)

2. Money Saving Methods. She offers lots of advice on how to make, save, earn money for your family. I don't do all her things she posts, she's just a rockstar!! But a great daily read! And she's made me $2,500 so far, I will always be loyal :)

3. Julie Paquette. Friend who has moved away but we still keep up. I love that she's a mom of 3 under the age of 4, and is completely caught up with her scrapbooks. She takes some amazing pictures, and does even more amazing things with her photo editing software!! :)

4. Dave Jen Barnes. Friend from Baylor. Mommy of 3 little boys, again, amazing photographer. Pro-breastfeeding. She's the one who got me, after 2 years of reading her blog, to switch to cloth diapers and I love it!!! :) She's also very blunt and tells it how it is, which is one of the things I love about her!

5. Kingdom First Mom. Another great daily read, from Dallas! She balances deals with not overspending (read one of her recent posts on not CVSing too seriously). And she has a little 2 week old, he's precious!

6. Money Saving Mom. A GREAT website. She writes so much. She posts deals, she has lots of baking days, where she stocks her fridge (I love those, she gives great recipes. Valerie and I used a Super Power Muffin recipe we got from her website and it is YUMMY!), among tons of other things. She also has a blog!

Enjoy, and go read some good blogs :)

Signing Times DVDs??

Did I loan my Signing Times DVDs to anyone? I know I leant some to Aimee, but I'm pretty sure she gave them back. Now I can't find them. It may just be my organizational skills, but if I loaned them to you, could you PLEASE let me know I'm not going crazy? :)


Acts 1:14

Acs 1:14
Originally uploaded by mistylnewsome
Her 2nd verse. We've been working on this one for a few days, and today was the first time she remembered it all by herself (she needed a little help with the reference) :)

Free food day!

I called around, and the Dominos on West. Pkwy isn't participating, but the one at 2331 Fry Rd. Katy, TX 77449 is. If you go in and carry-out between 11-2, you can get a free Bread Bowl, their new 'creation.' Click here for more details, thanks Money Saving Mom (for both deals)!

Also, Baskin Robbins is hosting their 31 cent scoops tonight from 5-10 pm to honor America's firefighters! Click here for more information, and don't forget to donate when you go!! I haven't called yet, but there are a few around Katy, so I figure at least one of them will be participating :).

Oh, and just a side note, my 2 friends have both received their $500 gift cards!! You better get to some money making ;)

Jen, visit my two blog posts and about the gift cards :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

6 months

Micah had his 6 month visit today. He was 18 pounds 1 ounce (60th percentile), 27.75 inches long (87%) and head was 17.25 (50%). So now that he's over 18 pounds, his dosage for tylenol, etc is in the 12-23 month range (at 6 months). I guess that's right, because Cara, at 37 pounds (and 34 months) is in the 4-5 year old range ;) Here are a couple of pictures of Micah from the last few days.

It's hilarious, he's starting to suck his bottom lip in.

I distinctly remember his older sister doing it at 6 months....

just a little more pronounced!!

Cara's Verse

Originally uploaded by mistylnewsome
The Lord is my Strength!! :) Sorry, you can tell I was trying to guide her and she wanted no part of it! :)

Late Night Update

Yes, it's 4 am here. This post is for you Meredith. For more than one reason. We woke up because of what sounded like hail (and of course thunder), and a little black dog practically sitting on our heads scared silly. So, I go to look outside, and MAN, it seems like any minute the water will be in our back door! Our front door is pretty flooded, but sits higher than the back. One of the gutters in the front looks like it has busted as water is GUSHING over it. Mere--did the back ever flood when you lived here? Eric has done a pretty decent job uncovering about 6 french drains in our back yard, all of which have tree roots throughout them, and none of which actually work! :) Every time it rains like this, the water gets deeper and deeper, and now it's scary! The funny part is, I realized the computer was still on, so I was going to open it and shut it down in case of a power surge. 20 minutes later, here I am. We will see if our gardens we have planted survive this, it has been LOTS of water the past week or two.

So, what to write about? God, but of course. He has been working in our lives. I feel it, and so does Eric. Eric has taken ownership of our family's God time. He has always prayed with Cara before bed, and at dinner (I do it when he's not home throughout the day), but recently he has started helping her learn her bible verse (from the book we got her from Easter), he teaches our small group when it's our turn as a couple, he taught Cara's preschool class on Sunday when we were subbing for some friends (man was that fun and so cute to see Cara play with kids her age that we don't know as well). And Cara is really starting to remember things. We taught on Lazarus, and we colored a page with Mary, Martha, Jesus and Lazarus on it. Later that day we asked Cara about someone (I can't even remember what we were talking about) and instead of answering us correctly, she said, "Lazarus." :) haha.
I'll see if I can get some video of her posted online saying her first verse. It's really cute. I have been blessed with a great group of girls to share all my prayers and what God is doing in my life with. We started a 'women's accountability group a few months ago, and I love it. I have been so blessed!! It has opened me up to new women and their struggles, as well as made me speak up about mine. It has created communication on things I have previously kept to myself. I came home last night from it (it's also great to get out once every two weeks when the kids are in bed and just BE with other women without kiddos) and Eric and I had a great talk!!

In other news, I know NO ONE is going to believe it, but I still haven't had Micah's 6 month pictures taken!! I know. Usually I got THE day (so the 25th of the month), but I refuse to go on the weekends! They are super crowded and it takes forever. So yesterday was busy with the dentist, etc and today is Eric's mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Nana!!), so I need to bake a cake, among other things before tonight. So maybe Wednesday we'll go. This Saturday is Eric's 'spring trip' to Schlitterbahn in Galveston with his 7th and 8th graders. The kids and I get to go, I'm kinda excted!! Not about the whole being in a bathing suit in public thing, but about going to the park. I've never been.

Valerie and my day of cooking was awesome. Eric and Luke took turns wrangling the kids and they all did great. Luke came home and grilled YUMMY burgers for us (although no offense Luke, they don't look near as good as the cheddar butter burgers your wife put together for our freezer, ha!). The Newsomes arrived at the Pearsons house around 8:20 that morning, and after unloading my entire kitchen from the van, we got right to work. Val was a chopping machine. I started two crock pots, then went onto some mixing for baking. Our day wouldn't have gone half as smoothly as it did if my hubby hadn't cut up (some diced, others sliced) an entire 9 pound ham I cooked on Thursday!! We were soooo thankful we didn't have to do that. So far what we've tried has been good (mostly muffins and some homemade ham hot pocket things). I haven't made any of the dinners yet, because some of my deer meat thawed, so I cooked that last night. Plus, we'll be eating at his parents house tonight, so maybe Thursday we'll try a freezer meal. Val and I agreed we aren't claiming success until we eat the food, but man did it go rather smoothly and smell great as we were putting it together!! We were all done cooking at cleaning around 3:15/3:30 ish.

After that we went home and crashed. Oh wait, no, I jumped in the shower, we rushed around, and had chick fil a for dinner (I know, after cooking ALL day!), and headed to church for our ABF's scavenger hunt. Oh the fun we had. 2 of our neighbors probably think we're a little bit crazy for it (we had to get pictures of us with lots of random things, and among all the weird things we had at our house, my neighbors had even more!). Eric ended up with a strip of hair gone for the night (he has since finished that hair cut) and our yard STILL has a strip of grass gone. And now it's flooded, so we'll see when it gets mowed!! I am so thankful for our church and the body of believers we 'do life' with. God blessed us even more than I could have imagined by leading us here.

Oh, a couple of cute things....Cara loves Cinderella. She first saw it when we were up in Dallas and she was sick. Ashley pulled it out and we've been watching it ever since. She has her favorite parts (chapters 12 and 14 when the "birds are singing and the mice are singing") and her not so favorite parts (anything with the cat in it). And we've watched certain parts so often now, it's hilarious, as soon as she sees them (when they are fixing Cinderelly's dress), she asks for her tutu (thanks Erin!!) (and look at those shirley temple curls!!) and puts it on and dances around singing. Man is that a hard thing to get off when all of a sudden she has to go potty! :) haha. She also has recently discovered dress up (it's a good thing since her 3rd birthday party is going to be a tea party....with possibly dress up!), and literally just goes through my closet and pulls things off the hangers. Any cami or tank top she finds is instantly her bra, and has to be covered by another shirt (read: two things ending up in the floor of my closet and not on hangers).

And yes, those are Eric's shoes! :)

We had to explain to her the wedding part. She has always called all the princess movies (ok, she's seen cinderella and little mermaid) their "daddy" when they get married. Which I think is super cute, but we explained how they were getting married, and they were the girls husbands. So now, whenever Cinderella and Prince Charming are on the screen at the end, she's screaming "She's getting married!" I have to get it on film, it's hilarious. AND she thinks her nap mat cover is a wedding dress, because she always asks for it, so she can wear it 'like cinderelly and get married.' I have some cute pictures of her in it, on the camera.
And a couple of Micah Man. This was after a bath, Mommy tried to give him a mohawk...he doesn't have quite enough hair for that yet.
And since I'm a month behind and never posted it, here was his 5 month picture from JC Penney!

Monday, April 27, 2009

So happy for MckMama

Wow! Stellan is discharged and looking as happy as ever!! So glad God decided to let this little boy into my heart. He has been a blessing to pray for.

In other news, my little man turned SIX months on Saturday!! Can you believe it? We had a LAZY morning at home (aka not getting dressed until just before naps), then 'hit the town' for 2 birthday parties! He had a great day. I will post pics soon, and his stats will be coming up tomorrow when we get back from the doctor!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick Post

To offset my super long one. Cooking day = A SUCCESS! Freezer full. Fun was had. Kids behaved (for the most part). Forgot camera! Hilarious fun at church that evening with our ABF child care night. What a RIOT!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Unfrugal Misty strikes again!! And the Lord provides!

Wow, this has been an interesting week. This is also a super long post, but please read through the end!! Let me back track to the end of last week. You know from my previous posts that we had essentially put in a dog run on the side of our house. It has been working out GREAT for us. Less mess (mud/dirt) by the back door, less poop in the back yard, no dogs running through our new gardens, etc. However, it was NOT working out great for Riley. Did you know you could stress a dog out? Yeah, me neither (well, actually I did because Gweny stresses every time we move). I could tell because a few days after we made them start going outside over there, the diarrhea began. Over night. In the House. On my TILE. Yeah, if that wasn't bad ENOUGH, last Friday he decided to leave me a gift ON MY BED. Y.U.C.K. You've never seen someone gag so much as I was trying to clean that up. I got as much as I could off, sprayed spray and wash, vacuumed it a little, then headed to the dry cleaners. I was proud of myself for doing that, because my first instinct was to throw it away. I got it back today and it looks good as new. Thank God, because if it didn't, it would be in the trash! :)

So anyways, we thought he'd grow out of it. But alas, not the case. Monday morning, after taking him out and cleaning up the poop on the tile, I was trying to look at his behind when he came in to see if there were any remnants. He put his tail between his legs and sat down so I couldn't see. That's when I saw the blood on my tile. GREAT. How much is this going to cost? So, we hurried and got everyone in the car. We dropped Cara off a preschool and Riley at the vet. They finally called around 1 and said he had colitis, an inflammation of the intestines. Which is dogs is usually caused by bacteria (they ruled this out since he was just in for his yearly check up and shots) or stress. Funny conversation:

Vet: "Has Riley been stressed out lately"
Me: "Actualy yes, we put in a gate so he has less yard space, and I think it freaked him out."
Vet: "Yeah, that would probably do it."
Me: "Do you realize we're talking about a dog??!!?!"

Anyways, $150 later, we had a dog with shots and pills to take for a WEEK. Great, but not too bad. So, I go to pick Cara up and she is FREAKING out. She never does this at school. They said she wouldn't potty all day and she's been saying it hurts, and they ask what, and she holds her crotch. So, we go straight to Dr. Lentsch's office. She's crying and wants me to hold her (and carry in a 20 pound infant in the car seat because I knew I'd have to deal with her), so yea for 60 pounds, at least I got in a short workout. They call us back and she's freaking and starts doing the potty dance. The nurse gives me a cup and a wipe and sends us on our way. I can barely get her pants down before she starts going, so she didn't get wiped. But we did catch lots of pee in her cup. Helen checks her all out, goes and checks the results of the urine culture, and says she has the beginning of a UTI. She gets a prescription for an antibiotic (the one that I thought sent us to the emergency room last month....but thankfully she has had no reaction to so far after 3 doses) and is happy as a clam after she peed. I just have to brag for a minute. The next day I picked her up from preschool (where she peed twice like a champ thanks to some cranberry juice) and we were in the minivan driving home. She has been speaking in sentences for awhile, but I'm just amazed at her memory these days. She says, "Mommy, do we have to go see Dr. Lentsch (she pronounced it like lunch) and go pee pee in the potty in the white cup to make me feel better." "Haha, no sweetie, we don't today, she made you feel better yesterday." "Yeah Mommy, Dr. Lentsch made me feel better yesterday, we don't have to go see her today." Not that big of a deal, but I'm surprised she had time to remember what color the cup was. Oh, and hilarious side note, as soon as she peed in it and we were wiping it off and washing our hands, she says, "Yucky yucky, we don't want to drink that." Yes baby, Thank God you know that! :)

So, Sunday night I had menu planned in what feels like forever. I was trying to stretch our dollar and use up what we had on hand. I always ask Eric what he wants for dinner when I'm planning, and for months it's been Mac and Cheese. Seriously? For dinner? So, this Monday I obliged and found Pioneer Woman's Mac N Cheese recipe. Wow. I'm sorry to say it Mom, but this mac n cheese was the best I've ever tasted!!! I still love my mom's recipe, but this was WOW. Totally unhealthy, but awesome!! I did use partial whole wheat macaroni, but still, I don't want to calculate the points, or total calories, or fat content. I just want to enjoy a night of homemade yummy deliciousness for dinner. Wow. Sorry, mouth still watering as I had leftovers for lunch today.

The reason I was trying to stretch our dollar is that I had quite a few things left I needed to buy for my friend Valerie and my first attempt at Once a Month Cooking, which we are doing tomorrow!! Eric is taking the day off (well, only in the sense he won't be at the school) and watching the 4 monsters as Val and I try to make 10 lunches, 15 dinners, and I think as many breakfasts. Luke will be home at noon for some relief, but by then it'll be almost naptime!! So, I was pretty proud of myself as I only overspent our grocery budget this month by $50, however, I have a stocked pantry, freezer, and will have over half our meals prepared for the month of May. Can I get down to my $150 budget goal for that month? It depends if I do the freezer cooking again and how much more I'd have to get for it. But I am hopeful!! I'm sure I'll post pictures, if I remember my camera, of our cooking day.

Ok, so onto the chronicles of Unfrugal Misty. I don't really count the dog incident, because it could not have been avoided. However, the money did still come out of the budget (from a different category, more on that later). So Wednesday morning. Playgroup zoo trip. Carpooling with Val. Kids dressed, me dressed, Micah nursed, lunches packed, dog pilled, 4 grocery bags loaded in the car to take to Vals, stroller and extra car seat loaded. Reverse, hit garage door button (uh oh), BAM!!!! AAAAAGGH!! (Me) "Mommy, what was DAT!!!!???! (Cara OVER and OVER). Yep, garage door crashed and shattered our back windshield. I calmly dialed Val, asked her to come pick me up. Left the kids in the car so I wouldn't have to worry about Cara walking in glass. Unloaded everything. Swept up the glass. Vacuumed car set and stroller so I wouldn't have Cara sitting in glass at the zoo/in the car. Telling Cara repeatedly Mommy's ok. As she recalls, "Mommy, the garage door came down and BANG the new car's window bye bye!!" Thanks honey. Val gets there, load everything, hit the button and hear the excrutiating sound of the garage door coming down filled with glass. YEA! Valerie couldn't believe how calm I was all day. I was in my head going "Ok, so $500? $1,000?? And we just built up our emergency fund again, great!" But I had a great time at the zoo with our playgroup. On the way home I kinda started freaking out about how much it would be. Got home, put Cara down for a nap, emailed, read facebook, tried to put off calling for an estimate. Can you believe I didn't take any pictures??? I called Christian Brothers here in Katy for people to call, they are so NICE! Called two people, and got someone to come to MY HOUSE here THIS MORNING to install and CLEAN THE MESS for only $150!! Hallelujia, Praise God!! I mentioned previously how 3 of my tax clients overpaid. Did I mention it was by $280? Do you see how that is almost exactly enough to cover my windshield and the vet bill???? God is so good. If only we hadn't had that ($20) celebratory dinner at Spring Creek BBQ. We'd be right on track.

For those of you that are wondering, ok, you're $50 over budget on groceries, how are you making this work. Well, we are in saving mode. Yes, we still owe on the minivan, and the plan was to have that paid off in July (only 14 payments!) by using Dave Ramsey's debt snowball (well, that's our only debt, so we went from building our emergency fund, to focusing on that). However, when Cara had her hospital stay, I knew that would change. So far we have received no bills, but have seen all but one (the big one) EOB on our aetna navigator, which totals around $1,600. We are still waiting for the EOB from the downtown hospital that was the overnight stay. Yes, the $1,600 only includes the 3 hour ER stay, the hospital ride, some x-rays, etc in Katy. Some was covered by our health fund, then the rest 'helped us' reach our deductible, so the nice thing is we'll only owe 25% of Aetna's rate on the 'big bill.' All this to tell you we are taking all our extra funds for the months coming (plus March and April) and putting it in savings to pay off the health bills as soon as we get them. Which means, yes, I overspent, and that'll be just $50 less that goes in savings. But hopefully it'll help me spend less on groceries next month and have even more to save. Man, I wish I'd know when these bills are coming. My friend's daughter had hernia surgery last November at Katy Hermann, and she didn't get a bill until March. If that's the norm, then we wouldn't get one until August, which would be right around when I'm getting my $1,500 online offer check!! :) But since I don't know, I want to save the money right NOW! UGH.

Anyways, so that's a lengthy update. Still praying for Stellan and the Johnsons. Also praying I get Micah on a more predictable schedule. He's eating like a CHAMP. So far he's had sweet potatoes, bananas, avocado and plums. I've got pears I need to puree next, and then we start (on Saturday when he reaches 6 months) our 'Super Porridge!" Ok, that's all for now :) I have lots of cute videos of Cara saying her new bible verse, will post once I get them on my computer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Coveting your prayers

Things are going on in our house. Cara has the start of a UTI. My dog is on meds...ugh...more on that later. But, I am coveting your prayers for 2 families. One, for baby Stellan. If you read my blog, you know who I'm talking about. Cara and I are sporting the Orange today for him. Although, just in dropping her at preschool 3 people commenting on how cute we are for He's in heart surgery right now!!
Also, pray for my friend Audrey, who lost her 2 step-sons 2 days ago in a car wreck. Her husband is away dealing with the deaths and funeral arrangements, and I'm sure she feels helpless because she can't travel (3rd trimester with 2 littles at home). Just please lift up a prayer today! There is power in God!!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This is my 401st post! Wow, that's a lot of random STUFF!

Ok, I'm totally supposed to be cleaning my house for girl's night tonight, but as you can tell, I'm not. I would rather be in bed as I have just been EXHAUSTED the past few days, but alas, the sheets are in the dryer and the bed is not made!! So, if you are coming to girls night tonight, don't judge me.

Back to the exhausted part....I actually thought I might be pregnant. I've been thinking it for a week or 2, and couldn't get it out of my brain. This next part of the sentence may be a little TMI, but I have only had 11 periods since September 2005!! Got pregnant, nursed for a year, tried for 10 months, got pregnant again, still nursing = only 11 periods in 3.5 years. I'm not complaining, it just makes it hard to tell these things. To relieve the I'm not! I actually (used a walgreens gift card) and bought a couple tests last night, and took one around 5:15 this morning. I think Micah woke up, but he got quiet again real quick, I went ahead and got up and took it, so I would just know. It was negative, and I was bummed. I know, I only have a (almost) 6 month old. I LOVE that baby and really want to enjoy his baby-hood, which is why we weren't going to start 'trying' until later this year. And we haven't been trying or tracking or anything, so I really had no reason to think I was, except the exhaustion. My face didn't even break out (which is always does when I'm pregnant), so I shouldn't have wasted the $10, but I just wanted to know. I feel like I'm rambling. Just know, I'm not pregnant, and I'm a little bummed about it. For reasons known yet unspoken, and unknown!!

We have been busy beavers in the Newsome home, which is why I haven't been online much. Last weekend Eric had Friday and Monday off, it was GLORIOUS! We worked in the yard (thanks to my almost free $500 Lowe's gift card) ALL day on Friday and Monday. Eric installed a chain link fence, which keeps the dogs in just one tiny part of the yard. This way, there will be less poop in the back yard so Cara can actually run around and play. We put in a garden with blueberries, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, spinach, beets, butternut squash, basil and carrots. I think that's it. Oh, and green onions. I totally cleaned out the front bed, tore out some old bushes, pulled weeds, and now I STILL need to plant some bushes out there. We put a flower garden in another little back yard bed. Eric built a new wood gate to our privay fence, which he (and I) are very proud of! We just overall got lots done to beautify the outside, and we just love it. I love sitting out in the back yard after (or during) dinner watching Cara play (when it's not raining). It is just so pretty now a days. We were driving today and I said, "It's so pretty outside" and Cara said, "It's just Gorgeous!" Gotta love Fancy Nancy teaching her all those big words! Although, it wasn't pretty in the sense it was sunshiny (it was cloudy and about to rain), but it was nice and COOL!

Micah is a moving machine. He isn't crawling yet, but scoots and pushes himself backwards all over the place. He is rolling still all around, and he talks NON stop. I only thought Cara talked a lot....oh I'm DOOMED! :)

Eric got sweepstakes at UIL this year...both bands! He was very excited as this is his first time ever teaching junior high, and the first year this school was opened! It means they got straight 1s (the highest you can get) on both stage and sight reading. Yea baby!

I'm finally through with tax returns, and can return now to having evenings to 'myself.' I was diong really well last week getting up in the mornings and getting my quiet time and shower in before the kids woke up. I really felt God pulling me towards Him and just felt things changing in my life. This week hasn't been as good (I haven't been as faithful), but I still feel the tug. I know He's right there waiting for me to return, and I can't wait to do it! There are so many bible studies I'd like to do, so I really want to focus on that a couple nights a week now.

I'm still saving and earning money like crazy (or trying to). I only spent $17 at the grocery store this week because of my stocking up. I got some fruits/veggies/milk, etc. Also, God has been so faithful to us even when we haven't been the best stewards. I guess He knows how hard we're trying! The last 3 clients that I finished taxes sent me their checks and OVER paid me, on purpose! It was amazing to get those checks in the mail, with their notes of encouragement. God truly does provide. Eric and the kids and I even went to Spring Creek BBQ last night as a sort of 'celebration.' Tax season is over, we had a little extra money (which my grandpa instructed us to use to treat ourselves), and we refinanced our house yesterday, for a much lower rate and shorter term....yea!!

Ok, this is a totally random 401st post....which most of mine are. I promise, once I get some energy back (hopefully I'll get to sleep in tomorrow...I need to make sure Eric reads this post tonight!) :), I'll be on here more and more. Oh, and I made some great little mini meat loaf muffins the other night for dinner, want to share my recipe. Although, I didn't measure anything, I just threw it in, but here is what it was:

1.25 pounds ground beef
1 egg
couple tablespoons salsa
1 long grated carrot
1/2 or so grated onion
bread crumbs. I didn't have any, so I froze a couple pieces of bread, then put them in the food processor

I think that was it. Put them in a muffin pan and cook for 30 mins at 350. Yum-o!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It feels like forever...followed by HALLELUIA!

Whoa oh oh oh. Ok, that's a song, but even though I posted 2 days ago, it feels like I haven't really been on my blog in a long time. And the reason for that is last minute tax season JUNK. Usually I'm done far before 4/15. This year....4/14 at 9:30 pm. NEVER AGAIN. Thanks IKE for all the fun memories. Ok, I'm just so happy it's over. I gained a few clients, made some extra money, and now, onto some more fun Easter memories. These pictures--some are in order and some aren't--and I'm too lazy to move them, so here you go:
After Eric got home from playing in the 3 services on Sunday, we dyed some camo eggs. I actually don't have a pic of them when we were finished, but they were cute. They are actually still sitting on my counter....guess I could take a pic. Once eggs are hard boiled do they have to be refridgerated? I should probably throw them out...huh?

Daddy helping sweet. I'd put the pictures of Cara and I and Micah and I (english?) on here, but I had a bit of a cleavage no blog photo op for mommy.

This is a random picture from today of Micah's first time in the jumpy thing. He's such a cutie. I also got a couple pics tonight of his momma made mohawk. Will share later.

After naps on Easter, we went to Eric's parents house for dinner and an egg hunt. It was such gorgeous weather after the t-storms in the morning. I got a few quick cute pics of the kids. Micah has been practicing sitting up on his own for a week or so...

Oh, and Cara saw all Nana's stamps (she sells Stamping Up) and wanted to do it, so we have yet another future crafter in our midst!! :) (PS, if you're in NewGround and reading this....scrapbook night is this friday at my house!)

More cute pics of the kids.

Cara ready to go find some eggs.

She was putting grass on his head, and he thought it was HILARIOUS! :)

The kids with Nana and Grandad. And the Eggs. We can't go anywhere without them.....except mommy hid them overnight last night and now she can't find them ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Happy Easter to all! Eric is currently at church playing in his 4th out of 5 services. We went last night at 5pm, and Pastor Alex preached a great sermon! It was all about biblical HOPE! 1 Peter 1 is a great chapter to read about our living hope. Not in something, but in someone - Jesus Christ!! And oh how I love that Chris Tomlin song "I Will Rise." We had our new worship minister in view of call leading worship last night, and this was one of the songs he picked for us to sing. Yep, that was a YES vote from Misty! :)

Cara has been pacifier free for 2 days now, and it was a smooth transition. I think now that we can reason with her, and she knows she's a big girl, everything seems to be going nicely. Hopefully it will continue. This morning I woke up with Cara and we looked in our easter baskets from Mommy and Daddy. We got her some chocolate (always my fave growing up) and a "My First Bible Verses" book, that helps, with hand motions, teach bible verses. I got it at Mardels, which just opened in Katy. I have to not visit that store too many times, or my blow money will all go there!! :)

We just boiled some eggs, and are going to color 8 of them as soon as Daddy gets home. We have never done it before (either with Cara or, in the 8 years--almost--that we've been married!). This post is littered with pictures from last night at home and church (and this morning). Enjoy!

Oooh, and my reason for posting, if anyone has any recipes to use (8) hard boiled eggs in something besides egg salad, please email me or leave a comment. Thanks!!
Oh, and we can't forget Micah man and his Easter basket. It has his very first BPA free sippy cup ready to use!! :) and some chocolate for mommy! haha.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cara is pacifier free tonight!!

We've been talking for awhile, we know it's time for her to give it up at night-time. We didn't want to do a bunch of changes all at one time (we're going to be switching kids to same room this summer), so we decided the sooner the better. So tonight, as she was sitting on the potty before bed, having it in her mouth, and dropped it IN the toilet, I said, sorry, that has to go in the trash, adn it's the last one!! She got very upset, but once we got her snuggled into bed, she was ok. She fussed for a minute, then went to sleep!! We hope it keeps going this well, because last summer when we tried to take it away, some nights would be fine, and some nights she'd cry for an HOUR. So here's praying!

Also, Eric and I (and Cara) were very busy today! We planted a garden, Eric built a chain link gate/fence so the dogs will be blocked into only part of the yard (to keep cleanup easy and let Cara run free in the back yard). I don't have pictures on our digital camera, I really need to get it fixed. So I took some on an old disposable camera, which I'm trying to use up. We took it to the Astros home opener last Monday, and I really want to get the pictures developed!! I have 4 or 5 left to take I think.

We are having a last minute short garage sale tomorrow, here's hoping we sell some stuff!

Pictures are up!!

Go check out our family pictures in the bluebonnets!! :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Randall's Trip

I spent a little more than I had planned (by like $7), but I think I got an awful lot of meat. I plan on doing a once a month cooking day in a few weeks based on Once A Month Mom's April menu. So you stock up when things are on sale in April, and eat frozen meals in May. I know you might comment...where on earth is all your produce. All I bought was carrots and bananas. I have grapes, apples, and broccoli (and an onion) leftover from last week. Also, I bought 2 gallons of milk last week for $1.99/gallon, so I still have over 1 gallon left. The kids and I are going out of town tomorrow through Thursday, so I bought a few convenience items for Eric that I would normally not have purchased if I was going to be home (frozen pizza/lean cuisine), but he'll live ;). Ok here goes:

$.99 lucerne butter
$.99 cream cheese
$2.99 Molasses (for bread machine)
$3.15 instant milk (for bread machine)
$5 --2 Quaker true delights bars
-$2 (had 2 coupons) $1/coupon
$2 Helmann's mayo (coupon from 4/1 Randall's ad)
FREE Vitamin water (on sale for $1 had $1 coupon
$5.97 3 Kleenex
-$1 coupon (50cent doubled)
-$.99 randalls kleenex coupon
$1.49 Lucerne Eggs (coupon from Randall's ad for 18 count--not pictured)
$3-- 5 lunch meat packs (for eric)
$15.30 -- $1.99/lb bone in pork chops
$8.63 $1.17/lb Ham
$6.79 $1.99/lb chicken breast (boneless skinless)
$6.63 $1.99/lb chicken breast (boneless skinless)
$6.39 $1.99/lb chicken breast (boneless skinless)
$6.27 $1.99/lb chicken breast (boneless skinless)

$.75 bananas

$.98 baby carrots
$4 -- 2Lean Cuisines
$3.69 Red Baron Pizza (for eric while out of town)
$3.69 Red Baron Pizza
-$1 off 2 pizzas

-$10 off frozen food from my last trip

-$5 Randall's purchase over $50 from my Entertainment book
Total Spent: $69.02

Total SAVED: $85.25 = 55%!!

It was awesome. I didn't give her my Randall's card until after she rang everything up. Originally my total was $154!! I love it.

I have a (homemade frozen) lasagna in the oven now. We are going to eat at like 3:30 before we go to the Astros game tonight. Smart Misty thawed it thinking we'd be home for dinner and Eric could have leftovers. Good thing I didn't eat lunch yet!

Totally not pregnant and a bread machine!

Ok, So that last post was a little sketchy. No, I'm not pregnant (that I know of), just can't wait for another one. God has granted me with not remembering labor or the first month or I really can't wait to have another one in His timing. That's the hard part. Waiting to find out when that might be.

Also, one of the reasons I wrote that last post was to tell you I got a bread machine. No, I didn't have that many swagbucks yet, although I have earned close to $50 in gift cards. My mom was visiting my grandparents this weekend and mentioned that I wanted one. Well, they have one that they don't use much anymore, and once my grandma says she'd like to get rid of something (which is NEVER), my grandpa snatches it up and gets rid of it. I was the happy recipient of a lucky trip to Georgetown by my mom. I can't wait to try it out today!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lots of Randomness!!

Ok, I have to post things here so I don't forget them when I finally get back around to well as I wanted to share some things I've been reading about.

Ok #1 Micah has been doing awesome with the sweet potatoes. After being on them with no signs of allergies (and sleeping through the night again praise Jesus), we introduced mashed bananas today. He ate them up too. I LOVE this stage. When my baby is trying new things, trusting me fully, smiling at me with food down his chin. I just love me some baby! Can't wait for another one....oops, did I post that too soon?? :)

#2 I'm back in the menu planning/couponing game. Maybe I will post a pic tomorrow of all I got at my stores. I hope to at least. After a detour for an hour and a HALF on the phone tonight catching up with a too close to be so distant friend (man I needed that!), I finally sat down and planned out about 10 days worth of meals. Granted, I'll be out of town 2 nights of those, but Eric said he wanted to cook (we'll see how that goes) and I already have most stuff on hand for what he wants to make. Taxes have kicked my butt this year. Not because they're hard or I have too many (although the Ike casualty loss thing sucked this year), it's because I didn't treat it as a job and set aside specific time each week to work on them, so then I let them consume me any time I was on the computer (which as you can tell is a lot), so I got nothing done and felt like I was wasting time. I have 2 more to finish, and I already have a plan in place for next year.

#3 Here are some random websites I've been perusing and thought some of my readers might find interesting:
Once a month cooking:
Low Fat Recipes:
Balance between Easter (i.e. Celebrating Jesus' resurrection) and the bunny
The Happy Housewife. I love this woman's blog, and she JUST had a baby (4 weeks early). So, in addition to pray for Stellan (man, talk about a rollercoaster!!), pray for sweet baby Cora, who they hope to bring home any day now, and the momma who has 7 kids now, and was almost to the point of needing a blood transfusion a few days ago!

#4 I am just so thankful for my friends. God truly blessed us by letting us settle in Katy, TX. I mean, I love my few high school friends I keep up with, and we LOVE visiting all our college friends up in Dallas and other places. We shared sweet memories growing up with those friends. But now, I have the privilege of raising my babies with God-fearing, church loving, cloth diapering (yea for a new convert! haha), baby making (not thinking I'm crazy for wanting 4+--ok, well some do), genuinely prayerful friends. I've met them through NewGround, women's bible study, playgroup, my new women's accountability group. I am surrounded by women (and men) who I can't wait for my daughter and son to look back on and remember the great time in their life when we all hung out together. I know it's crazy when you get 30 couples together with 60+ kids to watch the superbowl, or to have yet another pot-luck going away party. But I L.O.V.E. it. I love watching Cara know her friends and look forward to seeing them numerous times a week. I love it when we look at pictures and she names people like Hailee, Heidi, Sterling, & Hailee's Daddy. Or Jack, Sam, Balerie (for Valerie) and Jack's Daddy ;) It used to be Balerie's daddy, she finaly figured out it's actually Jack's. Or Kaeli, Avery, Bryan and Kaeli's mommy :) She can only remember one parental figure's name I guess.

Ok, this was totally random, but wanted to remember that today was the day we started bananas :)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Big day in the Newsome house!

So when Micah was born I wanted to try to make it to 6 months before feeding him 'solid' foods. I started Cara right before 5 months, on and off, wasn't very good at it until she got sick at 6 months. I thought it would make her sleep better, only to have it constipate her (I used the store bought rice cereal for a week or two before I found out about Super Baby Food). This time around, I was going to try to make it to 6 months. Well, we made it 5 months and 8 days...not too bad :). I actually got my book back from a friend on Saturday and was reading through again the first feeding/first foods part that evening, just to remind myself of stuff. Here was part of the list to know when your child is ready:

1) Your pediatrician gives you the ok--Check!
2) Your child is almost double his birthweight, or weighs at least 12 pounds--Check!
3) Your child wants to start eating MORE frequently--CHECK!! The past two days he rarely makes it 3-3.5 hours like he used to!
4) Your child starts adding back a feeding at night--DOUBLE CHECK!! I haven't posted about it, but since last week, he's started waking up again between 10 and 11 to have one last feeding...then he wakes up again between 5:30 and 6:30 am!! He was sleeping 7-7, and now, no matter what we try, he will not go back to sleep, he's so hungry.

I had bought some sweet potatoes and bananas for first foods. It depended on if I had time to make the sweet potatoes before we were ready, or if the bananas would be ripe enough. So, after last night, I just knew today was the day. I was trying to hold off until a Saturday when Eric would be home in the morning (in case of allergic reactions, I like to add first time babies try a food in the morning)....but since he has UIL this Saturday, that would be NEXT Saturday, and MOMMY couldn't make it that long! :)

So, during Micah's first nap Cara and I cooked and pureed 2 sweet potatoes. I got 2 ice cube trays out of it. I took one small cube and some thawed breast milk, and made this concoction:

As soon as Micah woke up from his nap....early but of course...I nursed him on one side, then plopped him in his high chair (after texting Eric and making sure it was ok I did this without him). Here was the picture of his VERY first bite:

Cute little grin after a couple of bites.

And my favorite picture of all:

All in all, it went very well. I can tell he was definitely ready to eat. Yea for a new milestone!

Cloth Diapering questions answered:

I updated my CD post with answers to some questions, in case you are wondering, click here, or just scroll down!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Series...Things I wish I knew then....

Ok, so all these other blogs I read have series that they do. And I'm totally addicted. If I happen to be on twitter for the 1,000th time that day seeing if MckMama has posted something new, and I see they have a new post in their series, especially the Happy Housewife's meeting her husband series, I stop EVERYTHING and go read. Or if MckMama posts new how to use your camera/edit pictures post, I love them.

And recently, I've had lots of questions (in real life and via email/blog/twitter, etc) about budgeting, cloth diapering, saving money, couponing, etc. I am by NO means an expert, or perfect when it comes to our budget. Just ask our emergency fund! But I do love and follow Dave Ramsey's 7 baby steps. I think it's an easy plan to follow, and I LOVE getting people started on their journey. I also wish I had read that book back in high school or college. I always say, if only I knew then what I know now. So, that's my new series. As I remember things, I will post them on my blog, hoping someone out there misses some pitfalls that we fell into, such as....

It's never worth it to buy a $6,000 water softener system unless you have the cash specifically set aside for it. (right mere!)

It's OK (and awesome) to buy a used car for CASH and drive it till it dies.

I wish I had known when we purchased our first house about 15 year flat rate mortgages. I also wish we had waited until we could AFFORD one to buy our 1st house (and am glad we are getting one on our current house).

You do not have to spend over $150 a week on groceries to get by, especially PRE-kids. You can (as I have done each month this year so far) totally skip a week of grocery shopping and live out of your pantry (if you buy things when they are cheapest and stock up).

Handmade cards are cool and cheap. You don't have to have a $3 card on every gift. And they don't have to be fancy to be appreciated.

Of course I wish I'd known how EASY cloth diapers were before I had Cara.

Oh and how I wish I'd known about baby wearing and slings and rings and wraps before Cara.

To be obedient is to tithe 10%. If you have never done it, start now! The minute we became 'gazelle intense' in our budget, and starting tithing 10% each month for the first time in our lives, we couldn't believe how every month we were able to do that AND pay down debt. We paid off $22,000 in 2.5 months! Yes, we sold 2 cars and bought beaters, but through all of that, we were obedient to God and he blessed us more than we could imagine.

If you ever think you may have kids one day--next year or next decade--try to live on one income. Throw the rest into savings (after all your debt is gone). Even if you think in a million years there's no way you'd want or be able to stay home with the kids. Promise, a baby does truly change everything! If you end up not wanting or being able to stay home, look how far ahead you are financially!

Love God, Love People and Equip the Generations! That's our church's motto and a pretty sweet thing to try to live by in my opinion.
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