Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blahging...

Well, it's been a while. Why? I have no idea. So, what will I write about?

How about the weather? There be ice out there! Thank the Lord, we haven't lost power. But, many of our friends have. We've checked on several people and everyone seems OK at this point. Here's the irony... I have been contemplating a 72-hour emergency kit for a couple of weeks now. My goal for January is water. FEMA suggest a gallon of water per person, per day, minimum. So, that means I need a minimum of 21 gallons of water stored. The main question is how/where to store it. Thankfully, water is relatively cheap, and can be treated easily to store for a long time. But, you have to put it somewhere. I could do a bunch of bottled water, but that's more expensive. So, I think the easiest thing would be to go ahead and get some big water containers and put them in the basement. Of course, if there's snow outside, you have unlimited long as it isn't yellow :-)

What else? Kids? Zack got back for the inaugural parade last Friday. They had a super time and everyone stayed safe. It's amazing how one less person can create a totally different family dynamic. But, now everyone's home and momma is happy. School has been cancelled since Tuesday and they've already announced no school for tomorrow. We have been doing school anyway. Honestly, it's just easier to stay on schedule. And, that's a few days less in May that we'll need to make up! I'd rather do school when it's freezing outside than when it's beautiful and warm. Of course, the kids can't think that far in advance, so there's the usual complaining about "everyone else" getting a vacation. Don't worry though...I'm not THAT mean...they did get to play outside for a couple of hours today. But, doing school work keeps them busy and out of each other's hair. And, again, that makes momma happy.

What about you? What do you do with the kids on snow days?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adjusting My Clock


First things first: I went to bed Thursday night at 10:15. (If you missed my New Year's Challenge, you'll need to go back a couple of posts.) I woke up Friday morning at 6:30. OK, now I'm no dummy, but who knew it would be easier to get up early if you go to bed early? OK, maybe I am a dummy. But, I actually woke up without too much trouble. AND! Are you sitting down? I made WAFFLES for my family! My kids sang my praises as they squeezed cups full of sugary syrup over their hot, buttery towers of waffles. Now, I've heard that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, I could hardly keep my eyes open Friday evening... I'd been up since the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m. for heaven's sake! No reading in bed for me. I guess I'm "adjusting" my internal clock.

Today, I slept in. :-)

After I leisurely got myself together, I began cooking....and cooking....and cooking. Actually, there wasn't a lot of cooking, but more like a bunch of preparing. I had shopped for about 3 hours on Friday (maybe THAT'S why I was so tired Friday night...?) and had all my stuff ready to go. So, today I assembled 15 freezer meals. And, I have the supplies for 8 more meals that will go in my crock pot. AND, I have 4 lbs. of ground meat cooked and frozen for things like tacos, spaghetti sauce, etc... I cooked for about 4 1/2 hours with a break for lunch. It went really well! And, I've finally transferred all the food out of my old freezer into my new freezer! It runs like a dream! Speaking of dreams... hope yours are sweet. I'm off to bed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting my act together...

Basically, I'm a lazy person. That doesn't mean I don't work hard at doing things, but my nature is to take it easy... I won't go into my life's story and try to blame my mother for the way I turned out, but I have had to learn to run a home by trial and error...lots of error! And, believe me, our first several years of marriage were no bed of roses...poor Roger...he's a saint! Anyway, having lived a few years now, I know myself a little better and know that I operate best when there's structure in my day. As a matter of fact, I've been surprised at how calm and peaceful it can be when you set goals and boundaries in your life, not just with what you want to get done for the day, but in what you choose NOT to do (sports activities, church activities, computer,etc..). I was reading Crystal's blog and I've been re-inspired to get something in my life taken care of: My morning routine. I had mentioned in a previous post that I love to sleep. I like napping and can do it just about anywhere and at any time of the day. I like laying in bed after I wake up and just thinking... or praying... or listening to my Littles as the are getting around downstairs. Here's my dilemma... I have 5 children between the ages of 6-16. The bottom 4 are home schooled and my oldest goes to school. When they were younger, I taught them how to get their own breakfast. This was during the childbearing years when, between sleepless nights and nursing, my poor older kids wouldn't have had breakfast until 10:00 a.m. if they didn't learn how to do it themselves. However, this has allowed me to not have to be involved in breakfast...they can do it all by themselves. Well, now I feel like I'm missing out. I usually come downstairs as they are putting their dishes in the dishwasher (yes, we'll definitely continue with that!), but then my oldest is off to school while the younger are off to get ready for the day...etc... So, my little challenge to myself is to get myself up and downstairs to be a part of breakfast. Unfortunately, this means I'll need to get up earlier. Ohhhh, I wish I was a morning person. I WANT to be a morning person. In order to meet this goal, I will have to make myself go to bed earlier. So, here it is...
I, Trish Y., do solemnly promise to do my very, very hardest to go to bed no later than 10:30 each night. It's are my witness...
The rest of my oath...
--get up at 6:30 (quiet time and get dressed)
--7:00 - breakfast with family (unload dishwasher)
--7:30 - set out dinner, start a load of laundry, make sure kids are ready for the day, tidy kitchen
--8:00 - start school

What do you think? I'm going to start tonight, just to give myself a running start for next week. How is your morning routine? Any of you "morning people" have any tips on how to make the most of my mornings? Or, any of you "night owls" that have good morning do you do it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Today, I was working in the school room and I heard lovely giggling from the living room. I figured that Nate was playing with a sibling, or watching something on TV. I went in and found him sitting with a Calvin and Hobbes book, just laughing and laughing... Sweet. I was even able to snap his picture before he realized it. I remember how much I loved those kinds of humorous books when I was a kid, but my books were Charlie Brown. All of my kids like those comic strip books and they will often get their colored pencils out and choose their favorite to color.
Have I told you about my new freezer? It's quite a super story, but I'll save it until I can put a picture with it.... I will say that I'm working on getting it filled up. How crazy is it that I can be so excited about a new freezer! I'm old.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sleepless in Siloam

Why am I up this late!! Well, it's because Roger has gone on a little fishing trip with Zane and I just don't like it when he's gone. I don't like it when Zane's gone either, but I can't sleep when Roger is gone. So, I ALWAYS stay up way too late and have to really focus and not let me imagination run away with me. It's so amazing how one or two less people in the house changes the whole dynamic. When I was tucking Sam into bed last night, he sighed and said, "Oh good. Tomorrow's Saturday. We can sleep in." Sleep in!! He can't stay in bed past 7:00 a.m. Ever! Now I, on the other hand, could stay in bed indefinitely. When Roger wakes up, he's shoots out of bed and is off to get ready for the day. Not me. I like to lay in bed for 5 or 10 minutes and just do a little thinking, especially when I'm snuggled under my down comforter and it's cold outside.
What else... Nothing. I got nothing. Actually, I do have some things to post about, but I guess I'm tired enough that I'd rather go to bed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting Inspired....

Well, after a wonderful and relatively relaxing vacation, it's time to reflect a little on what I got done, things I worked on, and some plans I've made. I did get to do a little reading, which I hardly ever get to do. I read several books:
--The Shack
--The latest Mitford Book (the one where Father Tim goes back to his hometown...I can't remember the title...)
--Revolutionary Road
--Some scrap booking books that had to do with using color in your layouts...I got them to use for my card making.
--Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer
--Making the Best of Basics - Family Preparedness Handbook
--Frozen Assets
--Pantry Cooking
--And about 5 other books on food storage and preparedness

Do you know how it feels when you have this desire to do something, and you just need to kick yourself in the fanny and get it done? You know...when you look at your garage and think that you need to get it cleaned up. Or you see your closet with all the clothes from the last 20 years and think that you just need to weed and simplify. Those projects that you know would be such a benefit, but seem huge and overwhelming. I'm feeling that way about food. Now that I'm pretty adept at coupon use and the Grocery Game, I've developed quite a stash of some necessities, like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, chocolate chips, peanut butter, cereal, etc... As I've become a more savvy shopper, I'm feeling a desire to become more organized in my food storage. As I began to do a little research, I've been pleasantly surprised to find that there are lots (and lots!) of blogs out there done by women who already have a great plan in place to help people with food storage. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a gloom and doom sort of gal and am not feeling this way out of fear. But, with prices skyrocketing and our system of food delivery/transportation so delicate, it would be nice to have a few months of food stored up, not only in emergencies, but just because it's so much easier to have food on hand. Plus, it really makes sense to have at least a 72-hour emergency kit. Our illustrious FEMA recommends a 72-hour kit because it usually doesn't take any more than 72 hours to get basic utilities back on after some sort of outage...(unless, of course, if you live in a hurricane prone area...). So, that's what I've been "studyin' up" on. I found a blog,, that will send out an email that helps me with a plan for building up my storage. If found that website through another blog called .

I'm also making plans to use my new freezer and do some bulk cooking. With that in mind, here's a picture of one of the things I did over vacation. I price matched ground beef at Walmart and cooked it up. I had almost 6 lbs. of meat.
I brown it up, then drain it, then put it into sandwich bags. I made the little bags into 1/2 lb. and 1/4 lb. portions. Aren't they cute!
We usually only eat ground beef in chili/soup, spaghetti sauce, and tacos. In the summer we grill quite a bit, but for now I just browned it and then froze it. Now, I just get the amount I need and add it to my recipe.
And, for Christmas I got a handy-dandy ziplock bag sucker (I'm sure it has a really catchy name, but I don't have the gumption to go look at it and see what it is...and I certainly didn't waste any brain cells to remember it's name!) It makes it really air-tight to keep any freezer burn out.
So, that's about it right now. I wonder if you have any food storage ideas? Let me know!