Adventures of an Island Mom

A JOURNEY OF LIVING LIFE FULLY, FRUGALLY, AND FAITHFULLY

4 months December 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 9:28 pm

This picture was uploaded from my phone, and, unfortunately, it’s a little grainy, but it’s just too cute not to share!!!

Our sweet pea is such a hap-hap-happy, sweet, mellow, smiley baby!!

At 4 months, she:

  • is cooing, squealing, and “talking” like crazy
  • rolls over both ways
  • has already found her toes
  • is grasping and playing with toys all the time
  • can giggle with the best of them
  • sleeps about 12 hours straight every night
  • loves sleeping on her tummy now!

She is such a precious, sweet light in our lives!!

Such a blessing!

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Goals

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 4:34 pm

In preparation for January’s “Eating from the Pantry Challenge,”  I’m doing a big overhaul and inventory of all of our food!!!

I am very blessed to have lots of freezer space and storage in our home.   We have 4 freezers:  3 large, full-size ones, one over-the-fridge freezer, and another smaller over-the-fridge freezer.  Our refrigerator/freezer combo in our kitchen is a mini one, so we also have a full-size refrigerator in the garage, too!  Phew!  Lots of place where food can hide or get lost!!  And, by the way, they’re all FULL!!

I also have 3 main areas (pantry/cupboards) where I store all of our non-perishables, canned goods, etc, as well as the many drawers and cupboards that are full in the kitchen.

The more I have looked through all of this, the more I realize that this challenge might not be too much of a challenge, after all!!  Meaning:  I HAVE LOTS OF FOOD!!!!! The challenging part will be coming up with innovative and creative ways to use it all, and staying OUT of the Grocery Stores!

So, with that said, I have come up with some goals for this month’s Challenge that I hope I can achieve!!

Goals for the Month of January (and, hopefully, beyond!):

1.  Plan and prepare a Menu Plan for the ENTIRE month of January.  (To be done by 1/3/10)

2.  Decrease our usual $400/month budget to just $100 this month.

3.  Only go to the store for FREE or nearly FREE items, as well as fresh fruit/veggies and dairy.  If need be, I will THROW THE ADS AWAY when they come each week.  (It’s much easier if I don’t look at them!!)  I have this fear that I’ll miss some amazing deal…….well, so what?!

4.  Put any extra money saved on Groceries this month (and the entire year), into a Disneyland Fund.  We are hoping to take a trip to Disneyland in about 2 years, so here’s where the savings for this trip will start!

5.  And, finally, collect all the free, or nearly free, items that I have accumulated that I am sure we will NOT be eating, and donate them.

I am super excited about this challenge, and I hope you are feeling encouraged and motivated to take another look at what you have, how you can use it, and how you can save money!!!

 

PTL! December 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 9:30 pm

Last week was definitely a week to remember, in more ways than one!!

It started off a little rocky, though.

On Monday night, our sweet Anna was not “right.”  She went down for bed around 7:00 and for the few hours to follow, she kept crying out, almost as if she were in pain.  She would go back to sleep after that, so I was continuously checking on her.  At about 11:30, when Mark and I were in bed, she cried out again, but this time, it was a piercing, painful cry that didn’t stop.  I rushed in there to find my sweet baby shaking like a leaf and gurgling on her own vomit.  I quickly picked her up to find a very warm, I’ll say HOT baby in my arms who was crying and shaking uncontrollably.  I hurriedly set her on the changing table, stripped off her clothes and took her temperature.  It was soaring close to 104……..to calm her down, I tried nursing her, and when she totally refused and would not stop shaking or crying, I KNEW I needed to rush her to the ER.

Anna and I hopped in the car and made our way.  The closest Hospital is about a 30 minute drive, so, as you can imagine, I felt like I couldn’t get there fast enough!!!  Poor Anna was screaming the whole way.

We finally arrived at the Hospital and found an EMPTY Emergency Room.  PTL!  They got us in right away and the first thing they did was give her some Tylenol, (even though we had already given her some), as her temp was rising even more!   They did some testing on her, as well, and her urine sample came back positive for a pretty major bladder infection with a possible kidney infection.

She had already vomited a few more times since we had been there, so after they gave her a dose of the antibiotic, they wanted us to wait there an hour to make sure she kept it down.  She did!!  No admittance to the Hospital!  PTL!

We were sent away with a 10-day prescription for an antibiotic, and very specific instructions to watch her like a hawk, and if anything were to persist, to get her back immediately.  Anna already has some kidney issues and a kidney that doesn’t fully function, so knowing that, we had to make sure no other signs of infection were there.

That night (morning!) we made it home around 3am.  I nursed her to sleep (PTL!  She was eating!) and finally got into bed close to 4am.  Anna slept until 7ish and that’s when the other two trotted into my room that morning—3 hours of sleep for me!!  (Although, my adrenaline was pumping and I didn’t really feel too tired, PTL!)  Anna’s temp had gone down to 102 that morning, but she was definitely not out of the woods.  I informed family and friends to pray for Anna, and slowly, but surely that day, her temp started to decrease, she started to eat a little better, and was keeping the antibiotic down.  (PTL!)  Thank you—all of you—-for your prayers!!!

At that point, I was feeling much better about the fact that this was a bladder infection and not a kidney infection as well, and confirmation from the hospital confirmed that!  PTL!

We laid very low all day Tuesday and kept praying for our Anna.  We were on tap to head down to T-town on Wednesday for our 5-day stay at my parent’s house for Christmas, and I was hopeful that Anna would be better and that we would still be able to go.  Our prayers were answered:  Anna just kept getting better and better and smilier and smilier!!

So, after TONS of packing, wrapping and the like, the kids and I made our way down on Wednesday afternoon!  We had appointments to our Chiropractor that afternoon, so I was very excited we were headed down, and that all three kids and myself could be seen!!

After that—-it was time for Christmas festivities to begin!! It was so wonderful to see all three of my sisters, their families, my sweet niece and nephew and share some great times together!  What an amazing family I have!!!  I love you all!

Here’s a traditional picture of the clan we always take right before gift opening:

We are straight out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!!

And here’s a sweet one of  Gracie, Luke and Ava, ready to go:

It was a fun-filled morning full of present opening, lots of laughter, and a room full of love.

Here’s a few snapshots to catalog our Christmas morning:

Now that's a sweet present!

Grandpa and Anna

Cheese!

Owen!

Go Cougs!!

Anna goose

Where's Ava??

Mom, Ruth, Martha and Anna

Bro-in-law Simon, Gracie and Amy

What an amazing Christmas with my family and such a wonderful five days together!!  It was so sweet to watch the cousins play together—-I think that was one of my favorite parts!!

Anna continues to get better and we are hopeful for a great report after her ultrasound and visit to the Urologist next week.  Again, thank you all for your prayers for Anna!!!  It is such a relief and assurance that God is holding her in the palm of His hand.  PTL!!

ps:   PTL=  Praise the Lord!!  🙂

 

Behind!!! December 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 4:18 pm

Hope you all had a super BLESSED Christmas!!!!

Whew!!  Boy, am I feeling very, very behind!!!!  It’s been a wonderful time with family down in T-town, but, wow, such a whirlwind!!!  We ended up staying for one extra day than we thought, so, the kids and I just now got home!  Five nights away from home with 3 wee ones can cause a little stress!  (Especially in the sleeping/napping category!!!)

The car is still packed to the brim, (I’m going to wait until Mark gets home to help me with most of that!), the kids are as cranky as ever, (lack of sleep and a good dose of sugar will do that to most anyone!) and the house is colder than COLD!  (That’s the frugal in me…..I turned the heat OFF before we left, but I think I see icicles growing on my cats’ whiskers!!!)

It’s going to take me awhile to get my bearings, start the unpacking, check my 400 emails, get some laundry in, catch up on Facebook (5 days without looking at it—Oh, the horrors!!!), chisel at the icicles, and get WARM—- so I will be back in, oh, say…….24 hours or so!

So, for now, let me just say that I am definitely going to be joining LIFE AS MOM  and MONEY SAVING MOM on the EATING FROM THE PANTRY CHALLENGE.  Check it out and see what you can do to cut back and scale down your grocery spending for the month of January.  I’ll be taking a BIG inventory of all my freezers, cupboards and pantry, and will be back later this week for goals and ways to accomplish them.  (hopefully!!)

For now, here’s our *tentative* Meal Plan for the week:

Monday:  Meatloaf (freezer), Mashed Potatoes, Corn

Tuesday:  Potato Soup (freezer), Pumpkin Rolls (freezer), Fruit

Wednesday:  Frozen Flatbread Pizzas, Salad, Smoothies

Thursday:  Toss up—–not sure of our plans for New Year’s Eve

Friday:  Shredded Beef Taco Salads

Remember, if you want more Menu Planning inspiration, just check out I’M AN ORGANIZING JUNKIE!

 

Menu Plan Monday—-a no go December 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 12:53 pm

Hey folks!  Welcome to Monday and an early MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!!

I’m going to bypass Menu Planning this week, because tomorrow is the only night that I’ll be here, at home!  Tonight I work an oh-so-fun shift from 5:30pm-1:00am!  Oh, how I’m looking forward to this one!!!  (NOT!)  Mark will be flying solo with the kiddos tonight and this will be the first time Anna will be put down to bed without me here……*sniff sniff*……but, I’ve pumped a lot of milk and I hope she doesn’t have too difficult of a time!!  Pray for a smooth evening for the little one!

Tomorrow will be a day full of packing, baking, laundry, packing, gift wrapping, packing, laundry, gift wrapping and more packing!!  We’re heading down to T-town on Wednesday afternoon to spend a lovely, fun, and joyous Holiday with everyone on my side of the family.  We can’t wait!!!!!

That being said, this will be my last post until next Monday.  I’m going to take a little “breakety-break from my bloggy-blog!”

Hope you all are not too stressed out, and that you remember the TRUE meaning of Christmas!!

Oh, by the way……my blog has officially surpassed 10,000 hits!  For some, that is not much, but for a newbie blogger like myself, that’s VERY humbling!!  Thank you all for taking your precious time to come visit my blog!

Love to you all this wonderful Christmas Season and I’ll see you back here next Monday!

Here’s a little picture to send you off with.  We celebrated Christmas with my husband’s side of the family yesterday, and I couldn’t help but share this priceless picture:

From left to right:

Mark’s Dad, Mark’s Mom holding Ava and Anna, Mark’s sister holding Luke, and Mark’s Bro-in-Law holding their daughter.

Soooooo cute!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

 

Trinity December 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 11:17 pm

For those of you who don’t know who Jennifer Knapp is—-you should get to know her.

At least, get to know her music.

She is truly one of my favorite artists of all time, and I have recently read that she is working on another album!!!  Yes!!

If you are a follower of my blog, then you’ll know that I love music, and I’m truly and genuinely moved by it.

This song, Trinity, is no exception.

It often makes me well up with tears.

I wanted to share this great video with you.

I truly can’t believe that God has never given up on me—and He never will.

 

Thank You Cards December 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 1:27 pm

I might be embarking on some controversial Thank You card territory…..

But, I’m gonna go there.

I have never been the best at writing Thank You cards, and often times, writing Thank Yous stresses me out!!  I’m not quite sure why, other than the reason that it often seems too daunting and time-consuming to put pen to paper and write out multiple Thank Yous that don’t sound too contrived.  I have trouble finding the time (making the time??) to find all the addresses for the peeps, making sure I have enough stamps for all of them, and then, either, getting them into the mailbox or to the Post Office in a timely and effective manner.  Maybe I’m alone on this one, but I almost always feel pressure and anxiety!

Now, don’t get me wrong……it is definitely NOT because I’m ungrateful for anything that I have received, my family has received, or my children have received.  That is absolutely NOT the reason.  Quite the opposite, actually.

As soon as we receive things, for whatever occasion it might be for, I am very good at writing down what everyone gave us and am very good about keeping that list in PLAIN SIGHT so that I will remember to write Thank Yous.  Unfortunately, that list gets looked over, sometimes, for weeks and weeks until I feel sooooooo guilty for not getting them out, that, sometimes, I just don’t even want to start them at all!!

I sound a little lazy, don’t I?

For the record, though, I have eventually gotten Thank You cards out for most things that we have received—–everything?  No.  I gotta be honest.  I know that there are things that I have missed writing a Thank You for.  Does that mean I’m ungrateful?  No.  Does that mean I don’t care?  No.  Does that mean I don’t remember the wonderful, generous, thoughtful gift someone gave me?  No.  It simply means that, for whatever reason, I didn’t get a Thank You out.

I’m sure the etiquette police will arrest me for what I’m about to say, but I gotta say it:

It’s OK if you don’t write a Thank You.

There.

I said it.

But, that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t say Thank You—in some form or another, if you can.

So, if you’re like me, and Thank You cards tend to stress you out, here are a few of my ideas for thanking someone in a little more FRUGAL and less stressful way:

1.  Tell them in person.

Why does it seem as though thanking someone in person, maybe on the day you open the gift, is not enough??  Again, I don’t want to sound ungrateful at all, I’m just thinking aloud here……..If I open a gift in front of someone, say, for my birthday or Christmas, why is thanking them, right then and there, not enough?  In my humble opinion—it should be.

2.  Call them.

I would never balk at someone calling me and thanking me for something, instead of writing a Thank You card.  To me, it shows that they put thought and effort into it, and made it a point to thank me.

3.  Use Technology.

In this extremely technological era, I find it very appropriate to thank someone via, EMAIL—yes I said it—-or, via Facebook—yes, I went there, too—or even a super nice and thoughtful E-card.  Often times E-cards seem a lot less daunting, because you can write it more quickly, you don’t have to find home addresses, and you don’t need a stamp or a post office to send it.  It’s a super frugal, easy, yet, still thoughtful way to send a Thank You.

Here are a few sights that I like:

Blue Mountain

Hallmark

Day Spring

free-e-cards-online

4.  Combine your thoughts of Thanks.

Again, I might get caught by the etiquette police, but,in my opinion, I don’t think it’s such a terrible thing to combine Thank Yous.  For example:  Mother’s Day and my birthday fall on the same month.  I have been known to send out one Thank You card for both of those occasions—-is this following proper etiquette??  Probably not.  My feeling is, though, that however you say it—–at least you did!  🙂

Don’t get me wrong, here…….I will still write handwritten Thank Yous—I know how wonderful it is to get something in the mail!!  It’s great!!  BUT, I will sprinkle in some other forms of thanks, as well.   I truly believe that other ways of saying Thank You are just as good, and just as thoughtful.

And, a couple notes to the givers (myself included):

If someone happens to forget to send you a Thank You, in any format, they are probably still super thankful!!  Some of us are just better at sending out Thank Yous than others——-and that’s OK.

The bottom line, is:

“Give as if you’re giving to the Lord.”

Don’t expect a Thank You, don’t get upset if you don’t get one, don’t think that person is ungrateful, or doesn’t care.  Simply revel in the fact that you gave a nice, thoughtful, wonderful gift and the person receiving it is probably extremely grateful and thankful—-whether they tell you that, or not.