Friday, March 08, 2019

February/March Goals

It's March already! How did that happen?

Time to review my February goals and set new ones for March.

These are the goals I set for February: 

1. Set up Baby Girl's nursery. We moved furniture around and got her moved in. She's doing great in her own room. We gave the full size bed to some friends as we no longer had room for it. There is still more work to be done. I have another large piece of furniture in there that I think will be better elsewhere. I still want to paint, get curtains for this space and put decorations on the wall. I knew this would be a longer-than-one-month project but it is coming together and we're very pleased with the progress so far!

2. Make several freezer meals. I met this goal! And am working on having a dedicated Kitchen Day each week to not only make freezer meals but work on food prep for that week. Even doing a few things ahead helps so much!

3. Continue to work on being a good steward of my grocery budget. As I mentioned last month, we trimmed our grocery budget to make more room for buying formula. This is a short-term sacrifice and one we are happy to make! Plus I love a good challenge! We stayed within budget for February due to some better planning on my part and an unexpected grocery blessing. I've been able to even find a few extras each week to stock our freezer and pantry. March is off to a good start as well!

4. Continue to implement good homemaking habits. I feel like I haven't kept up with this quite as well as I did in January. Some habits are sticking; some need more work! 

And here are my March goals:

1. Continue working on Baby Girl's nursery. We were given a baby shower last weekend which was so wonderful and sweet. We received many very nice and useful gifts! I need to find space for some of these things.

2. Start making garden plans. I hope to actually pull off a small garden this year. Our neighbor has offered to till my garden plot for me. I just need to clean it out and start making some plans.

3. Sell a few items we no longer need. Turning the guest room into a nursery has left me with some piles of things that we no longer have room or need for. A few of these items have resale value so I am going to work on selling them this month.

4. Declutter a few minutes each day. I'm starting with the most visible areas and working my way through the house.

5. Continue to implement homemaking habits. This is an ongoing habit for the year!

What goals do you have for March? 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Our Valentine's Day

We had a lovely Valentine's Day. It was a long busy day but I tried to make meals just a little more special!

Note: We did not eat low-carb/low-grain on this day. We had some treats which we do every now and again. I used what I had on hand.

Early in the morning, I was in the mood to bake some muffins so I decided on Cranberry Pineapple muffins. Yum! I also pulled homemade yogurt from the fridge and some already cooked sausage links from the freezer.

For dinner, I made beef tips and gravy using my mom's instructions. I'm still tweaking the "recipe" to get it just right but Andy loved it. It's one of his favorite meals and a great way to stretch a small package of steaks, which I often find for $3-4 on markdown. I had a pan of mashed potatoes still in the freezer which we had made to use up a big bag of potatoes the day we went to meet Baby Girl for the first time!

I had thought of making some cute little cheesecakes but then I didn't get the ingredients so I made a pan of brownies which are always a hit! I swapped out the vanilla for a tiny bit of peppermint extract and that was a yummy change.

Baby Girl has been busy crafting. She made these valentines last week to mail to her grandparents. Those tiny feet! The cards were well received, of course.

We don't typically give big gifts for Valentines Day but do like to celebrate in small ways! Andy worked for a florist many years ago and I haven't received flowers on Valentines Day since. It ruined him. LOL And I don't mind.

This year I had a hair appointment in the afternoon. Andy was running late from work so he met me there so we could do the baby and car swap. He took Baby Girl home so I could get my hair cut and it was a wonderful gift!

How was your Valentines Day? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

January/February Goals

Time for new goals! But first, let's recap January goals...

1. Create some simple homemaking routines.  This has gone well. Little by little I'm gaining footing in this area. I've focused on slowly establishing new habits and that has been beneficial. This will be a continual goal of mine as I work on getting my home back under control. I'll be writing some blog posts in the future about these homemaking habits.

2. Do a Pantry Challenge this month. The pantry challenge went great! We used up a LOT of food. That said, spending $100 may have been a bit unrealistic for this season of our lives. I ended up buying a few more easy foods some weeks just to keep going and that's ok. I also got a bunch of marked down meats which we're still using.

3. Sew for my baby! My goal was to make a hat with some fleece leftover from her Christmas stocking. My sister sent her a box of goodies which included a hat that fits her with some room to grow. So I crossed this goal off my list!

4. Get back to eating a mostly low-carb diet. Not perfect but definitely moving in the right direction! Low-carb doesn't always jive with a moderate grocery budget but I am doing what I can and learning as I go. This will be a continuous goal too.

Now on to February!

1. Set up Baby Girl's nursery. This is a big project and likely will run into March but I'm working on turning our former guest room into a nursery. Lots of moving furniture around and decluttering will be happening in there for sure! I'm excited to get her moved in to her new room.

2. Make several freezer meals. I want to get back in the habit of keeping a better stocked freezer so I'm starting small this month. We're expecting guests in a few weeks and a couple freezer meals will help. Just tonight I packaged up a container of Turkey Taco Meat (made with shredded Thanksgiving turkey) and 4 containers of cooked brown rice for the freezer. Already working towards my goal!

3. Continue to work on being a good steward of my grocery budget. We recently trimmed our grocery budget to allow for buying baby formula. I'm tightening my frugal belt and am determined to eat well on a smaller budget! So far so good...but it'll take some time to get it fine-tuned.

4. Continue to implement good homemaking habits. As I mentioned above, I'm definitely making strides in this area and developing a good routine.

What are your goals for February? 

I hear Baby Girl waking up so signing off for today. Have a blessed day, everyone! 

Friday, February 08, 2019

Baby Gets A New Hat

The Story of The Three Hats
As told by Baby Girl

 Once upon a time, Mommy thought I needed a hat. I had a hand knitted hat from when I was first born.

But this hat was too small. 

My Grammy bought me a hat.

But this hat was too big!

My mommy decided to make me a hat and printed off this pattern. But before she could sew it up, my Auntie sent me a package all the way from Washington State. In it was a pink hat.

And this hat was just right! 

And quite beautiful too, I might add. 

Mommy was happy and crossed making a hat off her monthly to-do list. And now my head is warm when we go out in the cold weather.

Thank you, Auntie!

The end.  

P.S.- My Auntie did not make this hat. She got it from the thrift store but it looks brand-new! My mommy loves thrifted items and apparently, I do too now!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January Goals

With our new addition comes changes to our home, so I've been thinking that some attainable  monthly goals may be more beneficial this year than a long list of lofty ones.

With that in mind, here is what I hope to accomplish in January:

1. Create some simple homemaking routines.  Baby schedules are forever changing but some simple routines will help to keep our home in order. Routines will also help with my daily productivity.
 These leftover food items from the fridge became a yummy stir-fry one night this week.

 2. Do a Pantry Challenge this month. This is helpful to save money and use up lots of odds and ends we have in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I do this annually and it's always a good time! My goal is to spend $100 or less on groceries this month.

3. Sew for my baby! I am itching to dust off the sewing machine and make some things. While I feel she does need more dresses in her life, my main goal this month is to try making her a winter hat. I have some leftover fleece to use for this.
Making zucchini noodles with my new spiralizer- a Christmas gift.

4. Get back to eating a mostly low-carb diet. I've experienced some health issues in the past year or so and have found I feel so much better eating lower amounts of grains, sugars and dairy. This (understandably) went by the wayside when we brought Ilona home but I am getting back on track. And the Christmas cookies? They are finally almost gone!

Without realizing it, these four goals are all different categories: Home, finances, fun/creative, personal/health. A good balance and should keep me busy all month long. ;-)

Do you have any goals for January? 

 My main goal is lots of snuggle time with this little beauty!

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Happy New Year from Mary Ann's House!

We are several days in to the new year and I wanted to pop on and wish you all a happy 2019. I pray it is a wonderful and blessed year for you and your family.

2018 ended on a high note with the birth of our daughter, Ilona Joy**on November 22 (Thanksgiving Day)! We were able to meet her the following day and brought her home with us several days later.

The holidays have been a happy blur as we are adjusting to parenthood and being a family of 3. Ilona is doing wonderfully--6 weeks old today. We eagerly await finalization of her adoption which should take place sometime in the spring, Lord willing.

**Ilona is a Hungarian/Eastern European name meaning "light and joy". It is pronounced ee-loh-nah with a long 'o' sound. It is a variation of the names Helen and Eleanor. Eleanor is my mom's name so Ilona is named after both sides of the family--her grandma on one side and a nod to the Hungarian roots on the other. It is a fairly uncommon name but one we fell in love with a few years back. When we first met her, I knew without a doubt that the name was perfect for her.

Needless to say, we are in love with our little girl!

I hope to revive this space a bit in the days to come with new updates.

What was your favorite part of 2018?

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Family Updates

Beautiful blue butterfly in my pot of geraniums!

It's been a while since my last family update.
Andy is still doing terrific. Regular blood work and CT scans show nothing suspicious. He continues to feel well. As I mentioned last time, his oncologist recommended surgery to remove a nodule on his right lung. This spot has been there since the beginning and really hasn't shown any growth or shrinkage. The nodule is quite small and is located in a very hard-to-reach place. To remove it, the surgeon feels he would have to remove the lower lobe of Andy's right lung. This is a big surgery and has a lengthy recovery time. We are opting to watch it carefully and not do surgery at this time. If it starts to grow at any time, we will ask for surgery immediately but at this time, since it has sat there for over a year and doesn't appear to be live cancer cells, we are going to let it be. 

As far as an adoption update, we had our update home study on June 8th. We met our new adoption worker as our previous worker left the agency to do mission work internationally soon after we went on hold last year. Our new worker is super nice as everyone we've worked with at Bethany Christian Services  has been. We received an email on July 5th stating that everything was approved and we are back to active status. We are so excited and hope for a placement soon! 

What's going on in your family? How can I be praying for you?