Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Climbing Out of CHAOS!

Today I’m starting on my journey out of CHAOS ~Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome~. I hope I’m not the only one that suffers from this. I love my family and I enjoy a clean, organized home, but I just wish someone else would do it for me. Someday I hope to have it as a budget item, but right now, it’s not possible. My husband and I have been married for 20 years and I’ve struggled with it for all that time. We started out in a tiny, two bedroom house with central heating ~the furnace was in the middle of the house~. My hubby was in Seminary and since we had no kids, the tiny “extra” bedroom was piled high with wedding presents, books, clothes and a variety of items that neither my hubby nor I could part with. After Seminary, my husband went on staff at a church in a small Delta town and we rented a wonderful, 3 bedroom home with a sunroom, dining room, huge kitchen with a double oven, and an awesome utility/laundry room. Since, we still didn’t have kids; we could really spread our stuff out. I loved that house. Since then, we’ve lived in a series of smaller houses, ~I won’t bore you with the details~ and now have 3 daughters. Our present house is larger. We have 4 bedrooms with dining room and living room. We still have our “extra” bedroom filled with clothes, Tupperware, BeautiControl and a variety of other items that we can’t seem to part with. Our closets are full of stuff that we haven’t seen in years, and our daughters’ rooms have toys that need to be shared with other kids. Unfortunately, our daughters have same gene that my hubby and I have; hoarding. We don’t want to get rid of anything in case we might need it again.
Top it off with the needs of a busy family with never-ending laundry, dishes, homeschooling and church activities and I get very overwhelmed. Anybody relate to that? I have friends who have special needs children and children with major medical issues and their houses seem to be organized. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get it together?
Today, instead of beating myself up over the past, I’m starting my journey out of CHAOS. It’s not going to happen overnight, ~I wish I could wave a magic wand~ but it is going to happen. I’m starting in my kitchen. Today’s goals:

• Shine my sink ~Thanks Flylady~
• Make a dent in laundry.
• Clean off kitchen counters. I’m going to shred, pitch and file.

I’ve read FlyLady and MotivatedMoms.com.
I’m going to do a little of both. Start in my kitchen, use small steps, depend on God for strength and focus. I don’t have to wait for January 1st to make a change. I can do it September 29. God has blessed us with a new day; we can use it to make a new start.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

I've had several people ask me for this recipe, so it's going to be my first to share.

Hash brown Breakfast Casserole

6 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1/2 c butter, melted
2 c diced, cooked ham
1/4 c finely chopped green bell pepper ~I use frozen~
3 c shredded Colby Jack cheese
4 large eggs, beaten
1 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 deg F

Thaw potatoes and use paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Press potatoes into bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan; drizzle with melted butter.

Bake @ 425 for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned; cool on for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 deg. F

Combine ham, cheese and bell pepper; spoon into potato shell.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, blending well; pour egg mixture over ham mixture.

Bake @ 350 deg for 30 - 40 minutes, or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I bake this in my Pampered Chef Rectangular Baker.  The stoneware cooks the hash-brown crust beautifully and it also keeps the casserole warm  if you are taking it to a group.  The cranberry color also looks very stylish on the table for serving.   

The Grocery Game

The first site that I want to recommend is TheGroceryGame.com. It is a site that I found through a friend at church.

TheGroceryGame.com is a service that matches sales with coupons from the Sunday papers. Their premise is that grocery stores are on about a 12 week cycle. They keep a database that lists product prices. Every week, they come out with their lists that divide products into 3 categories:

• Green = Free
• Blue = Stock pile items
• Black = Buy if needed

If the item is green, then it means that it’s FREE. Get it! If it’s listed as Blue, then it’s a stockpile item. The goal is to have a 3 month supply so that you only buy products that are at rock bottom prices. If it’s listed as Black, then that means that it’s an ok price and buy it if you need it.

The Grocery Game lists the original price, the sale price, what coupon used ~including date from paper~ what, if any, store coupon, price w/discounts and percentage saved.
You can print out a list customized for what you want. You can try The Grocery Game for FREE for 4 weeks. Just go to TheGroceryGame.com for more info or to sign up.

For me, it’s worth the price of the subscription for the time savings of not having to look thru all the sales and decide which are good and which are not. I probably save an average of 40-50% by using The Grocery Game. The Grocery Game is for busy moms who don’t have time to spend hours searching thru sales & coupons. They do the research for you and tell you where to find the sales & coupons.

My husband says that I don't need to buy anymore cereal, toothpaste or mouthwash for awhile. I think we could live for a week on my stockpile of cereal. Maybe that's what I'll serve for supper tonight.

Welcome to TNWAHM

A little bit about me. I am married to a wonderful man and we have 3 beautiful daughters. I am presently homeschooling the oldest two. We live in Memphis, TN; hence the homeschooling.

As a mom, I face many challenges; not the least is time management. What I envision this site to be is a gathering place for moms to share their tips on how they do their jobs as moms, wives, employees or even bosses more efficiently. I’ll post recipes, as well as the tricks and tools that I use to make my time in the kitchen most effective. I’ll also share some of the sites that have been a great resource for me for saving time and money. Please share some of yours also.

Another challenge that we have as moms is staying informed on issues that affect our families. We are busy and so don’t always have time to research issues that impact our lives. I hope to be able to share info on issues that I believe are important to our families. If you disagree or have another opinion, please comment and let me know. Iron sharpens iron and as we discuss different opinions, we all learn.

I’m looking forward to starting this journey. As moms, we need each other. We need each other’s encouragement and friendship. With all the technology we have that is supposed to make our lives easier, I think in some ways it has made our lives more complicated. Let’s use this technology as a way to connect with each other to enrich each other’s lives.