Friday, December 31, 2010

coupon crazy

I had a lot of coupons that were getting ready to expire. Some good ones. Netting me a lot of free items.

Knowing that stores were closing early for the holiday, I hurried in. At Albertsons I got:
8 cans of Ro*Tel ( we use these a TON)
8 cans of Manwich (my sons favorite!)
8 cans diced tomatoes
6 boxes of hot chocolate
4 boxes of cereal (2 Cookie Crisp and 2 Trix)
2 pouches of Bumblebee tuna

Before card and coupons, my total was $94.xx. Afterward it was $23.xx I also got a coupon back for a free gallon of milk and a coupon for a free bag of chips. Not bad right? 72% savings and I was a happy lady.

Then I went to Vons. I knew I wasn't going to do as well because I had bigger ticket items that I wanted/needed. I got
2-12 packs of tp
2 pkgs of Pampers
2 tubs of Pampers wipes
3 Family sized entrees
6 Pillsbury biscuits
2 Pillsbury french bread loaves
2 Pillsbury pizza crusts
4 jars of Prego sauce
1 pkg of brown sugar
1 pkg of marshmallows
1 pkg of choc. chips
3 pkgs of string cheese
2 -2 liters of Sierra Mist
4 12 pks of pop
1 bag of Doritos
8 cans of soup
4 Yakisoba noodles
2 boxes of crackers
Before coupons my total was $297 and after it was $127. This was a mere savings of 42%. I wasn't as excited...

But you know what, I got a lot for that $127! Mason's diaper stockpile was almost non existent and toilet paper is always a good thing to have around here. I think I look at Coupon Queens on tv/magazines/blogs etc and compare myself to them & their scores. I am not going to do that anymore though!! I am proud of my score and I KNOW it will all get eaten (:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friendly Wednesday

After a loooong day at a very busy Universal Studios, I am home! So I am participating in Feeding Fours Friendly Wednesday blog hop!

If you are a new follower, PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know so that I can come and follow you back!

**Starting Saturday I am hosting a 2011 Resolution Challenge. If you sign up by Saturday you are entered into a GIVEAWAY! (: Although, you can join in anytime! You can find all that information here

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Resolution Challenge!

Saying goodbye to 2010!!

I am the QUEEN of starting big...and never finishing.

So as I sat down and thought about the changes/improvements I wanted to make in my life, I thought of the tortoise and the hare. Slow and Steady wins the race!

I decided to look at the areas I want to improve (or make more time for) and they are:


The majority of these are self explanatory. But the one for my kids is because I feel that I do to much for them. I would rather do it myself, and have it done "the right way". But because of that, I feel a lot of resentment for being the one cleaning up after them. I want to teach them to take care of themselves and a home.

You might be looking at the food one and scratching your head but what I mean by that is, eating out less, making meals using what I have. This probably falls under all categories in a way but I left it seperate. are the rules...

Every Saturday (starting with Jan 1st) I will post a challenge in each of these areas. Each month there will be a room that we are working in for the organization aspect. So on Jan. 1st you will see a post that looks like this:

Organization weekly challenge: set a timer for 20 minutes and clean out your messiest drawer/cabinet. On Saturday start with your messiest, Sunday the next messiest and so on.
Health Weekly Challenge: drink 6-8 glasses of water. Water. Crystal light, diet soda etc do not count. You can have as much as you want of the others, but you have to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.

Now that you have seen what it will look like, I will also post a daily challenge. This will be put up every day and not listed in the weekly post. For example you will see, " clear off the fridge of all magnets, art work etc. Wash front. Put back only what is needed."

Here comes the fun part! Every time you do a weekly challenge, the following Saturday you will leave a comment. You can say, "wow I did AWESEOME or I read the challenge..." We are not trying to be perfect. Just reading it counts. (: Every month, I will have a prize pkg giveaway. So every daily challenge you join in on, will count as an entry. Every weekly challenge that you join in on, will give you an entry. So every week you have the chance to earn 8 entries!!!Multiply that times how many weeks there are in a month...and you have a really good shot at winning! And if you don't win, you still do, because your life will be a little more organized, your house a little cleaner, your body a little healthier, your kids helping a little more, your budget a little friendlier and your meals a little more homemade! So what do you have to lose?

Now if you thought that was fun, wait until you hear this...

If you comment on THIS post, that you plan
 to join me starting on Saturday, you will be entered into a giveaway!

If you post this on your blog, you will get an extra entry!

If someone signs up because of YOU, you will get an extra entry!

If you win: You will be recieving one of my favorite wall calenders, a fun new planner & pen and my favorite organizing book to get you started!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monday blog hop

I am participating in Be One Fine Day's Follow Me Monday!

If you are new here, please leave me a comment so that I can follow you back!

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't planned a menu for so long!!

Every time I don't, we end up eating more fast food or something less than stellar!  Here we go with what the Turners are eating this week:
B: oatmeal, bananas, juice
L: sandwiches, chips, applesauceD: spaghetti w/ meatballs, salad, rolls

Gone at Universal Studios all day (:

B: bacon, egg and biscuit bake
L: quesadillas or leftover spaghetti
D: chicken divan

B:choc. chip muffins, yogurt
L: pizza rolls, carrots w/ dip
D: chili pie casserole

B: cereal
L: soup, sandwiches
D: stir fry with teriyaki chicken

B: kids choice
L: leftovers/kids choice
D: pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns

Sweet Sundays

So I had planned to make a fun dessert tonight using up some leftover candy canes.

BUT...I ended up putting all of my Christmas decorations away and time totally got away from me! I am glad to have it put away and ready to start the New Year off with a clean slate.

I will be sure to post the recipe soon. So I hope everyone had a Sweet Sunday...even without the recipe! (:

Are you ready?

For 2011?

Christmas has only been over for a few hours now, but I am feeling the urge to put my decorations away, clean house, and be all prepared for the New Year.

I always like to change my blog background with the seasons/holidays....but the only New Years one I found had 2010 on it, and it is hard to have a winter one when it is 70 degrees and sunny outside! I know you all feel bad for me!

So instead I went with a nice CLEAN look. (:

Do you make resolutions every year? I do. And can I tell you something? I have rarely kept them! That is why I am not the perfect weight, my checkbook balance does not resemble Bill Gates, my home is not clean and organized, my scrapbooks are not up to date...I could go on, but I will spare you! LOL

I always start out the new year with HUGE goals and plans. We have all heard the phrase "GO BIG OR GO HOME" right? Well there may be times when that works but when you are trying to achieve a goal, that doesn't always work.

Tonight I will be posting my 2011 Resolution challenge. I hope you will join me and we can work together on being the best that WE can be. Not someone elses standard. So check back  tonight because  you will find:

**a Sweet Sunday dessert & inspirational message
** my Menu plan for the week (can't remember the last time I made one!)

** 2011 Resolution Challenge! With all the info to participate! Did I mention I will be having a GIVEAWAY every month of the year for those who participate?!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


As I was unloading stocking stuffers onto the conveyer belt at Target, the cashier asked, "so how many stockings are you stuffing?"

When I replied "four" she looked at me like I had lost my marbles. She probably has a valid reason.

Can I tell you how easy it is to find stocking stuffers for Harmony?! Lotions, chapsticks, bracelets, book marks, a pocket calender, glitter pens, stickers, notebooks, goes on and on! Her stocking is always full to the brim. However...

The boys are much harder! And since they make up 3 out of the 4 stockings well...yeah. So if you are stuffing stockings for boys, here are some ideas:

cards (Pokemon, baseball...whatever thing they are in to)
silly bandz
comic books
coloring books/crayons
gift card to McD's, Burger King etc. (like $5 enough for a kids meal)
dvd ( I bought a whole bunch of dvds for $5 each)
Hot Wheels
mini Lego sets
card games like Uno, Pictureka, Old Maid etc
mini flashlights ( my boys LOVE these)
word search type books
etch a sketch or magna doodle

If you think of any other ideas, please share! Why are boys so hard to shop for?!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

'Tis the Season

to be insanely busy!!

 What is it about Christmas that makes our lives so crazy?!

I have been so busy with Christmas concerts, making treats for classes, writing Christmas cards, shopping for gifts and logging a lot of time at our post office!

Since my kids are now out of school for break, hopefully things will slow down and I can get back to posting on a regular basis!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

cooking with stockpiles

Can I just tell you that food photography is not easy!

The picture isn't great. But the food was good!
Every week, I scan the flyers from the grocery stores.

I match sale items with my coupons to get the best deal.

I bring them home.

I have built up a stockpile. My cupboards are full. So are my freezers.

And yet...I still have to get dinner on the table. Those groceries don't just cook themselves!

This recipe was a great one, because it used things that I already had on hand. Things that I stock up on when they are a great sale!

Cheesy Hashbrown CasseroleHASH BROWN CASSEROLE

1 (32 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns (2 lbs.)

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. milk

2 t. onion powder

1/2 t. pepper

2 c. grated cheddar cheese


1/4 c. melted butter

3 c. cornflakes (I had Corn Chex) crush in Ziploc™ bag, pour

melted butter in & shake.

Spray casserole dish with oil. Layer 1/2 hash brown first. Then pour 1/2 of soup mixture = cream of chicken, milk, onion powder, salt, & pepper. Then half of the grated cheese. Repeat… Hash browns, soup mixture, grated cheese. Top with crushed, buttered corn flakes. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
**I  added some cubed ham. **
The kids decided that it was delicous and even ate seconds and my daughter had thirds!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What a BRAT!

La st Tuesday, I was at the mall, when I started to not feel very well.

That feeling lasted all day and night, and I spent some quality time in my bathroom :(

I felt that, "oh it is just something I ate. The kids are fine." Boy was I wrong!

Wednesday night, my 5yr old came in asking for medicine...and then threw up all over my bedroom carpet. Then 3 times on my bathroom floor.

He finally went back to sleep and I got to clean up after all of it. Lucky Mom right?

The next morning my 9 yr old told me, "Mom, my stomach feels really funny..."

Ugh! It lasted only 2 days but I spent that time saying no to foods like pizza or hot dogs, to a variety of treats. I tried hard to explain why those foods would be hard on their stomachs. I finally said "you are only allowed to have the BRAT diet because that is what you are being!" lol

Do you know what the BRAT diet is?
A-applesauce/apple juice
T-toast, or plain dry cereals

Of course you also need comfy pillows, quilts and good movies!

These are "bland" enough not to upset a sick tummy but somewhat filling to keep them filled up! So if you have any sick kids, keep the BRAT diet in mind!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's for Lunch?

Here are a few of the lunches that I have made this week and last.

Top picture:crackers, animal cookies, ham & cheese kabobs, carrots, oranges and a fruit roll up

2nd picture is basically the same as the top, it just has pistachios. My daughter loves pistachios and my boys refuse to eat any type of nut!

3rd picture:goldfish, apple chunks, cucumbers, ham sandwich on a deli thin

last picture: this was just the "side items" chunks, goldfish, pistachios (there are actually 2 containers of pistachios because I only had mini muffin tins left over), cucumbers, fruit snacks

I'm hoppin'!

It is Wednesday, which means I am joining in Feeding Four's blog hop! If you would like to join in, head on over to her site and link up! She has all the instructions there!

***If you are a new reader, please leave me a comment letting me know that you are a new follower. I would love to come and follow you back!***


One of the beauties of shopping with coupons, is building up that stockpile!!

So that when your throat starts to tickle, and your nose is feeling stuffed, eyes are watery and mine did last night...

You just go to your trusty stockpiles for tissue, night and day time medicine, cough drops...anything you need without running to the store.

Luckily for me, Rite Aid had a ton of FAR's (free after rebate) in the month of October. So I am set for this cold and flu season...ARE YOU?

If not, get out those coupons, scan those sales, and build up your stockpiles!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas movies

We love movies. It is an easy way to spend time together and relax.

In October, I shared our favorite Halloween movies.

We really only have one favorite Thanksgiving movie : A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (of course!)

Christmas movies are not hard to find are they? Here is a list of some of our favorites. Please share any of your families favorites also!

It's a Wonderful Life (ok my kids get bored with this one...)
A Muppet Christmas Carol
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Garfields Christmas
White Christmas
the Santa Clause movies
How the Grinch Stole Christmas**
The Polar Express
Winnie the Pooh, A Season of Giving
Fred Clause (not one of those feel good Christmas movies but funny)
Jingle All the Way
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Home Alone 1 &2

To be honest, we have about 50 different versions of A Christmas Carol (Flinstones, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Muppets...)

**My personal opinion is that the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch is AWFUL. It made this sweet fun book into a disgusting mess. We ONLY watch the original. (:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Family Night Friday

It is Friday night! What does that mean at the Turners?


(Image taken from a Google search)
Tonight we are watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and having hot chocolate and Peanut Butter Blossoms as a treat.

Are you having a family movie night? I would love to hear what you are watching and what snack you plan to serve. Or are you a "just let everybody grab something they want" kind of a movie time?

Feel free to post on your blog and link back or just leave a message in the comments!

Friday Follow- blog hop

Come and join in all the fun of a blog hop! I am participating today!

If you are a new follower, please leave a comment so I can come and follow you back!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

To thine own true

I needed a change. I have been feeling a touch hypocrtical. Let me tell yah why...

I have a family blog. I started it when my husband went on his 1st deployment to Afghanistan. I have had it for a long time. I started participating in a variety of weekly Meme's, geared towards homemaking. Menu Plan Monday, Tackle it Tuesday so on and so forth.

But I felt like my family was probably more interested in reading about my kids and our life instead of about me reorganizing a drawer. Know what I mean? So I created this blog. I wanted a place to record everything but not have it take up room on my other one.

And somewhere between that time and now, I have been tricking people into believing that I am organized. How anyone would get that idea from me...I don't know. Honestly...

**The playroom is always a mess
** my laundry piles are never ending
**more nights than not I go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes (and counters...)
** I believe my kids should eat a good healthy filling breakfast and 4/5 days a week that is usually something that starts with a "c"
**I shop with coupons and refuse to pay more than .25 for a toothbrush, but will drop $20 for a book...or to see the newest Harry Potter movie...twice.
** I can be incredibly LAZY. People think since I have 5 kids I must be always moving...4/5 of them are in school all day. And when they come home, they head straight to the playroom (see above).
** I drink way too much caffeine.
**I watch too much tv, am on facebook way too often and am addicted to my Kindle app and Tetris on my ipod.

I AM JUST A MOM. TRYING TO DO HER BEST! ( I realize all caps means I am yelling but I am not yelling, I promise (:

From this point on,this blog is no longer called Martha Wannabe. It is called Just a Mom. Because that's what I am. There are a million and one people who are better at homemaking than I am. They just haven't started blogs! They probably should though...and if they do I will point you in their direction.

I realize that I have been long winded but, I have one more thing to say. When I was in high school and college, and writing essays was an every day occurence, my Mom and sister, teachers etc. would all tell me to "write what you know". So I wrote essays about what it was like to work at a Dairy Queen on the hottest day in July, or about how much money I can spend on shoes...and can I tell you, I still have people talk to me about those essays today.

I "don't know" about a perfectly organized and clean home.
I "don't know" about gourmet meals every night.
I "don't know" the perfect way to get your kids to clean up their rooms. Trust me on this one.
I "don't know" how to find the perfect balance in life.

But I do know how to try, and keep trying.
I do know how to take advice. It may be abandoned later, but I do try it.
I do know how to get dinner on the table quick when Cub Scouts started 5 minutes ago.
I do know how to shop with coupons.
I do know how to be a friend.
I do know how to be a sister.
I do know how to be a daughter.
I do know how to be an LDS woman.
I do know how to be the mother of 5 kids.
I do know how to be a mother of an autistic child.
I do know how to be a military wife.
I do know how to be just Marie.

So if you are interested in all that, read on. I am glad you are here.

Those dreaded D's

Over the summer, I shared this post about deployment and depression. While certainly not the most UPLIFTING post I have ever written, it is a necessary one.

My Seabee has now been gone for a month. Some days have been verrrry long, while the weeks have flown by. He has already missed so much and it amazes me at what all can happen in a month!

I was talking to a friend of mine, whose husband is in the same unit (NMCB3) with mine and it was funny how we both have been going through the same feelings.

The first week, I ran this house with a no nonsense attitude. It was my way or the highway.

The second week was full of tears, anger and frustration.

The third was hard but a routine was getting under way.

The fourth, brought preparations for Thanksgiving and sick kids.

I spent Thanksgiving week/weekend surrounded by loved ones. Yet at times felt very lonely. Half of my heart is in Afghanistan.

With Christmas coming up, I know this month will be another rough one. HOWEVER I am determined to make the best of it. Life is what we make it.

I just wanted you to know that I am still here. I appreciate all the sweet comments, prayers and love that we recieve. They are all felt and much appreciated!
If you are looking for a way for you or your family to perform some service this season, think of the military families who are home without their loved one. Maybe a plate of cookies, an offer to babysit for an hour or two, a shoulder to cry on or just lend an ear. Make sure to have tissues close by! Our soldiers need support but so do the hometown hero's. It doesn't have to cost a penny but can mean so much!

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