Tuesday, December 21, 2010

sleepin' boys

Well, I am packing again!! Tomorrow we will travel back 'home' and stay for about a week to visit family and hang at our house! Speaking of house, it's coming along great. Paint is finished and they are starting on trim! i will try to sneak some pics on here to give you an update once we see it, it's going to be so nice!!

In the meantime, I am busy packing and cleaning. Nathan and I were talking last night about where we've been in the last 4 years and how much our lives have changed. Then we talked about what we did and didn't like about moving around and if we'd do it again knowing what we know now. We agreed. We'd do it again. It has been such a blessing meeting the people that we have during our travels. We wouldn't trade those relationships for anything! Even being close to people we already knew, like Nathan's siblings in VA, was such a blessing because we got to know them so much better and build memories with them. Nathan said he'll never forget going to the quarry with our niece and nephew and Nathan was the last one to jump...our 13 yr old niece was the first...go Kelly :) And I said that I'll never forget doing my laundry at Sarahs and cleaning out my van...two things she always helped me with and spending the weekend with Naomi in DC doing 'girl stuff', I will miss those things!

One thing that we thought we might not choose to do again would be to live in the camper :) Not that I didn't like keeping tupperware in the bedroom, fruit in the shower, or batheing the kids in a tote....ahem... But I will always say that it was a great learning experience and it refined our character. I mean, I learned that I could can a whole trees worth of peaches in the camper, that we could live 3 days without water & electricity in the camper, and that Tiernan could fit through the window if we really needed him to in order to unlock the door and get out our 16 mo old who locked herself in.

And the one thing that I disliked the most about the last 4 years....PACKING! I hate packing, although I have to say that I'm pretty darn good at it by now! We agreed that we should have ditched 90% of our stuff during that first move, but as we kept moving, we got smarter each time, getting rid of more and more stuff. The move to the camper really didn't give us any other option than to give most of our stuff away. So now, moving to the house will hardly be any effort because we don't have anything to move!! :) There is some stuff that we have kept at our parents' houses...Nathan's weights (biggest item), some gargage shelves, boxes of books, etc but besides those things, we won't have the typical box after box of stuff to move. So anyway, I'm packing again and hopefully this will be the last time we'll have to stay at someone else's house for a long time!!

Here is how the boys' sleep in the same room with no beds...pretty much any way they want! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil 4:11


That hit me right between the eyes when I read this a few nights ago. Be content in everything...that is what the Lord is calling us to do. No matter what situation you find yourself in, be content knowing that the Lord's plans are always perfect and he knows so much more than we could ever imagine!

We have been challenged by this verse for the last few years. There were days during the past year that we weren't so content, living with 6 people crammed into a camper in a campground that was run-down, in a town a bazillion miles away from home. There were times when we didn't have power or water to the camper for days at a time due to the crazy Virginia winter weather. Days like that we didn't feel like being content.

Lately the challenge for me has been to be content while knowing that our house is so close to being completed. Days like today where I have 2 children sick causing dirty little laundry to pile up that I can't wash because someone else has their stuff in the washer down the hall. Days where I can't seem to find what I'm looking for because we don't own a dresser and have everything in totes knowing we'll be moving soon.

It's during these times that I keep this verse in the front of my mind ...."in whatsoever state I am"... that doesn't say "except this" or "except when this happens". No. It's "whatsoever". Wow.

May we all learn to be content with where the Lord has us currently and enjoy the days he has blessed us with!

(Just while writing that last sentence, my *sweet* daughter came up to me completely covered in the contents of her dirty diaper! She's been finding a way almost every day lately to either sneak away or during nap, to empty her dirty diaper and smear it on herself and anything close by...ugh...that is something my boys never did!!)

Content, Dawn, content :)

One benefit of not having any neighbors across the hall...Nathan can leave all his dirty work clothes in the hallway :)

Since I can't put pics up of the house, here's a sneak peak of a part of it. can you guess what this is?!

Friday, December 10, 2010

one chicken to last 5 meals.

Really. I'm serious! I cooked a chicken and it provided the main part of each meal!

Here's what I made from one chicken:

1) BBQ chicken sandwiches
2) Chicken dumpling soup
3) More soup that went into the freezer
4) BBQ chicken wraps
5) Mashed potatoes with gravy

Here's how I did it....

First I cooked a frozen chicken in the crockpot with about 2-3 cups water until done (about 5 hours). Took the chicken out and poured all the liquid in a bowl to cool. This liquid is the drippings I used to make my gravy.

Then I de-boned the chicken, although this wasn't very difficult as most of the meat slide right off after being in the crock pot. I seperated the meat into 3 bags, adding homemade bbq sauce to 2 of the bags (ketchup, few shakes of liquid smoke, pinch of brown sugar, and you could add some minced onion but I left that out this time).

Then I took all of the bones from the chicken, gizzards, fatty parts, etc and put them into a stock pot with a bunch of carrots, celery, onion and parsley and water til covered. Simmer this for 6 hours of more. Then strain liquid and discard the solids. The liquid is now your homemade chicken broth! I used this as the base of my dumpling soup, along with the bag of non-bbq chicken.

Whole wheat hamburger buns....

Yummy yummy yummy!!!


So I begged and begged Nathan to allow me to post the newest picture of the house on here and he denied me. Therefore, you'll just have to wait to see pictures either until it's finished or Nathan gives in :) But I will tell you that it's looking awesome...the windows are fixed so the front of the house now looks as what as were expecting it to, the garage door is on, the siding is on (the stucco will have to wait until spring but I think stone might go on this winter still), they have sheetrocked, mudding and taping should be done, cabinets are underway, appliances are ordered...it's coming together!!

Speaking of appliances....we found out that the frig we originally had picked out doesn't have the right side dor swing that we need and that model doesn't have the option to change the hinge so we need to pick out a different frig. The only problem is that we are limited to a counter-depth frig because of how our kitchen is set up which wouldn't be a problem but we wanted an freezerless frig so we could have more space for our hungry family! The choice is limited now but we think we might have found one that will do. Its not what we had in mind, but it's still a nice looking frig.

What made the search for the new frig a little more difficult was the fact that I was using our "old" computer (the same as I am now) because my sweet little 20 mo old daughter dumped a glass of water on the keyboard of our other laptop. The keyboard is non functioning so I bought a different keyboard..got it to work! Only to find out that all the programs on the computer are all messed up! I click on one, a different one opens! So, since I haven't been on top of my game and have all my pictures on cds, I am at the risk of losing my last couple years worth of pictures! I'm hoping my brother will be able to salvage some for me over Christmas!

My sweet angel that spilled the water....just readin' a book...lookin' all innocent :)

Some people have been asking how I fit all my kids in our 2 bedroom apartment and I was going to show some sweet pictures of my little guys sleeping and how they all work in the same bedroom. I'll have to see if I can get some pictures either off my camera or the other computer...

For now I am going to enjoy the rest of the evening with my hubby as he doesn't have to go to work tomorrow! The weather was predicted to get really bad tonight so they have already canceled work for tomorrow. Hopefully I can keep up with this computer and

Friday, December 3, 2010

black friday

Last week was my first "Black Friday" shopping experience and I might just hafta say that it was also my last!!

We put the kids to bed and Nathan and I ventured out to Walmart about 10:45pm to get to the midnight sales. So since I've never done this before, I figured we could pick up the stuff we needed, put everything in our cart and just check out after 12. Well, little did I know that you can't touch the stuff on sale until exactly midnight! So it seemed as though everyone that lived within St. Cloud's city limits and then some were also at Walmart waiting for the deals. At one point I asked Nathan if he wanted to ditch our cart and leave because it was getting that crazy. A couple hundred bucks is not worth losing your sanity over!! But we decided to stick it out and see what happened!

We were planning on walking around the store and doing other shopping until 12 but since people kept flooding in and standing on top of the things they wanted to grab first once midnight struck, it was getting harder and harder to move in the store, much less with a cart! If you can see the people in this picture, you can get an idea of just how crazy it was. There was people like this in every aisle and any space there was in the store. NO getting anywhere fast!

Well, midnight happened and you would hear a sworm of busyness start! We picked up the things we wanted to get ie: Shark steamer for $36, Kitchen Aid mixer for $146, some toys over 50% off, and a 14' trampoline for $145! While we were on the way to the check out we noticed that every cart we saw had at least 2 or 3 shop vacs in them so we decided to get one too! Must be a good deal, right?? :) It was a 5 gallon for $15.

So we made our way to the check outs and they had all 30+ lines open with each line crossing the once wide open space and going into the clothes section so we just picked a lane and waited. We were in line at 12:11 and got to the car about 12:50...not too bad but of course we had to be in the slowest line possible! Plus what made it worse was that I start getting really hot standing in line and then I started thinking about all the people there and about how I was hungry and then I thought about how I passed out 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Tiernan and all of a sudden I became dizzy...NOT good I thought! So I whipped off my coat and scarf and told Nathan to hold my purse (he loved that) and I headed to the restrooms to get a drink of water and get out of the sea of people. That helped and was good to go after that.

One thing that we couldn't believe was that the police were outside towing peoples car that weren't in an actual parking spot. How would you like that?...You had a cart full of stuff, it's 1am and you go outside and your car is gone! I'm sure there were a few angry people!

After we got back to Nathan's parents house, I went to sleep about 2am and Nathan's mom woke me up at 2:45am to head out again! This time it was Herbergers which was hardly better than Walmart, with every woman in town at this store! I don't think I'll go there again especially when I could order the deals online with free shipping! that's too crazy for me!

After there we hit up Toys r us...didn't buy anything though. Then over to the grocery store...And then over to Kmart, which I also came out of empty handed. But the interesting thing about Kmart was that we got there 5 minutes before it opened at 5am and there was a line of people about a block long and 5 people wide flowing out from the doors waiting for it to open. There was no way I was going to wait outside in close to below 0 weather for it to open so I waited in the nice warm car and once they opened the doors, Mary brought me up to the front, I got out of the car, walked right in and I was out by the time some of those people waiting in line were even in the store! I'm amazed at how some people think sometimes!!

We made it back about 5:30am and Mary made me an omlet before going to bed. I slept from 5:45 to 9:30 that morning. And that's enough Black Friday for me!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

point to ponder

Chocolate??.....What chocolate???

That actually wasn't the 'point to ponder' but she is so darn cute, isn't she?? :)

Here's the real question....

"Would you hire you to manage your money?"

If the answer is "no", then there's some work that needs to be done but the great part about it is that getting on the right track is just ONE DECISION away!!

Are you ready to change?? Are you ready to take control of your finances instead of letting your money control you??

It may sound like a daunting task, but let me assure you that it is not! The hardest part of making a budget, sticking to it and knocking out debt like its a disease is deciding to get gazelle intense about it and letting NOTHING stand in your way! But watch out because once you are on a roll, you won't be stopped!!

Dave Ramsey is having a Christmas/End of the year sale on all of his books, etc and most of you know that we are huge Dave fans so I'd encourage you to go over to his website and check them out.

Also, I am always available by email to answer any questions that you may have on the road to becoming debt free! My email is dawnlegatt@msn.com and I am LOVING the emails that are still coming in from my last post I did on budgeting way back in the summer....when we lived in the rv...in a campgroud...yeah, remember those days?...yeah, me too!

Another thing that motivates us to stick with our budget and to 'live like no one else' because "if we live like no one else then we can give like no one else"...and that has to be the greatest blessing...to be able to bless others! It is so rewarding to take the focus off yourself and to give to help others, it truly is wonderful!!

So go ahead, make a plan for the new year and kick it into action! The only thing getting in your way is yourself!