Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Monday Double Post

Last week was just one of those weeks, again. Getting back on schedule from Spring Break and just catching up with Frankie since I was gone for half the week. So not a lot of posting! We actually didn't post at all which is a shame, because we had some great Menu Monday news to share! Last Sunday night, we again had dinner with our friend Amy before her contract was up here in Houston. It was great to visit with her again and share a meal but she brought us a great blessing too- all her leftover food from the time that she's been living here! How thoughtful to think of us; most people would just toss it! We're so thankful for her friendship and her food! ;)

So last week we finished up another two week cycle of groceries and we actually had quite a bit leftover. God just seems to keep us adequately supplied! Since we did have some hearty leftovers and Amy gave us so much we decided to pick up a couple essentials for this week and save the rest for our trip fund...which, by the way, we tested out this week. ;) Some friends invited us to lunch on Saturday, and not wanting our Food Challenge to hinder our social lives, we accepted. We decided to go ahead and pull from our trip fund to pay for this meal. We did mangage to find a coupon for free queso and shared a meal to cut our costs...we ended up paying under $8 for our meal out! Not too bad! And after this cycle, we'll be able to add about another $20 into that fund! So it works pretty nicely. :)

This is a lot of food for us at one time! Our freezer is usually empty!

The few items we picked up for the next two weeks are eggs, oatmeal, and ice cream! This is of course a special treat but we weren't shopping out of pocket! Remember that $10 CVS giftcard we mentioned awhile back? We finally decided to use it since we were only getting a couple things...turns out we picked a good time to spend it! The ice cream was on sale 2/$3, the eggs only $1.50, and we hit up some really good clearance! We found a whole stash of stuff that was around 90% off!!! Ice cream cones for $.10, oatmeal for $.10, candies for $.09 and $.16, and lots of other cheap goodies! Needless to say, we made great use of that free gift card!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CHF + Haiti

Children's Hunger Fund is a great organization that we both love. We first really got involved with CHF at a "Bigger Than You" city wide gathering with Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. CHF was there to distribute 10,000 Food Paks to be filled and returned to bless the hungry in the city of San Antonio. We grabbed some boxes then and from that moment our lives were changed. We have come to know and love the heart of this group and the ways that God is working through them.

One of the things that we really like about CHF is that they are active in our city- giving food, sharing love, and making a difference. But they also work internationally doing great things for people around the globe. For this month's giving (February, actually) we have decided to participate in their campaign to raise $65,000.00 for tents, water, and food to help the people of Haiti.

"For about $65 each, we should be able to supply a family with a waterproof tent and a household water filter to help them through this crisis. In addition, we will supply Food Paks and French Creole bibles for the churches to provide as ministry tools. Again, our desire is to supply these items to a minimum of 1,000 impacted families. To do so, we are seeking to raise at least $65,000 in the next few days." ~ CHF

This is a bit more than what we had decided to donate each month, but we are so blessed and the need is so great. Praying that as people continue to become aware of how great the need still is and the pratical ways to help that God will continue to move hearts to care for His people.

Thank you CHF for what you do! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it! Thank you God for blessing us so abundantly so that we can give so abudantly!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pizza Night!

This is our last night together before Taylor leaves me to go party in San Antonio on spring break.... (a 6 year old party for the coolest little brother-in-law in the world. ;) )
So for dinner tonight we tried our pizza crust recipe! It was so easy and it tasted so good. It made a lot more then we had planned so I will get to enjoy pizza while I'm on my own. Enjoy the show!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Monday

Today is another great Menu Monday! We finished up all of our Big Lots finds yesterday... well today. The one item we had left that was untouched from the last four weeks was one $.33 bag of fideo. (We cooked it for dinner today. ;) ) So now we begin a new cycle! Yesterday we went grocery shopping, and after four weeks of "Meals in a box" we were ready for some freshness!! Apples, bananas, lettuce, potatoes, cheese, milk, eggs, flour, a few bags of frozen vegetables, olive oil, and a bag of pepperonis, all the things on our grocery list, and we made it out of there almost on budget… $.27 over…(should have only got one $.28 bag of frozen vegetables!) A few things that we had to put back- jelly, salad dressing, spaghetti, and a box of mac and cheese- BOO!!!

With the items we did get, plus surplus of what's been hanging out in the pantry, we should be set to make most of the things we need. A few things that I am looking forward to making this week is pizza crust for home made pizza, bread, bread sticks, croutons, and salad dressing! We will be putting the "More-with-Less" cook book we got for Christmas to the test!

I love the fact that flour, yeast, butter, sugar, salt, more flour, and more flour, make bread! I love the process of making it, the time it takes for it to set, waiting for it to rise, the smell that it makes when it is baking, and then waking Taylor up to try the first piece, due to the fact that I work till 6 and don’t get around to starting till about 9 or 10. We will definitely keep you posted on how some of these things turn out during the week.

Another thing that we will be doing soon is making our February donation to a food/water based organization, which will be a post of its own I’m sure. Also, if you didn’t see last week we posted something in the middle of the week - "Wordless Wednesday". It is something that Taylor’s mom does over at and we enjoy it so much that we decided to take part! (Most of the time it will just be a picture, hence the wordless part. ;) ) "Thankful Thursday" is something else we've considered making a part of our weekly blogging... It’s sometimes a lot to fit in- between homework, studying, work, church, friends, and family, but we enjoy sharing with you so much. :) We are both so blessed, knowing that you come to check in on us from time to time. Thank you for caring about what we are sharing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Big News!

This post is for those of you who Twitter and want to do something really great.

USANA Health Sciences is donating $1 to Children's Hunger Fund everytime you tweet #Help4Kids. This is good from now through next Wednesday (March 17th). So tweet away! And if you don't have a twitter account, what better reason to join?

Follow @isupportCHF to find out more about it.

And of course @taylorfrankie too. ;)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu Monday

If a month ago all I had to eat for the rest of the week was a can of beans, two small packages of pasta, a can of corn, and one more meal in a box I would truly be worried... Now we are so happy to know that we will definitely have some kind of surplus from our four week stock! I look at our shelf in the pantry and I no longer see how empty it is but how full! It really has not been a bad experience the past four weeks- a few days we have been left unsatisfied but not to the point of any real hunger. Sometimes I worry right before the pay check comes in... how are we gonna pay the bills? how are we gonna buy food? how are we gonna pay for gas? Then my wonderful wife finds a coupon for a restaurant that we would never go into because we don't spend money like that often on food, and we eat for free. I laugh at times like that, here I am worrying, and then out of no where we are blessed.

Sometimes the blessings flow in more then we need...

Grandma packed us a box of food while she was cleaning out her pantry a couple of weeks ago. Pastas, sauce, a can of orange juice, cans of fruit, a can of chicken, and a few other things. It was a good variety of food, but we were in the middle of our four weeks, so we didn't even unload it from the trunk of my car. We gave it away last week in an unexpected event at our small group... A newcomer said that he stopped to talk to a homeless man on his way in, bought him some dinner with the money he had and didn't have enough left when the man asked if he could help him get a room in a local hotel. This came at a point in our discussion of Jesus' command to "Go" into the world and find the poor, homeless, hungry, and imprisoned. Our conversation was circling around that word "Go" and how we struggle with it, so here the newcomer interjected, "Do you want to go? I mean, I know someone who needs some help right now. After he explained to us the story we all decided to pitch in... why continue to read and talk about what we should be doing in our community if we don't act on the scripture? I never carry cash these days, but hey- I had a box of food in my trunk! We gladly handed over the food, and a few of the guys drove down to take it to them. They visited and were sung too and at the end of their stay they were invited back for dinner a few days later. On the menu: the pasta that Grandma had packed us. We couldn't make it to dinner but we heard it was good, and another invitation came out of it. I hope we can make it to the next one!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Special Dinner Guest :)

Tonight we had our friend, Amy, over for dinner! We met Amy through our volunteer time at CHF in San Antonio but she is currently on assignment here in Houston! So we get to hang out! How cool?! Amy is a fellow blogger as well so check her out here or click her pic in our "followers" section! :D

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Monday

This is our third week living off of our BIG LOTS finds... and things are looking pretty good!

We went out today to stock up on a few things (bread, milk, and butter) with money we set aside when we were purchasing our original items.

As a nice change of pace we may be setting the table for three sometime soon, but we won't spoil the surprise just yet! You will have to come back to find out who our special guest will be...

As a side note, you might have noticed that there is something different in our apartment- after talking about it for almost a year we finally painted a wall yesterday! It's purple and we would love to hear what you think!