Thursday, December 31, 2009

Plan to Make it AND Make it With a Plan

This year is a year full of financial aspirations.... And my (I think it is my...) new motto is....

Plan to Make it AND Make it with a Plan!

This year we are going to be really hitting the debt and we have a few goals and plans to get us there. I really believe that without written goals and plans, achieving something is almost unattainable.

I wrote a few of our financial goals in this post, but I really wanted to get more in depth with them today...

2010 Financial Goals
  • First and foremost, Andy and I will be sitting down monthly and preparing a budget together. Dave Ramsey heeds the wisdom of spending ever dollar on paper first. I really like this approach and it works well for us.
  • We will stick to the budget. No more, "Well we have the $$ so we can go ahead and buy..." I will be praying about every $ spent and will no longer give into impulse buying. Every dollar will have a purpose and all extra money will be air-marked to debt!
  • I will begin couponing. I am a big encourager of whole, real foods but I do believe that there are some healthy eating coupons out there and to be honest, so days I just don't feel like spending 4 hours in the kitchen. On those days this past year, we would jump in the car and head to a fast food establishment. Now you tell me... What is worse- a frozen pizza or a trip to McDonalds where we do not get the healthy choices?
  • We will be eating at home a lot more! No more eating out during the week at all. Weekends we will occassionally and sparingly use our gift cards but just on date and special times.
  • Grocery shop with a list and STICK TO IT!
  • Spend the summer and fall gardening and harvesting as much of our own food as possible.
  • We are going to be staying at home more regularly and be a better steward of gas by planning before we go. If we aren't driving just to drive, we will have more gas!
  • Menu Plan! We save so much money if I follow a menu plan and cook around the sales.
  • We closed all of our credit card accounts this year but we really need to start using cash more and the debit card less.
  • We will make better use of free resources such as the library.
  • When the weather is nice, we will do more family activities outside such as bike riding, hiking, going for walks, playing outside, etc.
  • I am going to journal all purchases and catelog our receipts.
  • We are going to continue the tradition of mostly homemade items for Christmas gifts.
  • I am going to be blogging more regularly about financial topics.
  • MOST OF ALL... We are going to take care, use up and be content with what we already have been blessed with instead of wanting different or more.
We have the goals to...
  1. establish and KEEP our emergency fund.
  2. pay off $10,000 of medical debt.
  3. save for my dental implants.
  4. and lastly save for our awesome vacation coming up in September (I will fill you in on it more later. I am so excited!)
So now... What are your goals financially for 2010? Is this the year you and your family are going to take a stand and say no more to debt? If so, join Andy and I on our journey to financial freedom!
This post is linked to Frugal Friday.

sorry Oregan fans....

but... I just had to!


We'll see YOU at the Rose Bowl tomorrow!

Blogging Goals 2010

I first learned about Savvy Blogging from The Happy Housewife and I have been following Savvy Blogging through twitter.

I don't know that I am real into making this blog an income generator or business but it would be nice. I just don't know if I'm to that point yet. (Am I good enough writer? How do I get people to visit? Oh the anxious thoughts that come when I begin to think about it...) Writing is a hobby (as is blogging) that I enjoy. It helps relieve the pressures of life and it helps me escape into my peaceful, quiet little world (which isn't always the case at my house...)

However, I would like to get more people involved in my blog. I (in my opinion) believe that I have information that many women (and men) could use and appreciate AND opinions many will share.

Therefore, my 2010 blogging goals are:
  • Take more time and research topics more.
  • Take part and commenting on more blogs and carnivals.
  • Blog consistently, yet have few posts with more depth.
  • Take time away. Do not constantly check sitemeter and comments. That quickly brings negative feelings and burnout.
  • Blog while my family is busy. I need to either rise earlier or blog during quiet time. Blogging should not take the place of time with my family or giving them the care they need.
  • Most importantly, pray over and surrender my blog to the Lord.
What are your 2010 goals? Head over #SavvyBlogging on Monday!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Eat From Your Pantry Intro...

Have y'all decided if you are with me on the Eat -From -the -Pantry -Challenge over at Life as Mom? I've got to be honest, I am a little leary of it myself...

BUT... I am hoping that this post persuades you just a little bit more. FishMama over at Life as Mom wrote this post yesterday about how everyone's goals and pantries are different. We don't necessarily have to go all month, we could start with one week or we could go longer than one month.

That got me thinking a little bit... I am known to many who know me IRL as being my own worst critic. I am the queen of good intentions but yet not so good at fulfilling them. Then when I don't, I beat myself up unmercifully. Therefore if you remember me going back and forth in this post about whether or not I was going to take part in the challenge, it was really hard for me to decide.
But today I decided that I am whole-heartedly going to do this! However, I am going to do it one week at a time. So this week I am proclaiming that from Friday, January 1st until Friday, January 8th. At that point, I will re-evaluate where I stand in the challenge.

Sound good to you? Then why don't you give it a try with me? I really, really do like accountability partners and this is a great way to start out the New Year and get our lives back to ordinary after the chaos of the Holidays!

So today, I am unveiling my stash of food. Now be warned that I am not organized right now. With all the sickness and festivities, my organization and clean home flew the coup! :) And in case you were wondering, my canned foods stash still pretty much looks like this.

This is my pantry. A mess, but still my pantry. Plenty of food in there, huh?

Here are some of my canned goods and baking stuff. Still plenty!

This is my baking/from scratch chest. Still plenty in there (even a loaf of cheater-bread :))!

My inside freezer, stocked!

And my garage freezer, over-stocked. I almost could not close it!

So how about it? Are you in or are you out? I think you should be it! If you have more questions or concerns or are just nosey head over to life as mom, she'll be glad to show you the way!

New Year's Goals!

ike I said, I am a lover of goals and lists therefore New Year's Resolutions just get me all excited! I love to re-evaluate our lives and see if there are changes or easier ways to do things.

This year after reading Marybeth and Curt Whalen's book, Andy and I decided to implament the idea of "no-matter whats" in our goals for the year. This is a concept that whatever is going on we have runs set and we stick to them.

Jodi's No-Matter Whats for 2010
No Matter What....

  1. I will worship in some fashion everyday whether it is extra Bible reading, a specific time for quiet prayer, a Christian book, or stopping and lifting my voice and heart to Heaven.
  2. I will be more focused on Dylan's schooling and be more open to "crafting and messy" ideas.
  3. Our family will get into good daily routines and try to continue to follow them.
  4. I will exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes
  5. Through the good, bad and the ugly we will keep track and write down our Weight Watchers points.
  6. We will eat at home every week day with only a few occassional eating out meals on the weekends.
  7. I will drink 32 oz. of water every day and then gradually bump it up to 64 oz.
  8. I will have a protein shake for breakfast and take my meds and vitamins regularly everyday.
  9. We will work on a budget together and stick to it.
  10. I will clean 45 minutes per day and do laundry daily instead of one big, exhausting session.
Here is my 2010 goal list:
Books to Read:
Family Goals
  • Begin family movie nite and family game nite
  • Be more adament and deliberate about starting our own family traditions
Financial Goals
  • Andy and I work on budget together and stick to it
  • Find new and inventive ways to save money
  • Establish emergency fund
  • Pay off $10,000.00 of medical debt
  • Save for my dental implants
  • Journal all purchases and better organize/keep receipts
  • Begin couponing
Homemaking Goals
  • Prepare a few freezer meals for hectic days
  • Make a meal journal and rotate for menu planning
  • Become more deligent in menu planning
  • Organize and thin out clothes
  • Organize pantry and make a journal of contents
  • Center our meals around healthy couponing
  • Try 3 new recipes a month
  • De-clutter and clean room by room for garage sales in spring and fall
  • find a home-cleaning routine that works for me
  • find easier ways to garden and use harvest as well as grow garden by adding more vegetables
Personal Goals
  • 20% weight loss goal by May
  • Begin to sew and use up fabric stock
  • Make aprons
  • Get scrapbooks more caught up
  • Continue the homemade Christmas gift tradition for next Christmas
  • Better health choices including taking medicine and vitamins regularly
Spiritual Goals
  • Read Bible daily
  • Better attendence at church functions
  • Begin prayer journal
  • Reach out to those at church who are new or that I do not know.
  • Be better prepared for Sunday school and Small Group
New Recipes I Want to Try:
I composed a list last Saturday of recipes I would like to try this year. Click here to see it!

Do you have New Year's Goals? If you do, link up at The Happy Housewife and find some great accountability partners!

Wordless Wednesday-- Cookie Thief!

This is a series of events ending with the capture of the cookie thief! :)

For more great Wordless Wednesday ideas click here!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Advice and Tips Needed....

As I sit here on the couch, I am surrounded by toys... Toys are everywhere in our home. If y'all remember, I have an extremely hard time with toys just sitting out everywhere. I am working very hard on paying more open to having toys and such in a reasonable organized viewable manner, but with the end of Christmas comes the beginning of toy maddness.

So today I am wondering... Do you have any good toy organizing methods for various aged children (and sexes if you have them)?

Question number two:

With New Years approaching... Do you have any die hard advice on how to stick to health and financial goals?

Question number three:

This year I would really like to learn how to sew. My interests right now are bags, purses, and aprons (and maybe cloth diapers). I am not a very good seamstress. I have tried and failed. Any suggestions on where to begin and what to do?

And my last question:

This year, I feel led to begin couponing... What tried and true advice and tips to you have for me?
This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday. There are a lot of questions being asked there today. Maybe just maybe it is a question you have... Check it out!

Christmas Pictures

I know I've been posting a lot lately... BUT my new friend, Paige, has asked for Christmas pictures and boy, oh boy, did I feel like I should deliver... I am such a self-sacrificing friend! :)
So here are some of my favorite memories of Christmas '09....

*Christmas Eve at my Parents*

Caleb in front of the tree.
Tyler pretending all the presents were his.

My sweetheart and me...

My mom and Lincoln

My Daddy...

Caleb reading the Christmas story.

Dylan listening to the Christmas story

My Dad and Dylan messing around while waiting on another present!

*Christmas Eve Aunt Linda's (Andy's aunt)*

Lincoln scoping out the gifts!

Me and Jenni

*Davis Christmas Morning!*


Lincoln was super excited about getting an Incredible Hulk walkie talkie like his big brother!

The three most important boys in my life!

Mama with the best Christmas gifts ever!

Our Christmas breakfast: Sausage ball and sweet rolls.

The annual "get up early on Christmas morning and take a pic in our new PJs" family pic. Lincoln looks so tired buy I still think it is adorable!

Dylan looking so incredibly handsome!

*Christmas Lunch at Grandma Clapp's (My Grandparents)*
Uncle Mark and Cousin Catie

My Grandpa and Lincoln

Dylan opening his Nerf gun! Can you tell he's excited?

My cousin Catie helping Lincoln opening his gift.

*Christmas at Grandma Muirheid's (Andy's Grandma) Christmas*
This is me and my sister-in-law. She is great and one of my best friends!

Here is a picture of all three boys on the Davis' side, (left to right) Lincoln, Dylan and Ben.

Dylan made me so proud. He was so patient and grateful for all the gifts!

This is Andy's cousin, Jason. Next week I will be doing a post on Jason. Stay tuned. He is such an AWESOME and heart-warming guy!

Jason and Dylan. Dylan adores Jason. They are great buds!

Have any great Christmas memories? Head on over to Paige's and take part in the Blog Hop!

Monday, December 28, 2009

GratiTuesday - A Grateful Year in Review

Before I get into just how blessed we were this year, I want to share with y'all the Christmas letter we sent out. I hope it conveyed to our friends and family AND conveys to you all the message of how God has abundantly blessed us this year!

Merry Christmas from the Davis Family!

I have to be honest with y’all; I did not want to write a Christmas letter. I didn’t want to take the time to try and figure out what to say. This year has been pretty uneventful and we have been blessed… Hey there, wait a minute! I should write and tell how we have been blessed beyond belief this year… God has been faithful!

Lincoln is getting so big. He is going to be two years old in April. I cannot believe a year ago we were running around trying to find why he wouldn’t gain weight. We went to the pediatrician this week and he is on track and healthy. Praise be to God! He is a handful and he definitely has his Mama’s spunk! I love him so much! He is into everything that Dylan and the cousins are into. He wants to hang with the big boys! He doesn’t talk yet (except for Mama! :)), but why should he when Mama and Dylan fill everything in for him!

Dylan is also getting so big! He is so tall (110 percentile to be exact!). He is going to be five years old in June. It is so hard to believe the little boy (don’t tell him I called him little) that saved my life is already getting so big. It seems just like yesterday! He loves to play outside and with superheroes! I am homeschooling him right now and we are both enjoying our time together. If you would have told me it would be going this well, I would have laughed at you. It is truly God’s work! He is such a blessing and I love and enjoy every minute of being around him. He has a heart of gold and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for him!

With this crazy economy, we are blessed that Andy is still working at Evenflo. There have been quite a few lay-offs and he’s still there and working his way up to doing new important parts of the business. We have been blessed!

I spent the summer gardening and preserving food. We were blessed in abundance. We were not only able to put up enough food for ourselves but also for friends and family that were in need. Blessings, blessings and more blessings! God is faithful!

We hope this letter finds you and yours healthy! We love you all and you are in our prayers!
Andy, Jodi, Dylan and Lincoln

Through GratiTuesday, I was able to write a lot of posts about what I was grateful for. Here is a quick explanation and if you click on them, they will take you to the post itself.
This year has been a year full of blessings. We were continually shown God's faithfulness! I cannot praise Him enough!
For more incredible stories of God's greatness, go check out Heavenly Homemakers!

Parmesan- Dijon Chicken

ou remember this list? Well tonight I crossed one off - Parmesan-Dijon Chicken.

It was so incredibly good. It was the first dinner in a long time that Andy and I did NOT have to fight our children to eat. Actually, Lincoln (who is a good eater) was eating the chicken so fast, I finally just stopped eating until he was done.

My personal opinion:

The recipe was super easy. The one direction I didn't follow was turning the chicken. Therefore, it was a little soggy and less crispy on the bottom. That really didn't bother me much.

I am NOT a big fan of Dijon mustard BUT in this recipe, it gave the chicken just the right flavor.

I could only taste a hint of Parmesan taste but it (along with the bread crumbs) kept the chicken extremely moist.

Andy also kept saying things like "yummy!", "MMM...." and "Honey, this is REAL good!". That always makes me feel good!

All in all, this recipe was a success! It is going in my dinner rotation and we will be looking forward to every time we get to eat it!

Here is the recipe:

Parmesan-Dijon Chicken

1 3/4 lbs. of chicken tenderloins
3/4 c. of bread crumbs
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 T. Dijon mustard

1. Thaw chicken.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Melt butter and mix in Dijon mustard- set to side.
4. Combine bread crumbs and cheese in a Zip-loc bag.
5. Dip chicken in butter-mustard mixture.
6. Place in bag one at a time and shake until totally covered in mixture.
7. Place in an ungreased 9x13 pan.
8. Bake for 20-30 minutes turning chicken once.

That's all there is to it and it is so delicious! Andy helped me and kept singing some kind of "Shake and Bake" jingle. If you decide to try this recipe, I wouldn't recommend it! :)

trying to decide....

With all my New Year's goals and re-evaluating I am wondering if I want to take part in this challenge...

It would be really great to job start our money saving, using what we have, and being good steward goals... But do I really want to put that much into it?


Hm..... I feel like I blog a lot already, but I really enjoy it. It makes me feel better on track and in control... Do I really want to commit to this?


Hmm.... I really wanted to tell you about it and hope that maybe someone wanted to take part in it with me. It could be really good for a lot of us!

Hmm.... Ummm... Hmm... I'm thinking... Can't you tell? That's the sound of one incredible "thinker" working!

Hmm.... OK! Let's do it!

Wanna take part in this challenge with me? If you do, leave a comment... I love accountability partners!

Starting January 1st I will be taking part in the Eat From Your Pantry Challenge!