Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Edition of "This & That"

It All Makes More Sense Now (Aidan & worms)
Aidan comes home from school filthy. I mean head-to-toe dirty, as in dirt and wood chips. At first I thought it was cute, and I still kind of do. But I've been wondering just what they're doing.
Well I learned a tad more yesterday.
I was at the school for the volunteer thing I do-the recess walking club with the kids.
Thank God for that.
I learned that the 3rd grade class has a class pet, a snake class pet. (I'll be avoiding that room!) That teacher encourages them to dig in the wood chips for worms, because they can feed them to the snake. A-ha! (the kindergartners aren't feeding the snake, just finding the food)
I thought that was kind of cute. It's also made for a new routine on our end: come home from school, undress over a towel to collect dirt, then shower.

Financial Peace University
Yesterday Pat & I started the course for Financial Peace University, aka finances Dave Ramsey style. (you can read about it here)
It went much better than I expected. Fortunately we had both read Total Money Makeover a few years back, so we've already implemented some of his ideas, and most of what we heard was not first-time for us.
We're working on Baby Step 2: the Debt Snowball. I am excited to say we have 3 bills right now that will probably be paid off within the next 6 months. One of them is our Odyssey! It's exciting to think about the decrease in stress we'll feel once we're in a better financial state.

I did hear something from last night's class that really struck me. It may be a "Duh!" thing for the rest of you, but I finally internalized it. It's also the first time I remember hearing it this way.
When you have an emergency fund, you'll notice you have fewer emergencies.
Hello, truth!
The big point was avoiding two "emergencies". For example, let's say your car transmission goes, and you have no emergency fund from which to pay for the repairs. You then create an additional financial emergency. If you have the emergency fund there, you only have that one stress.
So many times for us before we gained a financial "emergency" because we had no financial back-up. And credit cards?! No way. We stopped using them long ago, and to put it bluntly: they're the reason we got into a not-so-great position to begin with.
If you have the money, or the means to set aside what you'd pay off on your card each month, then why not just do that?

Next week we go back & I look forward to it. We're going over the budget forms, which means Pat & I sit down together this weekend to do October's budget. I am armed & ready!

Crockpot Applesauce Chicken
Oh my, this was a new recipe for us this week, and we really liked it!
The house smelled so good by the end of the day. So I thought I'd share. :)
I served it over barley. (barley is a good grain/starch, and I think it's under-appreciated)

--4 frozen chicken breast halves or thighs (I used 2 of each)
--1 1/2 cups of applesauce

--1 T dried onion flakes, or 1 yellow onion, chopped finely
--1 T apple cider vinegar

--1/4 tsp cinnamon

--1/2 tsp black pepper
--2 cloves garlic, minced
--1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, I used them, and added more to the adult servings)

The Directions.

A 3 or 4 quart crockpot is the best size for this, but I did use a 6 quart. If your pot cooks fast, err on the lower end of cooking time.
Put the frozen chicken pieces into your crockpot. Add the onion (if you are using the dried onion, wait and add it to the applesauce). In a bowl, mix the applesauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices together. Pour on top of the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, or on high for 3-4.

Thanks to Stephanie for sharing this recipe on her blog!

There you have it. A little bit of this, little bit of that...
And thank God it's Thursday evening! I am looking forward to a TV night, featuring The Office, Community, and the return of Grey's Anatomy! 94% ff kettle corn, Diet Pepsi, Weight Watchers mint ice cream sandwich...oh yeah. Let the kids go to bed & momma unwind!
For tomorrow we start it all over again, right? At least tomorrow I get to do recess walking club again. I wonder what I'll learn.


Sue said...

pet snake?! yikes, I don't even like the pet hamster in Haleigh's class!

Lu said...

So glad FPU went well last night. The hardest part for us was doing the budget. It took us a month or two but after that, it was simple!!!

Thanks for the recipe for the chicken