Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grocery Shopping Feb 1 - Feb 6

Well, no picture this week. I had to scramble to get groceries today in between church services and heading up to my parents for my dads birthday party. It was a mad dash to get the groceries home, out of the car and head out.

BUT that said, I had a great shopping trip this week. I did quite a bit of stock up again. I only shopped one store, Cost Cutter and planned my menu around what they had on sale.

Total spent: $76.32
Total SAVED!! : $59.42!!

I will put a * by what is for this weeks menu.

4 hot pockets .99 each- $3.96
meatballs $4.09
*Stouffers party size lasagan $7.99 (I cannot make it cheaper than this)
2 - 2 litters soda $1.98
5.84# bananas $3.44
* 1# carrots .99
* 1.01# green cabbage .58
3 cans tuna .99
4 cans spaghettios $1.98
parmesan cheese $3.49
* 2 pkg lunch meat $4.96 (they charged me for 3 will have to call them)
4 pasta $1.98
4 spaghetti sauce $1.98
* shredded cheddar $1.99
* rice $1.19
1 peanut butter .99
15# flour $3.87
* 1 gallon milk $2.39
* 10# chicken hindquarters $5.80
3 cornbread mix .99
* half & half $2.29
* 5# potatoes .98
2 ocean spray juice $3.00
2 loaves bread .99
* ground beef $10.79

Not bad. My pantry is starting to look much better for stock up. My grocery cost for this week was not much at all.

Menu Feb 1- Feb 6, 2010

Wow the past week got away from me! It was alot crazier than I planned. This week is going to be equally crazy. Here is our menu. This weeks menu is based on what was on sale this week.

M- Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
T- Crockpot chicken noodle soup, hm biscuits
W- Lasagna, garlic bread and salad
Th- Tacos, Spanish rice
F- Crockpot chicken in artichoke/caper sauce, rice and veggies
S- HM sub sandwiches & chips

Breakfast choices:
breakfast quesadillas
hm muffins

Lunches: at school or leftovers at home

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

Monday. Ah joyous Monday. I find myself each week stressed and in a bad mood suffering from "the Monday's". I decided to approach today with a different attitude. I started off the day telling myself, its going to be a good day. I will not fret over the kids getting out the door on time, they always do but I still worry about it. I will not let the mountain of work from my paying job to should be. The work will wait for me its certainly not going anywhere.

As I do each morning, I wrote out my daily to do list. I work from 3 lists. Yes I am a list addict. I probably need a 12 step program for it but hey it works for me. I have a master to do list, things I slowly chip away at over time. Each morning I write out a to do list for that day for home and one for work. The one from home will contain one or two items from that master list.

Today's list looked like this:
run damp jeans/towels from rack thru drier for 20 min.
put today's load thru the washing machine
kids up and off to school
feed cats
cleaned out personal email
work 8 hours
hang laundry to dry
empty dw
bake french bread rolls for dinner
bake banana bread for after school snack
water plants
clean bathroom
clean out microwave
baskets under bathroom sink
go thru pantry downstairs take mental note of what we have
garbage out to can
general tidy
iron clothes for working in the office tomorrow

Now, did I complete that entire list? NO. Am I worried about it NO. Some days I get thru my list and other days I do not.

One of the BEST parts about Mondays however, are my small group! I joined a small group thru church last January and it is a wonderful group of ladies! We have recently had a couple more join us and it is just an awesome group.

My goal for this week is to approach each day with that positive attitude and see how much it helps! Another thing I am trying to make sure we do is sit down and eat at the table TOGETHER. I know its a "duh" thing but we find ourselves busy and off in different directions so much. Just sit together at the table, pray, talk and eat it is amazing what a difference that makes!

And to end this rambling of madness, an ooooooh so good recipe we tried tonight that everyone loved! I served this with homemade french rolls and green salad. Enjoy!!

Tortellini Carbonara
8 bacon strips diced
1 c heavy cream (I used half and half)
1/2 c minced fresh parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg (9oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. While that is cooking bring water to boil for pasta. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon, drain grease from pan and return bacon to pan. Add cream, parsley and cheese. Cook uncovered on medium heat until heated thru. meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle cheese sauce over pasta. Stir to coat and serve immediately.

One last side note and excitement, we live on a farm. While we do not run the farm we get to enjoy all of the excitement that goes along with it including new babys on the farm! So far this week 9 calves with 20 more to come in the next week or so. They are so cute, yes cows are cute.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 23, 2010

I tried a new recipe tonight, it sounded good when I read it. It sounded good as I bought the ingredients. As I started putting it together, I thought to myself "what was I thinking?". Not all recipes are a hit and this one, well, it will not be a repeat in our house. The kids were troopers though they ate it and did not complain. I thought I would go ahead and post the recipe just in case someone else MIGHT like it.

Flavorful Mac and Cheese

7 oz elbow macaroni
8oz mild Mexican cheese sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped ham
8oz crushed pineapple drained
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/4 c finely chopped onion

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Stir in the cheese sauce until combined. Add remaining ingredients. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve immediately.

So that recipe above was a bust although my children were awesome troopers. However, the recipe below was a HIT. I think this cheesy concoction being on the table is what encouraged them to endure the horrible mac & cheese dish LOL.

Party Cheese Bread

1/2 cup butter melted
2T. lemon juice
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 found loaf sourdough
1 pound Monterrey jack cheese sliced

In a small bowl combine the first six ingredients; set aside. Cut bread diagonally into 1" slices to within 1/2" of bottom of loaf. Repeat cuts in opposite direction. Arrange cheese slices in cuts. Drizzle butter mixture over bread.
Wrap loaf in foil; place on baking sheet. Bake 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

My adjustments:
I picked up a loaf of SLICED Garlic Sourdough at the bread outlet. I put this in a round baking dish and sliced the opposite direction. I did not have Dijon so I used stone ground mustard. I did not add the garlic powder because there was garlic in the bread. This was sooooo good!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shopping trip for 1/23-1/31

I still need to pick up tortellini, the 2 stores I went to were out. I will also need to pick up more milk mid week.


2 loaves bread
1 loaf garlic sourdough
1 dozen large hamburger buns
2 pkg gravy mix
1 loaf french bread
TOTAL: $5.35 (I just realized she forgot to charge me for the 2 gravy pkgs)

pasta $1.29
shredded Romano $1.99
1 green pepper .79
crushed pineapple .89
corn chips .99
2# mont. jack cheese $5.99
1 bacon $1.69
2 hashbrowns $1.98
TOTAL: $15.61

Most of this is for the pantry stock up I will put a * by whats for this week:
*2 gallons milk $1.98 (store coupon .99 each limit 2)
2 loaves bread $1.98
* ground beef $2.79
Jalepeno sauce $1.79 (this is for my ODS he eats it on everything)
* can of cheddar soup $1.89
10 boxes of cereal $13.90 (store sale combined with coupon in ad made them $1.39 each)
2 Frozen pizzas $2.58 (store coupon plus all frozen food 10% off)
4 boxes capri sun $5.96
2 ice cream $4.20

TOTAL: $37.65 (total SAVED $46.35!!!)

I also picked up some Mexican cheese sauce at Dollar Tree for $1

Of that for this week: $28.62
Of that for stock up: $30.99

I am going to try to get my hands on another coupon for the .99 milk and hope I can find some marked down tortellini at the store as well if not I will pay full price because it fits into my budget, even though that's not something I would normally do.

Groceries for Stock up

This weeks groceries

Bread Outlet Purchases

Menu week of Jan 23 - Jan 31st

I went ahead and planned my menu thru the end of the month.

Saturday- Flavorful Mac & Cheese, Party cheese bread and carrot sticks
Sunday- Grilled burgers (mix of elk and ground beef), french fries
Monday- Tortellini Carbonara, french rolls and salad
Tuesday- Alhoa chicken, rice and veggies
Wednesday- Cheeseburger chowder and hm biscuits
Thursday- Crockpot mango chicken, rice, veggies
Friday- Pizza (free with gift card)
Saturday- CORD (Clean out refrigerator dinner)
Sunday- at my parents for my dads birthday

For more great menues check out Organized Junkie

January 22, 2010

Happy Friday! After a very long week, I decided to take a "mental health" day from work. All of the kids were in school so I had 6 hours all to myself! I wanted some of the day to be productive and some of the day to be fun. I had plans Friday night to go to the Pink Floyd Experience with my friend Lisa as well.

The day was productive. I managed to get thru a pile of paperwork and get the house put back together. I also managed to sit and write out my menu and grocery list for the next week! I headed out the door around 10:30 to pick up canning jars that someone was giving away on Free Cycle and was very excited to find she had even more than she thought! Great addition to my garden planning for Summer 2010! The trunk was clanking as I drove so I thought it best to drop those off at home and then go do the rest of my shopping and errands.

After a few hours I had managed to get my grocery shopping done, picked up a few things I needed at JoAnne Fabrics, exchanged a video game and perused the Dollar Tree. Back home to greet the kids when they got home from school, unpack the groceries (take pictures) and get ready to head out!

No exciting new recipes, just spaghetti and garlic bread for the kiddos. My friend Lisa had gotten the tickets and a gift certificate for dinner so we were heading out for a FREE night on the town!

The Pink Floyd Experience was awesome. The lighting, special effects and the musical ability of those performing was amazing. We were 6 rows from the stage so I was able to snap a couple of pictures and one of the flying pig overhead! Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 21, 2010

I am posting about Thursday on Friday. I couldn't bring myself to sit at the computer last night to post to the blog. It was a long day of excel spreadsheets and formulas that in the end worked thanks to the help of the ever awesome and amazing KIM!

I think I finally hit the wall last night though from work stress, kids, life in general. I decided I need a BREAK so today (Friday) I am taking a mental health day from work and just going to enjoy myself (more on that later in todays post).

I did try a new recipe last night and it was a hit!

For more great recipes check out the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap!

Chicken with Apple Cream Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 T. oil
1 c apple juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c whipping cream
1T. minced fresh parsley

In a skillet brown the chicken in oil over med. heat for 4 minutes on each side. Combine the apple juice, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper pour over chicken. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken juices run clear (My chicken was thick so it took almost 20 min). Remove chicken and keep warm.

Combine cornstarch and cream until smooth, stirring into cooking liquid in skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick. Add parsley return chicken to skillet and heat thru.

I served this with rice, sauteed brussels sprouts and green beans.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

I ran across this quote the other day A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries which is soooooo true! It seems I am always in the car running the kids from point A to point B and having to be multiple places at once. Today was no exception. Tonight was band practice for one, and ballet for the other at the same time. But, it works out as it always seems to do!

I took some time tonight between running kids around to sneak in some one on one time with my youngest daughter. We spent some time perusing books at Barnes and Noble and chit chatted. Its always nice to get those moments alone with just one of them. They grow up so fast :(

I did manage to bake cookies (recipe on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag) and homemade tortillas with this recipe FLOUR TORTILLAS they were delicious! We had tacos made with some of the ground turkey I bought on sale last week for .99!

The most exciting news of the day was a family friend welcoming their sweet new baby into the world! I love newborn babies so sweet and innocent and QUIET LOL! OOOHHH and I am getting about 4 dozen free canning jars from Freecycle! Will arrange tomorrow to get those picked up. A great start to summer gardening/canning!

I thought I would share a list of a few of my favorite things just for the heck of it!
- Coffee
- My Snuggie (got it for Christmas not sure how I lived without it)
- A good Amish Story
- Scentsy Scents (my house currently smells like apple pie)
- Hearing my kids belly laugh
One of my newest favorite things is my 20x30 photo collage I had made at Walgreens. It has 30 pictures from 2009 and is FULL of memories. I hung it up yesterday and have caught my children standing around it several times sharing stories and memories of an amazing year. Below is a little snapshot!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

Happy Tuesday! Its hard to believe that this month is over half way gone! Today I set up the classrooms at school with their boxes for Boxtops For Education. I am the coordinator for the Primary school in our district. I have to say I am very glad to have that checked off my to do list!! I spent the day in the office so had alot of "adult" conversation. You tend to feel a little crazy when most of your daytime conversations are with a 6 year old child or cats!

I wanted to talk a little tonight about Frugal Beauty. I used to go every few months to get my hair cut/colored, eyebrows waxed and even had acrylic nails. Ahh the life. However, those just are not expenses I can justify anymore. So I have made some adjustments. Now, no way am I going to "go gray" but unfortunately, early gray is something I have inherited from my family. I started coloring my own hair with great success. I have found a few colors I really like and was excited to recently find, the "good" brands at the Grocery Outlet for $3.99!! So for $4 and 30 minutes of my time I have great new color and have saved myself about $70. Now to tackle the "eyebrows". I am not a big fan of waxing my own because I was afraid of accidentally taking them off. I tried several products that just did not work well for me. I recently purchased a Skin So Soft waxing kit from Avon for $6. It will last me at LEAST a year. With a little practice, I have it down now and can wax my eyebrows for pennies. That is a savings of $12 each time.

I tried a recipe last week that I was very excited about, Stir Fry Pork and Cabbage. However, a crucial element to cooking is to READ THE RECIPE FIRST. I added salt to the cabbage while I cooked it and then the pork as well to give it flavor. Then realized when I was done cooking it, there was no salt in the recipe because of the chicken stock and soy sauce. It was so salty we ended up throwing it out. But I was determined to try this dish!! So I added it to the menu for this week. I still had 1/2 the cabbage and 3/4 of the bag of carrots left as well as part of the chicken broth. This time it was DELICIOUS. Even my 8 year old asked for seconds and she ate the cabbage!

6 cups chopped cabbage cut in 1" pieces
3 tsp vegetable oil divided (I used olive oil)
4 med. carrots julienned (I have a julienne slicer from Pampered Chef LOVE it)
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound) cut in 3/4" pieces (I used marked down boneless chops)
2 T. minced fresh ginger root
1 c chicken broth divided
1/4 c soy sauce
4 tsp cornstarch
Hot cooked rice (optional)

In a large non stick skillet or wok stir fry cabbage in 1 tsp oil for 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add carrots and stir fry 3-4 minutes longer or until carrots are crisp tender. Remove from pan and keep warm.

In the same pan, stir fry pork in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add ginger and stir fry for 2 in or until pork is lightly browned. Stir in 3/4 cup broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and cover, simmer for 3 minutes or until meat juices run clear.

Combine cornstarch and remaining broth until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Stir in the cabbage mixture. Bring to a boil and cook 2-3 in or until thickened. Serve with rice if desired.

Now this was an inexpensive meal:
1/2 cabbage (paid $1.27 for the whole thing) .64
marked down pork $1.78
carrots (paid .88 for the whole bag will use for 3 meals) .30
ginger .05
chicken broth (pd $2 for pkg used 1/4 of it) .50
soy sauce .25
rice .30

I used such small amounts of oil and cornstarch I am not counting those.
Total for this meal: $3.82 this served 5 so .76 per serving and very filling!

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2009

Happy Monday. Well I tried to convince myself anyways. Today the kids did not have school for Martin Luther King Day. I however, had to work. It was an interesting day all four kids are grounded for the week from all electronics due to their behavior. They offered to do chores for something to do HA!

I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight and it was a hit. The "original" came from a Taste of Home Cookbook but I have tweaked it quite a bit so here is MY version of:

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

1 pkg spiral pasta cooked per pkg directions
1 can green beans drained
1 can corn drained
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts diced and sauteed in olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup milk

Mix all of the above in a casserole dish. Then mix in 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

I served this with garlic bread and salad. You could put in whatever vegetables your family likes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grocery shopping Wk of Jan 17th

See the post below for my menu. I did a little more stock up this week with some great store coupons. I have taken seperate pictures again to help keep it straight.

I will put a * by those items that are for this weeks menu. This weeks shopping was done at 2 stores.

COST CUTTER- $47.31 (total saved $29.29!!)
2 bags frozen chicken $7.98 (1 for this week 1 for stock up)
* 2 lunch meat $6.43
* celery $2.49
* ginger root .25
* brussels sprouts $2.88
* green onion .99
2 cans beans .99
2 cans green beans .99
2 cans diced tomatoes .99
* milk $2.39
* spaghetti noodles .99
* pork sirloin $1.78
* whip cream $1.99
* bananas $2.21
2 cans chili .99
3 ground turkey $2.97
2 cereal $5.48 (just realized they didn't take off the 2nd coupon for $1.50)
*1 spiral pasta .99
* 1 apple juice 1.99
* shredded cheddar $1.59

Haggen- $29.41
* 2 frozen burrito pkg $7.00
* 18pk eggs $2.00
* 2 pkg butter $4.00
* sliced turkey breast in gravy $4.99
* 1 spaghetti sauce $1.00
* dressing mix $2.00
8 boxes rice a roni $8.00

Total spent: $76.72
OF that for this week: $52.32
Of that for stock up: $24.40
First picture are this weeks groceries 2nd is the stock up.

January 17, 2010

Ok so I didn't post for a few days. I'm a blog slacker :). So some catch up, well nothing really exciting to report.

However, I did decide to take some "me" time today and spent the day in my room, watched 4 movies and scrapbooked 16 pages! I am quite excited about that.

Back at it and preparing for another week. The kids have the day off tomorrow but I have to work, fun times.

Here is our menu for the week. For more menu ideas check out The Organized Junkie

Sunday- baked burritos
Monday- Cheddar Chicken Spirals, green salad and garlic bread
Tuesday- Pork/cabbage stir fry and rice
Wednesday- Tacos with ground turkey and homemade tortillas
Thursday- Chicken with apple cream sauce, rice and green beans
Friday- Spaghetti, garlic bread and salad
Saturday- homemade sub sandwiches

3 of these are new recipes so I will post them along with a review this week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2009

Tonight, my blog post is a little different. I am hoping that each person will take time to pray for the families in Haiti. They were rocked by a devastating 7.5 earthquake today.

Our church does alot of work with Haiti with continual mission trips and outreach. This summer, our children's ministry focused on Haiti. Teaching our children how life is different for children there. Our children spent their summer collecting change pennies at a time raising over $10,000 to help.

My heart is breaking and my thoughts and prayers go out to all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

We had a fun filled and busy weekend! Friday night I was able to go out to dinner with family/friends for a birthday at one of our favorite places. Great food and lots of laughs and free for me dinner gotta love that (thanks mom!). Saturday I spent the morning getting completed scrapbook pages into page protectors and albums. Sadly, these are pages that have been completed for over a year, some around 2 years that have been in a box. I am glad to have that project completed. I also managed to go thru a box of old pictures and memorabilia and get that sorted and purged!

Sunday I spent the entire day on the go running kids from one place to another. The younger 2 and I spent some time at the park thanks to some fairly nice weather!

Today it was back to the normal work week routine. However, tonight our small group started the FLIP study. This is a study we are doing thru our church Cornwall Church and I am very excited about it! Learning about living a life of service!

I tried 2 new recipes today I wanted to share! Apricot Bars and chicken piccata!

First the Apricot Bars. These were delicious and to die for yummy! I am not going to post the recipe but instead link to the source the Pioneer Woman website. She has some AMAZING recipes check her out!! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of her new cookbook!

Chicken Piccata
2 boneless chicken breasts
Non stick spray
2 T. veg oil
1/4 c dry white wine
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 c chicken broth
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. capers drained
2 T. butter
fresh lemon slices

Season cutlets with salt/pepper and dust with flour. Saute cutlets in veg oil over medium heat until cooked thru. Remove to a plater. To pan add wine and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add capers and lemon juice. Return cutlets to pan and cook 1 minute. Move cutlets back to platter, finish off sauce with lemon slices and butter. Pour over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Ok my pictures are not great. I need to have my friend Kim show me how to take great "food" pictures with the lighting. For some GREAT pictures check out Kims Blog

Grocery Shopping Week of Jan 10-16

This week I took advantage of some great stock up sales that were going on. I tried my best to separate the "this weeks" groceries from the "stock up" for the pictures. I will put a * by the items below that were for this weeks menu.

Our local grocery store was having a great sale like .99 peanut butter can't help but stock up!

To see how others did this week check out the: Grocery Cart Challenge

Albertsons - Total $13.00
(they were out of almost everything on their sale)
11 pkg of McCormick's spice packets $11.00
*2 boxes pasta $2.00

Just Deals - $11.62
2 jars pickles 1.98
*1 box cornmeal 1.49
12 pk diet Mt Dew (treat for the older kids) $2.49
apricot preserves .99
sadly their receipts don't itemize so I am not 100% sure what else I bought there. I do know I bought hand soap and bubble bath.

Grocery Outlet - $27.19
Hair color $3.99 (hey its cheaper than my previous $70 going to the beauty shop)
*red beans .59
*pinto beans .59
2 smores bars 1.98
*chicken breast $5.99
*18pk eggs 1.99
2 pkg rice $1.38
*cheddar crumbles 1.99
2 salsa 1.98
ketchup 2.99
* oats 1.59
* green cabbage $1.79

Cost Cutter - $93.83
5 jars peanut butter $4.95
6 boxes mac & cheese $1.98
8 tuna fish $4.00
*ground beef $2.39
*parsley .89
*lettuce .68
5 1# rolls ground chicken $4.95
*french bread $1.69
treats for kids for being good $4.47 (no I am not above bribery)
coffee filters $2.79
*lemons .69
*carrots .88
turkey sausage on markdown $1.99
2 loaves bread $1.00
*2 cereal $1.98
* 5# potato $1.48
*ginger .10
6 canned veggies $2.94
2 ground turkey $5.98
baking soda $1.35
Baking powder $2.39
2 bologna $2.96
5 canned pears 4.95
* bacon $2.48
*margarine $1.99
* Velveeta $3.19
pizza sauce $1.00
5- 64oz juice $4.95
3- 100 tea bags $2.97
* half & half $2.29
* gallon milk $2.39
* shredded cheese $2.79
3- saltines $2.97
* 1 avocado .69 (this ended up being rotten in the middle GRRRR
3 - cheese slices $2.97
* 8 # oranges $3.98

So my total spent was $145.64 however, the majority of my purchases were pantry/freezer stock up!

This photo is the "stock up" items

This photo is the "THIS WEEKS" Items

Menu Jan 10-16

Ok so time got away from me again dang its amazing how fast that happens!!! Here is our menu for the week! To check out some other great menu ideas click HERE

Sunday- Ceasar salad and french bread
Monday- Chicken Picata, rice, broccoli and hm rolls
Tuesday- Spaghetti, ceasar salad and leftover rolls
Wednesday- Three bean taco chili and mexican cornbread
Thursday- Oriental Pork Cabbage Stir fry & rice
Friday- Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
Saturday- Sub sandwiches & chips

I will post recipes thru the week! Check back to see how I did on groceries this week as well!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010

What a day. Today was one of those days I had to remind myself I am thankful to have a job because I sure was not liking it today!

I am a firm believer that we learn something new every day. What did I learn today? That when you have a child with braces who needs a filling, its not an easy task. It takes 3 appointments in the same day, 2 with the orthodontist and 1 with the pediatric dentist. You start at the ortho office to have part of the braces removed. Then to the dentist for the filling and then back to the ortho office to get the braces put back on. Add to that the ortho is only here in town 1 day per week. AAAAGHHH. We were finally able to get it scheduled but will be zipping from office to office from 11:30am until 3:30pm!

Organization I did today: Not a thing. I put in an almost 15 hour work day today so unless you count the correcting and reformatting of excel spreadsheets as organization I failed at that task today. BUT thats ok!!

I did put pork ribs in the crockpot today though. However, when I went to put them in I realized I don't have any BBQ sauce. So I improvised. I used a packet of Chipotle marinade from McCormick. Mixed up the marinade, tossed it in with the meat and a sliced up onion. Let it cook on slow all day and it was DELICIOUS!

Tonight was the New Years Ball for the middle school youth group program at our church. My "little girl" looks so grown up **sigh** where does the time go?

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010

Back to school and regular routines today and all went well! I think the kids were excited to be back with their friends. The silence in the house seemed strange after 2 weeks of solid noise.

I have decided I need to cut down on use of the drier and pulled out my awesome and amazing clothes rack that my dad helped me build a few years ago. We have a free to us drier that takes 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes. I need to get it repaired or replace it but until then this works wonders!

I didn't get any organizing done today however, I did complete my to do list and got some errands run. I tried the new waffle iron this morning and the homemade "eggos" were a hit. Made enough for breakfast and 4 extras for the freezer. That batch has already paid for the waffle iron SWEET!

This evening was spent in a thrilling game of Phase 10 DICE! (I won hehe). We love playing Phase 10 and DJ got Phase 10 Dice in his stocking this year. If you haven't played either of these you must they are a blast and a lot of family fun!

Now to finish up writting the to do list for tomorrow and head off to bed!

A recipe for today. This comes from one of my FAVORITE cookbooks Not Just Beans

2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 T sugar
1/2 c oil or melted butter
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 c milk

Mix all ingredients do not overmix. Bake in waffle iron and enjoy! These freeze very well also!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3, 2010

Ahhh, the end of Christmas vacation. Tomorrow its back to regular routines and our crazy hectic schedule. But I love it :). DJ came home today and finally got to open his Christmas presents here. I loved having all of my kids back home at dinner time!

Today we tackled the rec room and the garage. I sorted the games, books and coloring/art supplies they are now organized and neatly put away. The garage we gathered up all of the extra cardboard and misc. items and hauled a load to recycling and the dump. Discovered I can drop off recycling items for FREE why am I paying to have ours picked up at the curb every 2 weeks? HMMMMM. Took my oldest daughter to get shoes for the ball she is attending this week at church. Love that my kids want to check consignment shops first! Awesome pair of silver sparkle flip flops at Goodwill for $3.99. Also found around waffle iron for $6.99 one of my main "wants" for this year. My youngest son loves Eggo's and I can now make him his own (he doesn't like the waffles from my Belgian waffle maker they are not the right "shape").

My steak did not thaw in time for dinner so I improvised. My mom had given me a cookbook a while back Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook. I tried the following recipe:

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

8 oz uncooked pasta
1 pound ground beef
6 bacon strips diced
1 can undiluted tomato soup
1 cup shredded cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel and drain. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Stir in the soup beef and bacon and heat thru. Sprinkle with cheese and cover/cook until cheese is melted.

The kids LOVED this!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010

Today was another productive day (LOVE productive days). I took a load of items to the consignment shops and some to Goodwill. That removed several bags of clutter from our home.

This evening we went to church. I love our church and our church family. I have the opportunity to volunteer with the children's ministry working with K-1st. Every week it is a joy and a blessing to me. It is a large church, but you wouldn't know it with the close bonds we have formed with others. This month we start focusing on serving others. I am looking forward to what impact this will have on our lives!

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men." Ephesians 6:7

I stuck with the menu today. Breakfast was homemade waffles and bacon, lunch was leftovers and dinner homemade sub sandwiches. The kids love sub sandwich nights and so do I because its quick and easy with very little clean up!

I am really looking forward to tomorrow when my oldest son returns home. He has been at his dads for all of Christmas break and I miss having him home!!

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! In keeping with my goal for this year of getting better organized, I used today to tackle the worst room in the house. MY BEDROOM!! I have been fighting a cold for the past week so hadn't slept in my room (been on the couch to be propped up). My room is also my craft room. It had been used over the past couple weeks to wrap gifts, store extra items, finish and house items for a school project. Also, the kids have been going thru clothes and pulling out what they don't wear or doesn't fit and that had all been piled in my room. Oh joy.

I am being brave and posting before pictures LOL!

It took me 1/2 the day but I not only got the room cleaned but I went thru ALL of my craft stuff and it is now organized and functional. I went thru all of the drawers and sorted the scrapbooking, stamping, sewing and quilting items into their own neat areas. I also put all of my projects in process and projects to be done in one area so I know where they are.

The next task was a large mending/hemming pile that had built up. I was able to sit in the clean craft area and get all but 2 things finished. I needed a snap for jeans and a new zipper pull to be able to finish. So I decided I wanted them done. Off to JoAnne fabrics for a quick trip and back home to complete that project!

The final project of the day was sorting thru the pile of stuff to get rid of. It needed to be sorted for Consignment or Goodwill. The car is now loaded with items to be dropped off and or donated today and the clutter is GONE from the house. Well, THAT part of the clutter!

December 31st New Years Eve

Happy New Years Eve to all! We hope and pray that the New Year will be a good one for you and your family! We celebrated at home this year as we always do. Movies and appetizers. This year we had the addition of the Wii for a Karaoke sing off which was a blast and good for a lot of laughs. All but one of the kids made it till midnight. We toasted in the New Year with sparkling cider in wine glasses the kids love it!

December 30, 2009

Wednesday was a fun filled afternoon. My youngest son had gotten money for Christmas to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie so I took the 2 youngest kids to see the movie so cute!

While we were out we did the grocery shopping for Dec 30- Jan 8th to fit the menu I had written out.

To see how others did this week check out the Grocery Cart Challenge!

Cost Cutter:
Total spent $100.71
Along with the menu (see below) I also purchased quite a few items for a New Years Eve Appetizer feast which is a once a year splurge for us.

2 chili sauce
2 milk
2 sour cream
grape jelly
wing mix
chicken nuggets
2 tortilla chips
2 pickles
sparkling cider
2 bacon
ranch mix
spaghetti noodles
half & half
3 cream cheese
7 boxes of cereal (on sale for 1.77 and will last us most of the month)
2 lunch meat
butter milk

31st- appetizer feast: chicken bites, steak bites, prawns, jalapenos bites, chicken nuggets, meatballs, little smokies, veggies with ranch, chips/dip, ham/pickle rolls.

F- Spaghetti, homemade garlic bread
S- homemade sub sandwiches and chips
Su- Grilled steak, baked potatoes, mac/cheese and veggies
M- Bacon cheeseburger pasta
T- BBQ ribs in the crockpot, mashed potatoes and veggies
W- Homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade biscuits
Th- Tacos with homemade tortillas, Spanish rice
F- CORD (clean out the refrigerator dinner)