Monday, December 29, 2008
First up are towels that I sewed a ribbon to both sides. They turned out very cute. The polka dot towels are my favorite.
Next up was a purse to hold the ponies I got for our nieces. This was inspired by something I saw that was to hold crayons. I modified it and it turned out pretty cute.
These purses open up and they can store ponies or whatever else you want inside. I'm planning on making something like this for Calvin's toys to put in our diaper bag. It's always a pain that they are at the bottom of the bag. I want something I can pull out quickly.
Of course we had to make some goodies to share with friends. This year we "made" chocolate chip pancake mix & chocolate cake in a mug. We tried both and they were delicious.
Monday-Corn Chowder in Bread bowls with side salad
Tuesday-Sweet and Sour Turkey, cooked carrots & side salad
Thursday: HAPPY NEW YEAR! Large breakfast since Marvin has the day off, YAY!!! French toast using the homemade bread from night before and fruit. Dinner: Pizza, tossed salad, peas & carrots
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday: Marvin and I were Mary and Joseph at an event called a Night in Bethlehem. There was a great turn out and Calvin got to hang out with grandpa and grandma while we were busy in the stable. I didn't really think about the fact that I am allergic to hay and immediately I started coughing and by breathing became tighter, but I stuck it out because the show must go on. I am still having trouble with this respiratory junk. Last night I had to sleep on the couch because I couldn't stop coughing. I knew Marvin had to be up early so I thought it was silly if both of us didn't get any sleep. The next time someone asks me to be in a stable for a couple of hours I will say no, for health reasons obviously. Here are so pictures from Sunday:
Here are the goods from my grocery shopping this week. I decided to take a picture because a few blogs I follow do this and I always think that it doesn't look like very many groceries. I decided to compare mine to theirs, once I got everything out of the bags I was amazed at how 'little' there was. I did pretty good this week, the only thing not pictured is a bag of chips I bought on Friday. The grand total for this week was $37.09 for Dillons and Aldi. I am really trying to work with a $50.00/week budget these next couple of months while Marvin's work is a bit slow and he has fewer hours. We'll see how I do.
QUESTION: Does anyone go to a bread discount stores for their bread? Is bread cheaper than it is at Aldi? (I usually pay $1.69 for whole grain and then I buy Whole Grain White for $1.29.) Let me know.
The rest of the week was spent sewing. I have been working diligently during Calvin's naps to try to finish a few Christmas projects and to get my quilt finished. I finally got Calvin's zipper fixed in his heavy winter coat. It looks uglier than sin, but it now zips and I was too frustrated to rip it out for the gazillionth time. I hate ripping seams out. I finished sewing the kitchen curtains, this project is long overdue, but am happy that they are finished. I am very close to finishing my quilt, I am so excited. I have it pieced together now it's time to put the backing on. And most of my Christmas projects are almost complete. I know I like to start way too many projects, it might drive a few people crazy but it keeps me motivated and I have told myself that I will finish every single one of them. Can't wait to show you guys pictures. So that is what we were up to this week. Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I thought I'd share a few good pictures of Calvin in action. Enjoy!
On a completely random note we've been watching The Biggest Loser this season and of course we have been rooting for the Black team because Heba and Vicky just drove us crazy, so we were very pleased to see Michelle win. Even though certain people drove us crazy on the show, it was so great to see how amazing they look now. I know it was a lot of work. It's funny how I was so proud and happy for these people I don't even know.
Okay off to work out and clean!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday: Potato Soup with homemade rolls, pears, and salad
Wednesday: King Ranch Turkey Casserole, steamed veggies, clemintines, and salad
Friday: Turkey Fried Rice w/ lots of veggies & fruits
Saturday: Biscuits and Gravy
Sunday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad & steamed veggies
I didn't go to the grocery store today because it's just too stinkin cold. (Marie I am impressed you actually took a walk in this stuff today.) The thought of getting Calvin out in this weather was enough to keep up at home. He isn't the easiest person to get bundled up and we usually lose a hat or mitten before he is finished getting ready. I desprately need to go tomorrow as we are running out of the basics and there are several great deals at Dillons this week that I need to take advantage of. It's times like these I wish you could just submit my order and they'd deliver my groceries to my door. Wouldn't that be beautiful.....
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Tuesday-Texas Cowboy Pie, fruit, Salad & Steamed Veggies
NEW RECIPE from http://grocerycartchallenge.blogspot.com/2008/10/stretching-your-food.html
Wednesday-NEW RECIPE Black Bean & Corn Chili, Cheese Quesadillas & Side Salad
Friday-Left Overs, but making fudge and cookies for The Night in Bethlehem on Saturday and Sunday
Saturday-Waffles for breakfast then off to watch my little bro graduate from college!!
Sunday-NEW RECIPE Curried Turkey Salad Sandwiches, pickles, oven fries and steamed veggies
Marvin and I are Mary and Joseph on Sunday so Dinner we'll have pizzas pre-made and then frozen along with Salad & Fruit.
Things to Do in the Kitchen this week:
- Cook Black Beans and freeze in baggies
- Bake Muffins for the freezer
- Mix up some waffles for the freezer
- Make pizzas and freeze for Sunday Dinner
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
- I'm making several Christmas gifts and one needs to be one ASAP and I hope to finish that before the weekend is over.
- I want to finish Calvin's baby book. It's half way finished and I don't have nearly as many pictures for the second half.
- I seriously want to finish the quilt I started a LONG time ago. I just need to piece the rows together and add the packing. I am making a cover for a blanket, for when we go overseas, since we already bought a blanket, it just needs a little beautifying.
- Make a few more burp cloths. I'd rather have that mess a bit more organized and it's amazing how much less space they take up when they are finished. Plus I figured while I have the machine out I should sew as much as possible.
So I guess I have my work cut out for me, considering we have busy weekends almost every weekend this month. How about you guys what are your problem areas of your house (I do hope I'm not the only one)? What are you planning on doing this Christmas season?
Monday, December 01, 2008
Monday-Popcorn Chicken (from angel food) sweet potatoes, apples & raspberries
Tuesday-NEW RECIPE BBQ lentils over brown rice (I saw this on a website called 5 Dollar dinners http://www.5dollardinners.com/), steamed broccoli & fresh dinner rolls (see recipe below)
Wednesday-NEW RECIPE Pasta toss w/sausage & Peppers with a side salad, oranges and peas
Thursday-NEW RECIPE Potato Pizzas, Salad, raspberries and Steamed veggies
Friday-Homemade Chicken Nuggets, salad, home fries, pears
Sunday-Speaking again so we'll be out of town for lunch and maybe we'll have some leftovers or popcorn chicken for dinner (we always get way too much of this stuff. Marvin loves it, but it's so-so in my book.)
Mac & Cheese w/ veggies
Roasted Turkey legs with couscous & veggies
Egg Sandwiches (hey they are warm)
Chicken and Rice soup
Without further ado here is my favorite bread recipe. Why is my favorite? Because you can put it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and it can be used for all sorts of things. I have used it for cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and it has turned out great every time. Plus my husband loves meat, but we have a lot of meatless meals around our place, but I learned early into our marriage if I make him fresh bread he's a happy camper, even if there isn't meat on his plate.
No Rise Roll Mix
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
½ c. Warm water
Dissolve then add to mix:
½ c. oil
1 c. buttermilk
(Add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to 1 c. regular milk and let stand for 5 minutes if you don't have buttermilk)
½ c. sugar
½ t. baking soda
5 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour & 2 1/2 c. white flour (approx. and I think it takes a bit more) *Original recipe called for 5 c. all purpose flour
Keep adding more flour till it forms a ball to knead. Knead well. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Make sure you use a container that has some extra space because it will rise in the fridge. Pull off what you need and bake it. For rolls I usually bake it at 350 for about 12 minutes.
My bro took Calvin for a little spin up and down the halls. Calvin is so fascinated with my grandma's wheelchair.
We had a good time with Marvin's family, but it felt too short. Calvin was in love with the rocking horse Marvin's parents have. Every time he climbed up on the rocking horse all by himself it reminded me of how quickly he is growing up. He certainly loved the time he had with his cousins and loved playing with his Aunt Angie, we can't wait until Christmas.
Calvin did spectacular on our trip out to Colorado, he took some great naps in route and was able to be entertained while confined to his car seat the rest of the trip. We were able to stop at a park for lunch on the way and he had so much fun running around. We were thankful to spend a good solid hour playing before we had to get back in the car and drive some more. He always surprises me at how well he does. He certainly is a trooper.
We were excited to find out the hotel we were staying at had a pool, so we walked across the street and thankfully Alco still had a some swim wear because I didn't pack any. We didn't make the reservations, so we didn't know they had a pool. Calvin was a little cautious of the water but after a little warming up he was a splashing machine. It was a good little trip but we are glad to be home. Calvin was excited this morning when he woke up, he had to walk through the house to make sure all his toys were still here. He is still a bit clingy, he always gets this way when we travel a lot, but in a few days he'll be back to his independent self.
Marvin's on vacation this week and is planning on volunteering a bit, so we hope that goes well so that we can be one step closer to going back overseas. Most of the time I feel like we are in this waiting mode, waiting to get where He has asked us to go, but it was good to be reminded that He has us where he has us right now for his purpose. I was reminded how blessed we are, our Father is an amazing provider and we have seen time and time again how he provides for our needs. This year we have especially been aware of this, due to our unique situation. I am thankful to be able to be a voice for a people very forgotten by the body, even if this means taking a long road trip with a squirmy boy. I am thankful for an amazing husband who is so very patient and forgives my often loose critical tongue. I am so thankful that the Lord choose me to be his helpmate. I am so thankful for a sweet little boy who loves to give his mama kisses and for all the memories he has given me. I am thankful for friends and for opportunities to reconnect with so many who mean so much to us. I am thankful for a great family who loves us and that we enjoy being around. Praise the Lord for everything he has placed in our lives this year, even if it looked a little different than we anticipated. Slava Boga!
Monday, November 24, 2008
He does so great with all this traveling we have to do. I hope he does well this holiday whirlwind trip we have coming up. We are off to my parent's late Wednesday, on Friday we head to Marvin's parents, then Saturday we head to Colorado, and Sunday we drive home. That's a lot of car time for a boy who likes to move. It may take us a while, but we'll get there. Despite all that car time I'm looking forward to seeing family. My little sister is moving to NC the day after Thanksgiving, so she won't be around like she has. It's a bummer for us, but we are glad she found a job.
I have a long list of things to do this week, several things I'd like to bake for the trip, plus I bought a Turkey and I need to cook that before we leave. (I couldn't resist buying cheap meat, so it looks like we'll be having a lot of turkey dishes in December, yum.)
Here is what we'll be having this week:
Monday-Crockpot Beef & Lentil Soup (NEW RECIPE) w/ HM Rolls & apple sauce
Tuesday-Buttermilk Berry Pancakes & Sausage Patties, maybe hash browns
Wednesday-Leftovers or Turkey sandwiches
Thursday-Bringing 3 pies: apple, cherry & pumpkin
Friday-Bringing Fresh Green Beans
Saturday-On the Road-I'm bringing some Pumpkin Apple Muffins (a friend posted the recipe and it sounds delicious), trail mix, apples & PBJ sandwiches, but we'll probably stop and let our little guy move a bit, but I'd rather feed him in the car so that when we stop he can move as much as possible. I never thought I'd want him to eat in the car, but feeding him takes up some time where he isn't completely bored.
Sunday-Lunch is being provided for us, but hopefully we can find a good place to stop on the way home.
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's amazing how much time I spend in the kitchen and I am so thankful that we have a play room off the kitchen so I can see exactly what Calvin is up to. But I can't count how many times a day he comes in and opens the cabinet to the pans and takes out the cooling racks(It's one of the few he can actually open). It must be something about those things because they are a favorite. Well the other day I got tired of picking them up and now they up higher where little hands can't reach. But don't worry he has moved on to pans, they seem to be more fun, because he can put things in them. I just love this stage that he is in now, container play. He loves any type of container, he'll spend forever nesting yogurt containers, and recently he has been into trying to get the lids back on things. Yesterday we spent a good hour finding things to put in an empty box and then emptying it and starting over. I felt so blessed yesterday being able to play with him and his box. He was so thrilled over this box every time he'd fill it up I'd clap and he would come over and give me a kiss or a hug. It's things like this that I want to never forget. I love my job!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Last night was rough without the pacifier. As I type Calvin is crying and so tired. I am torn between going in there all the time and just letting him try to calm himself. I hope he learns quickly, the poor guy was exhausted this morning. I think the only reason he woke up is because he was hungry. Poor guy, well he's been crying for a while so I better go.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Garlic Studded Pork Loin with Potatoes and Carrots
from The Wellness Lowfat Cookbook (University of California at Berkeley)
1/3 c. frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed (I used pineapple, orange, apple)
3 T. Dijon mustard (I used honey mustard, since i forgot to buy Dijon mustard)
1 t. reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
6 cloves of garlic
1 small boneless pork loin (about 1 3/4 lb.) trimmed and tied
1 c. chicken stock (increased to 2 c. chicken broth and then added 1 c. water for the crock pot)
1 lb. small red potatoes, unpeeled
3 medium sized carrots
2 t. cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice concentrate, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
3. Peel the garlic and cut each clove lengthwise into thirds. With a sharp knife, make 18 slits randomly in the pork loin. Tuck a piece of garlic into each slit.
4. Place the pork loin in a small roasting pan and brush the pork with half of the pineapple-mustard mixture. Pour 1/2 c. of the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan. Roast the pork loin 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile quarter the red potatoes. Cut the carrots into 1/2 inch thick slices. Spray a shallow pan with nonstick cooking spray, place the vegetables in the pan and roast them until the pork is done.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Brush the pork with the remaining pineapple-mustard mix and continue roasting until it is cooked through and the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 45 minutes longer.
7. Remove the pork from the roasting pan and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile skim and discard the fat from the pan juices. Stir together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 c. stock.
8. Add stock mixture to the roasting pan and set over medium-low heat. Stir to incorporate any browned bits clinging to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
9. Slice the pork an serve it with the roasted vegetables and sauce.
Now you know the original recipe, here's what I actually did. After reading all the steps I thought it sounded like it would take up too much time and I didn't have that kind of time today, (there is a sale at the goodwill later, yep you heard right I really am that cheap, but in my defense this mama doesn't have many clothes, remember the part about never going back home, and I thought this would be a great chance to see if I can pick up some sweet finds). So I broke out the crockpot and poured 2 cups of broth on the bottom, slit the pork loin and added the garlic, like the directions stated. Place it in the crock pot. Made up the pineapple-mustard mix and poured 1/2 of it over the pork. Sliced up the potatoes and carrots and placed them around the pork. I then poured the remaining pineapple-mustard mixture over the potatoes, and added water to cover the pork. Turned it on high for 6 hours. When it is finished I am planning on using some of the the juices to make the sauce. Here's my plan dissolve the cornstarch into 2 cups of the juices, using a saucepan stir over a medium heat until thickened. Serve sauce over potatoes and carrots. I may pop the pork in the oven to brown it a bit, but we will see how much time I have.
The verdict: It smells wonderful, can't wait to eat dinner, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Braised Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes
from Healthy Homestyle Cooking-200 of your family favorite recipes with a fraction of the fat
4 lean center-cut pork chops 3/4 inch thick (6 ounces each)
1 T. Olive Oil or Canola oil
1 c. chicken stock
1c. unsweetened apple juice (I'll be using this pineapple orange apple juice)
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/8 t. each salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut across into 1/4 inch slices
1. Trim pork and dredge in flour.
2. Saute the pork chops in oil until browned on both sides
3. Keep chops warm and return skillet to heat, then add the chicken stock, apple juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil, stir mixture continuously. Lower heat so that the mixture is simmering.
4. Return chops to pan with sweet potatoes, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until the chops are cooked through and juices run clear.
Verdict: Flavorful and great for company, Marvin doesn't care for sweet potatoes, but he liked this recipe. It only requires time on the front end, once it is simmering you can leave it on the stove and don't have to attend to it. It will take about 20 minutes of your time to make this recipe.
So there you go Marie. Let me know if you want the other recipes. Now I'm going to read before our little guy wakes up. Today is Day ONE Bez (without) pacifier. He is finally feeling better so I decided to take the plunge. He has been doing pretty well, although I did rock him to sleep this morning. But somehow I didn't mind, I love it when he snuggles and it doesn't happen often.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Last week Walgreens had a sale on pudding 4/$1 and Marvin loves pudding. He usually takes a little pudding cup in his lunches but I had a brilliant idea of making up his pudding ahead of time and putting it in individual containers, so simple yet I hadn't thought of it before. I'm also doing this with his applesauce. It's much cheaper especially when you can get a good deal on instant pudding and there will be less to take the recycling center. I think the little bowls were $2.50 at Target so these will pay themselves off in a hurry. Plus I can add a dab or cool whip on these and make my hubby's day!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Monday-Tuna Gravy over HM (Homemade) Biscuits, Peas, Tossed Salad & Grapes
Tuesday-Spaghetti, w/ whole wheat pasta, tossed Salad, & Cooked Carrots (Can you believe Calvin has never had this meal, I don't think I've made it since this summer.)
Wednesday-Left Overs or I like to call Smorgasbord Buffet!
Thursday-Date Night Eating Out!
Friday-(I'm out of town at a conference) I'll make up some spanish rice and bean burritos for the boys
Saturday-Taco Salad Bowls along with leftover spanish rice. I'll be home around dinner time so I'll throw everything together once I get home or Marvin can warm everything up if I'm running late.
Sunday-All of us are Out of Town
Snacks for the week:
Сrackers & raisins
Applesauce with Cottage Cheese
Bananas & cheerios
Cheese cubes & pears (or apples)
Now lunches are where I struggle. Here's what I've got so far:
Chicken & rice
Pancakes (Freeze extras)
Well since my last post we have snapped 4 gross things. I am certainly relieved they are dead and haven't seen any more action since Thursday. My jumpiness has subsided a bit, and I am not stomping every time I go in the kitchen. I was reminded of a little guy on our team overseas who was so terrified of dogs and sometimes cats. When they came to visit we were outside and one of the cats came around and this little guy kept repeating, "I'm bigger than you cat." Priceless, so I am using his little trick to make me a little braver. Thanks little E!
Lately I have been busy working on a few sewing projects, possibly to sell at some point. I am REALLY bad about starting something and not finishing it, so this is going to be a stretching experience for me. One of my projects is about 1/2 of the way finished and I am already excited to start the next project. Thankfully I have a great husband who reminds me to finish what I started. I'll post some more pictures when they are a little more completed.
I was so pumped to do my grocery shopping this week. Dillons was having an awesome mix and match deal and I had a ton of coupons that matched the sales. I didn't do as good as I thought I would due to the fact that they were out of several items so I had to trade a few things out of my plan, but that's what I get for shopping on Monday, I should have gone last Wednesday, but I had already done my shopping for the week and didn't want to dip into the next week's grocery money. My receipt says I saved $81.04 and I had $33.64 worth of coupons before some of them doubled. AWESOME! It's so funny how excited I get to save money.
Calvin learned how to spin in a circle this weekend and thinks it is the coolest thing. We aren't really encouraging this due to his bruise factor. (He likes to have at least one bruise on his face at all times.) But I must admit it is the cutest thing to watch. Another cute thing is that he is starting to do the actions to a few songs, he'll clap when we sing 'If your happy and you know it' and the 'soup song'. One day we were eating soup for lunch and I started to sing this song, so now he thinks every song should have the same actions (BTW I made it up). So he is stirring it up to Jesus Loves me and He's got the whole world in his hands. Love It!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
This morning I was loading the dishwasher and all of a sudden I saw this disgusting thing run across the floor and I screamed, swept a screaming Calvin up and ran out of the room (he was screaming because I scared him). Of course it is impossible to stay out of the kitchen, so when I finally was brave enough to return I turned the radio up loudly and stomped everywhere I went. It was quite a sight, but what's a girl going to do when it's only 11:00 and your husband doesn't get home until 6:00. So we will be avoiding this part of the house until Marvin comes home. I hate these things! They funny thing is that Calvin eventually started to stomp too. They certainly pick up things quickly.
If this is not bad enough we also have been killing wasps right and left during the afternoon. Marvin thinks they are coming from the attic. So I guess in between screaming from sightings of gross things and killing wasps life should be pretty normal around here. I hope they both go away soon.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We had a fun day and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We went to the library for story time, where he was even recognized as Charlie Brown. I was pretty happy because the day before I took him to Dillon's because they were having a special thing for kids and my Uncle works there, as I finished up some shopping this is what a lady said to me, "Oh did he get a hold of a marker?". We had a good laugh after I told her he was supposed to be Charlie Brown. She totally got it after she saw his shirt. So I opted not to draw on his head on Friday.
We headed to the zoo in the afternoon where Calvin had fun watching the penguins and seeing all the animals in the Children's area. I let him walk around a bit and of course he kept trying to pick up every leaf in sight until a peacock strolled past him and he took off after it.
What a goofy little guy.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
We were talking about it again and then Marvin shed some great light on the topic. This is what he said, "Maybe we are looking at it from the wrong perspective, this whole time we have been talking about the reasons why it would be okay or not, maybe we should look at it like this: Does it glorify God." What great insight. So our church will host an even called light up the night tomorrow night at a family's house and we are going to go and hopefully be able to share our faith while we are there. It really is a cool event that gets people who are already out who might not normally go to church or take their kids to a church function there will be a lot of games and a story time where the truth will be presented. We are meeting people where they are at, how cool is that.
So we might dress Calvin up as Charlie Brown but I still have to find a yellow shirt somewhere. I haven't had any successes so far. I am going to try Old Navy today, we'll see if we are successful. If this fails I have a karate uniform I got in a lot of clothes I bought off of craigslist, I know it's really random, but it will work. Check our blog tomorrow to see what Calvin is wearing.
Here is what I found on the Wichita Eagle's website about this guy:
Republican Craig Gabel has a long history of legal and financial problems, including 15 complaints by women, two arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence, more than 80 citations for rental property violations, a bankruptcy filing and nearly $30,000 owed in back property taxes and fees. In addition, some of Gabel's campaign proposals are just plain goofy.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I asked Marvin to pick up some day time medicine for me last night on his way home from class. I completely forgot why I never buy the liquid stuff until this morning when I tried to take 2 T of that stuff. I think I got 1 T. down, but after gagging numerous times I ended that little endeavor. I guess I'll stick to the tablets. Seriously who would voluntarily drink that stuff?
I desperately need to go to the grocery store today but have zero motivation. It's days like this when I all I think is, do I have to? I guess we will get by on survival mode until this cold is gone, may it take it's course and exit our home quickly.
So we headed to Manhattan this past weekend to see a fun group of people who spent the summer with us in 2007. It was fun catching up with them and enjoying each of their personalities. It was great seeing you guys and glad we were able to make this little reunion happen.
After our little get together we decided to take Calvin to K-State gardens to expel some energy before we headed back home. K-State Gardens is where Marvin worked while he was in college. Calvin loved exploring everything and tried to "prune" every shrub and plant he saw, so eventually we put him on our shoulders. He loves the view from on top of your shoulders, it's nice that he can hold his balance now and doesn't try to pull your hair the entire time he is up there. It was a nice little trip, even if K-State got stomped.