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Hopping to It: January 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's for Dinner...

We are in the process of taking Dave Ramsey Finical Peace Institute.  It is a great program and very eye opening one.  One of the areas I am working on is our food budget and keeping it under control.  One of the best ways to do that is plan your meals out for the week.   While it does take some planning and organizing, the week always goes better, when I know what's for dinner.  It also helps with the budget and getting things under control.  I am also learning more about the in's and out's of the coupons world, and I am loving e-coupons!  Key to coupons is to buy what you need and not cause it is on sale, or a good price.
So this weeks menu is done.  I did this by looking first what was in the house food wise.  And built some meals around this.
As far as breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  I buy what's on sale and have an assortment ready for the meals.  Doing the week, the older boys get their own food, while I get the little kids food ready.  This just works well for us right now.

So what's for dinner tonight?
First both Jeremy and Dan gave me each an idea.  The rest I got from this web sit - Mom's Who Think -this week.

Cornbread Chicken Pot Pie
Pot Roast
Ravioli with Tomato-Alfredo sauce
Tex-Mex Fiesta Skillet
Mini Meat Loaves with brown sugar glazed carrots
Fried Chicken and Mash Potatoes

I only plan 6 meals, we normally eat out on Sundays or if we eat in I will plan that meal separate, depending on who is coming over for dinner.


Friday, January 28, 2011

A Boy and His Blanket...

When Isaiah was a baby, I tried to find one blanket that he could use back and forth with visits to make him feel secure.  After trying many different kinds, he finally settled on one I got from Fuzzi Bunz many years ago.   While they don't make this toddler size blanket anymore, they do have awesome cloth diapers (another blog subject for another day!).  (I wish they still sold these blankets, they are they right size for a growing baby.  I would get one for every foster baby to keep with them! ) So the relationship between a boy and his blanket began.  A few of my favorite blanky stories...
When we were trying to get him to sleep in a toddler bed, he would get up alot!  So, he would get up and put his blanket over his head and slowly walk by me like I couldn't see him!
Once we left his blanket at church for two days when he was one.  I took him to go get it after we figured out we found it.  He took it and laid down on the parking lot with it and almost fell asleep!
We almost miss our Amtrak train because we had to go back to get the blanket!
We once left it at our friends house for like a month.  He was ok with out it, but I told her watch him, he is going to smell the blanket first to know it is his!  And when she gave it to him, he smelled it first!

 He sleeps on it

He uses it as a pillow, along with the stuffed animal!

 Good for Traveling!

And playing with!

And most of all it stayed on top of his head for many years!  When Isaiah was younger it was so hard to get him to smile for no problem!!!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dinner Oops...

So I was in the process of making dinner, chicken enchiladas  (Mine is from a book and a little different, but close) and sort of missed a step...oops!!  I was only to put  two tablespoons of the mix with the chicken and but dumped the whole bowl instead.  It was very soupy and I thought, this is going to be a mess when rolled up.  Then I thought, why not layer it?  So that is what I did.  It looks good and smells good, and no fingers need which will be much easier for the little kids.  So this is my dinner oops!!  And it was a yummy hit!


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Now what was I doing?

Really I just realized I had one of those evenings last night.  And just had to blog about it...
Soooo bought a bag of cat food the other day.  Two nights ago, the cat torn into the bottom of it, guess she was hungry.  So yesterday I picked it up and put it on the counter.  And wondered, what can I put this in.  Then I remembered I have a container in the laundry room.  So I went to the laundry room and saw all the clothes on the floor that should be in laundry hampers.   I called the children in and made them put them in the hamper.  Then I realized the dryer and washer were done.  So I took out the dryer clothes, moved over the clothes from washer.  Started a new load of laundry.  Then took the clean basked in my room and folded it.  I needed hangers, so I went to AnnieQ's room and started getting hangers.  Then I started rearranging the closet.  Got hangers, went back and hung up the clothes.  Went back into the kitchen saw the cat food, and thought oh yea, that's what I was doing.  Then I saw the bread machine and though oh wouldn't bread in the morning smell great?  Cinnamon bread, got to go look up recipe. So I sat down at my computer, and saw facebook open and thought I wonder what everyone is doing.  So I looked for a while.  Then I thought I wonder if I got any new email? And I checked email.  Then the dryer peeped.  So I got up and moved clothes and folded them.  I went to put more clothes away and walked into AnnieQ's room.  I thought I should tape the room to get it ready to paint.  So I did that.  I was thirsty after and went to go get a drink.  As I walked into the kitchen I saw the cat food and wondered, now what was I doing?  Oh yea box for cat food....
Well this morning I walked into the kitchen and saw the cat food and I realized I still didn't have the box and I have no bread. And I thought I should blog this!!!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

For the Love of a Child

I wonder if children know now much their parents love them.  I wonder if children know what we parents will do to protect their kids.  I wonder if children get it.
When I found out I was pregnant with Robby, I immediately went into protection mode.  And Dan did too.  You know the not climbing on chairs, going white water rafting, going on roller coaster...well you get the picture.  When Robby was born we protected him by supporting his neck, made sure he slept on his back and burped him so his belly didn't hurt.  I remember when we first got Isaiah.  He was 3 months old and he was a mess.  He had yeast infections on his neck or lack of and bacterial infections with in the yeast infection.  He was stiff and cried a lot.    He had acid reflex and we would need towels when we feed him.  We did everything to get him better and at that time he was our foster child, but he was ours.  We sometimes forget how much we did, cause today he is healthy and happy.
When our oldest was having some issues at school, we did what we needed to get him back on track.
When you love a child, you go to the end of the earth and beyond to protect that child.
It makes me sad to think of the children whose parents don't protect their child.  My list could go on and the children I have seen in foster care, it is sad.  And you just want to scream at them and say "Why?" "Why are you not protecting this child of yours?"  And some just can't protect them.  They just don't know how.
And I think of parents sitting in the NICU or PICU watching their tiny babies or 13 year old sons, wondering how do I protect you?  And sometimes there is nothing you can do but hold their hand.  And sometimes not even that.  But for the love of a child parents will sit endless hours, waiting for the glimpse of healing.
And when children dabble in areas that can be harmful, drugs, sex, violence, crime, parents take action-to do the things they need to do to protect their child regardless of what that child has to say.  

And sometimes everything a parent does doesn't everything in the world to protect their child and bad things still happen.

I think of our heavenly Father.  What He does for the Love of a Child.  He sent His only Son for the love of a child.  For the Love of His children, he sent his One and only Son.  That is the best example of what parents do for the love of a child.

For the Love of a Child, what will you do?

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Friday, January 21, 2011

I made my own balsamic vinegar salad dressing!

I want us to eat more salads, but realized I really didn't have salad dressing.  I never really made my own, but really liked balsamic dressing.  So I looked up a few recipes and then threw it together.

I put in about a 1/2 cup of the balsamic vinegar
then squeezed some honey muster dipper sauce
a little soy sauce
and some olive oil

So we will see how it goes over.

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Breakfast in a Crockpot?

It all started on facebook, I saw a post about oatmeal in a crock-pot and I went hmmmm, that sounds interesting.  I have children who wake up and the first thing normally out of their mouths is "I want food" &  "Can I eat" and this is normally accompanied by crankiness and whininess.  So the thought of having a hot breakfast right away was very appealing.  So I researched recipes.  And found this one first.
It was from Mommy's Kitchen.  Sounded good and the other recipes look great too.  But it called for Steel Cut Oats...what on earth was those.  The are not as processed or pressed.  So the hunt began.  Finally I found them at Earth Fare.  About $5 for the box.  But I may get about 4-5 meals from this box.  Finally night time came, I got the crock pot clean and got everything ready.  Then I realized that this recipe called for a water bath cooking in the crock pot.  I thought I researched again and found and an Alton Brown recipe.  So I put it all together and have oatmeal this morning.  Isaiah had a bowl and a half, and AnQuenette ate most of her's (I gave her more than she really eats) and she had raisins in hers.  Robby won't touch it but he just doesn't eat oatmeal  at all.
I thought this is so great there must be more you can do, and by George there is!!  These web sites had breakfast crock1-pot recipes.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Lent and Easter Children's Message

I was reminded from an other friend of a Children's message I did many years ago.  The music director and I made  like 50 Alleluia signs that kids decorated.  The Sunday before Ash Wednesday I scattered them all over the church.  For Children's message I explained Lent and why we pack them up.  So the kids gathered all the Alleluia signs and put them in the big white box.  The box sat somewhere up on the altar all lent.  Then on Easter morning the kids where so excited to to open the box up.  What they didn't know is the day before I was in Krogers and there was this huge butterfly balloon flying above me.  I just I bought it, it fit in the box.  So with a string attached to the bottom and Alleluia's taped to the string (well most fell but the idea was good) that time came.  And when I opened the box, music was cue for the Alleluia chorus and the butterfly came out of the box and oh.....that was the best children's message I ever did....cause I think the adults were in awwwww and the kids got the joy of Easter Morning....and that was how joyful we can feel about Jesus being raise from the flowed so well into the message.
Some where I have that balloon, I think, folded up!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Food, Grocery Shopping, Menu planning....

You know we have to do it.  Yep we are suppose to feed the kids.  Daily, at least three times a day, with snacks!!  Which means in order for that to happen you have to go grocery shopping.  Some love it, some hate it, but one way or the other we have to get food.  Unless you are rich and have a cook and butler who do all the planning, shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning...sigh...yea you have to do it.
And if you have children like mine they are always "starving"!!  Or  the most favorite saying "Mom there is no food in the house!"  Now we are blessed and there is always something to find.  It may not be what they wanted, but there is food.
My sisters have been hunting coupons, and find the really good deals.  Find the sales, get the coupons buy it for nothing.  They spend a lot of time on this, and they send info my way.  So in my "Hunting" (yeah for all you Dave Ramesy fans) I researched Kroger's since we have this wonderful new store just around the corner!!  The online site was awesome.  First I was able to see the add, the click on the items I would like to circled it for me.  Then after I was done, it created a list for me.  And also I registered my Kroger Card and I can down load digital coupons to the card.  There were other coupons that I am still figuring out how to print, so I couldn't use those.
So off I went to the new Kroger's store, which mind you was AWESOME!!!!  Robby went with me, there was a smaller cart (not the little cart-which they have for the little ones to push) he pushed with cup we got a slushy.  (They even have a Starbucks...but I was good!)   I had my cart.  He got some of the list I got other parts.  He thought this was like Disney or something!  And when all was said and done, I saved $63 with the sales and coupons!!

So the weekly dinner menu...
Monday was left overs
Tuesday-Stuffed Shells
Wed- Raviolis Soup
Thursday-Tamale Pie
Friday-Chicken Lasagna
Saturday-Joes to go

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Things I need to do today...

List of things to do today:
-take three kids to dentist-check
-Run to CDC at church to drop kids off and checks off-check
-goto grocery store-check
-save $60 at grocery store-check
-realize that now I have to get all grocery put away...ummm no not yet
-check on Charlie-check
-check facebook-in progress
-wish the headache I have had since I woke up goes away-in progress
-work on mid-semster reports
-work on CDC accreditation
-do Robby's lessons-in progress
-play anger bird to get a my three stars-a frustrating progress
-pick kids up from CDC
-cook dinner
-play with kids
-put kids to bed
-play more anger birds
Ok I am too tired writing my list going to take nap now!!LOL

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Praying for our family...

I have seen many friends who blog about what to pray for each child or family member.  Since we have much going on, I thought this would be good time to review what's going be going!
So to begin...
Dan-Right now Dan and Jeremy are in California.  They went out last Saturday not know what was going on with his mom, who at that time was in critical care.  Since then she has stabilized and yesterday was moved to a rehab place.  Don't know how long she will be there.  Dan's sister is also slowly getting better.  I talked to her briefly today, the first time in two year, it was good to hear her voice!  Continue to pray for Dan as he cares for his family.  He live far away so it is not always easy to help from a distance, and planes tickets cost money!:)

Jeremy is also out in CA with Dan too.  He wanted to go out to help take care of Dan!  I was proud that he saw that as a need and went!  He was going to do his Ancient History and Literature this week out there, but some how his luggage never made it on the plane in Huntsville, so he had no clothes and homework!!  So a dream come true, for him, no schoolwork and new clothes!  Not to mention the girl drama....
So keep praying that his eyes are seeing how families stick together and work together doing times of crisis!

Robby-his swallowing has gotten better, but always a drama to take that pill.  He has gotten a taste of what it is like up north with the snow!  And he loves it!  He has played a lot outside.  We have done more snow related learning this week and lots of hands on learning.  Robby has adjusted to Daddy being gone, but not having Jeremy at home has been different.  Keep praying for him that he can just swallow his pill!

Isaiah-oh that boy is a mess!  Three and all over everything!  But then he can be the sweetest and most polite little boy!  He is loving eating the snow.  His latest accomplishment was last night he actually got up to go potty after going to sleep.  No night time diapers so now was the time to learn!  Just keep praying that his curiosity doesn't get him hurt!!

Ms. AnnieQ-  She turns 5 this Sunday!  Wow, she was just a toddler when I first met her.  And when she moved in with us two years ago she was a young three!  She is growing into a beautiful little girl.  But she has her moments.  She is all sass and drama a lot of time.  When she doesn't get her way everyone knows.  She has come so far and it is hard she is going to be 5!  Very smart and learns very fast.   And loves playing in the snow too!  The kids each day going out and have a blast!   Please pray for her to learn that her turn will come in time.  And that this next year will be better that this year!

And as for me...I am getting over being sick for almost two months!  I am use to Dan traveling and finally just go with the flow.  Don't like him traveling, but that is what it is these days.  In my need to be more involved and use my degree I get to serve on the District youth planning committee for the next District gathering.  I am really excited about that!  Right now just pray that I make it through this cabin fever!!


S'more goodness

Well being stuck inside I am trying to make it fun!! So we made s'mores...without fire!!!

One minute in the microwave.

Chocolate sauce drizzled

Top and enjoy!!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow in pictures


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Location:Todd Whitt Ln,Huntsville,United States

Pantry before and after

In this storm I tacked some troubled area and our pantry was sorely overlooked!!



A cool idea I use in our pantry is a clear door shoe holder for little things.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter Family Pictures...2010....