Sunday, September 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Taquitos with salsa and sour cream, salad

Tuesday: Beans and cornbread, steamed green beans

Wednesday: Hamburger Soup, salad

Thursday: Grilled chicken, brown rice, salad, steamed carrots

Friday: Gyros with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, brown rice

Saturday: Apple Chicken, baked potatoes, baked butternut squash, steamed broccoli

I know it is only Sunday, but I have a few minutes right now to do this and I may not have time in the morning. So, here is my menu! We are trying to eat up all of the Once A Month Cooking meals from September. Then Friday is grocery shopping day and we will start fresh.

I read Saving Dinner Friday afternoon and it looks like a great, healthy plan. I am going to try following Saving Dinner's menus for a month. I am going to shop for one week at a time and see how that works for me.

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Silly Name Meme

... saw this over at annie’s and thought it looked fun

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Sugar Windstar

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Chocolate Chocolate Chip

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

J Jon

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Pink Giraffe

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Maxine Idabel

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The green coke

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Lloyd Dale

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Mackie Reeses

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names)
Jean Bruce

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Parks Philadelphia

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Rose

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Watermelon Shirtie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Burrito Oak

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)

The Cross Stitch Rain Tour

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Books to Buy

Here are a few books I want to buy and read very soon:
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Body Clutter by Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely
Saving Dinner for the Holidays by Leanne Ely
The Complete Tightwad Gazette
Sidetracked Home Executives
Healthy Foods by Leanne Ely
Checklists for Life by Kristen Lagatree

I also have a list of about 50 books that I have been working on since 2004. Obviously I am not too focused on reading through that list! It is a list I compiled while reading Honey For A Woman's Heart. I just LOVE that book! I need to buy it. Honey For A Child's Heart is also very good. The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease is also great.

Okay, I'll stop.

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Beauty in the Common Things: a Saturday with nothing scheduled
Listen In: Chunky Monkey talking
Supper Plans: Chicken Noodle Soup, fresh green beans (steamed with garlic pepper)
Today I Plan To: get status on electricity for new house and water meter for new house, pay framers, work on laundry, fix the vacuum (won't pick up any dirt), take pictures of stuff to list on eBay, work on October budget, return DVDs to friend, email my cousin, Crystal
View From the Kitchen Window: sunshine, the birthday flag that needs to be taken down, trashcans by the curb, a van that looks clean on the outside but is ridiculously messy on the inside!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Great Post!!!

Oooooooh, there is a great post about getting organized for Christmas over at Organizing Junkie! I went to the Holiday Grand Plan and got excited about List Week! Y'all know I love a good list or two! Yahoo!

And I love exclamation points today!!!!!!

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Explanation of the Pictures Below

The top picture is a picture of the shop-in-progress.
The other pictures are of the house-in-progress.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: Autumn decorations
Listen In: kids scooping cereal out of the container
Supper Plans: BBQ grilled chicken, fresh steamed green beans, mashed potatoes (if I have any potatoes) and banana bread
Today I Plan To: take 3 children to get tested for strep throat, take pictures of framing on new house
View From the Kitchen Window: sunshine and a tidy yard

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: sleeping in(although it's not such a beautiful thing when it makes you late. I have let myself sleep in all week and i have let the kids sleep in all week b/c several of us have been battling allergies, mastitis, and strep throat)
Listen In: the clicking of the keys as I type, a rich silence as a backdrop
Supper Plans: Today is dh's birthday (33 years old today!!) and I am debating whether to fix his favorite (chicken pot pie~ my Papa's recipe) or to make chicken fajitas, which he also loves. We will have company here and it is very easy to feed lots of people chicken fajitas and the fixins, so that it probably what I will do.
Today I Plan To: clean up the house, work on laundry, reserve a hotel room for our guests, take care of my children, birthday shop for dh (Can you believe I haven't done this yet??), bake a cake (round layered cake with 33 stenciled on top)
View From the Kitchen Window: All I can see is my very untidy yard that needs to be groomed. Who has time to do yard work while raising kids? I actually enjoy working in the yard; it is just so hard to find the time to do it. It is much more fun to blog in my spare time. I don't get fire ant bites when I blog.

Last night I took dh out for his birthday. We went to his favorite restaurant, PF Chang. Oh, it was so good! I could eat their lettuce wraps all day long. Even for breakfast. We had a great time and Chunky Monkey slept the entire 3 hours we were gone! (he was with us) We had a babysitter for the other kids~ dd13 makes a great babysitter, especially when she knows she is getting paid!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: a sleeping baby, a chubby baby, a happy baby (did I mention that Baby weighs 18.5 pounds at 4 1/2 months old? His new blog name is Chunky Monkey)
Listen In: Baby Girl whining and wanting me to "Doove" (move)
Supper Plans: : Grilled chicken, potatoes, raw vegetable slices (cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper), corn
Today I Plan To: take ds5 to dr., go to Target, make grocery list for the next 7 days, go to grocery store tonight when dh gets home
View From the Kitchen Window: our van, trash cans by the curb (leftover from trash day Tuesday), a lawn that needs to be mowed

Here is the picture I took of ds7 #2's lunch:
sliced cheese, 1/2 pb sandwich, 1/2 turkey sandwich, cucumbers, carrots, and cantaloupe. Juice to drink.
It was very fun to make! And he was excited about it. I got these boxes at Wal Mart. They were in a set and are called Lock and Lock boxes. At Target, they have a lock and lock box for $3.49 that has 4 separate compartments inside one larger box. I am taking ds5 to the dr. this afternoon and we are going to run by Target after the appt. and look for those boxes. It is just fun, really. IMO, the whole draw to making bento lunches is to give your kids something healthy, something cute, and make smaller portions. We are a super-sized society and kids don't need that much food. We could make the kids a healthy, small portioned lunch without making bento lunch boxes. Bento lunch boxes are just so darn CUTE!! That is why I am drawn to it. : )

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Plan

      1. Try 2 recipes from Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat Japanese Country Power Breakfast
serves 4
1/2 cup hot cooked rice
4 large eggs
1/2 of a 3-x-5-inch block atsu-age tofu (hopefully I can find this at Central Market or Whole Foods)
12 grape tomatoes or 8 cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, roots and tops cut off
1 cup mixed cooked vegetables (carrots, string beans, corn)
4 cups dashi (recipe for this in book- let me know if you want it or you can google it)
2 1/2 tablespoons red or white miso (going to look for at Whole Foods or Central Market)

Boil the eggs. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter each egg.
Bring water to a boil. Add tofu and gently boil over medium-heat, turning occasionally, for 1 minute. Drain. Cut tofu into small squares.
Lay out 4 small soup bowls. In each one, arrange a portion of egg wedges, tofu squares, the white part of the sliced scallions, tomatoes, cooked vegetables, and cooked rice.
Place the dashi in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Whisk in the miso and turn off the heat. Ladle the hot miso broth over the ingredients in the bowls.
Garnish each serving with the sliced green part of the scallion.

Iri Iri Pan Pan (or Super Scrambled Eggs and Ground Beef)

Super Scrambled Eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

Super Scrambled Ground Beef
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound extra-lean ground beef (ask your butcher to grind 2 to 3 extra times, or give it those extra grinds at home in your food processor)
2 tablespoons sake (I think this is a Japanese wine~ found at Central market or Whole Foods or a Japanese grocery store)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon reduced- sodium soy sauce
Pinch of salt

8 snow pea pods, ends trimmed
4 cups of cooked brown or white rice

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a saucepan. Add the eggs and sugar to the saucepan, bring heat to medium, and scramble the eggs with a wooden cooking fork, or whisk, for 2 minutes. When the eggs begin to harden, add the pinch of salt. Continue to scramble for 2 more minutes, or until the eggs are just cooked and in very small pieces. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a saucepan. Add the ground beef, sake, sugar, soy sauce, and salt to the saucepan, and bring heat to medium. Saute the beef, stirring constantly with a wooden cooking fork to keep the beef in constant motion so that it never clumps, for 6 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the snow peas and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold water. Cut into julienne strips.
Lay out 4 medium bowls. Scoop 1 cup of cooked rice into each bowl with a wet wooden spatula or spoon, then gently smooth out the surface until the bed of rice is relatively smooth (not packed). Spoon one quarter of the super-scrambled eggs over one half of the rice in each bowl, one quarter of the beef over the right half, and spread eggs and beef evenly over their respective sides. Divide the snow peas into 4 equal portions, and place them in the middle of each bowl, where the eggs and beef meet.

Tokyo Kitchen Tips
The smaller the eggs and beef, the more elegant the texture and appearance of this dish.
Using small saucepans makes it easier to scramble without overcooking.
To maximize the beauty of this dish, keep scrambling even if your arm wants to quit.

2. Aim to eat fish 3x a week.
3. Replace some of our carbs at dinner with white or brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
4. Keep a pitcher of unsweetened green tea in the refrigerator. Drink it throughout the day instead of soda, Kool Aid, coffee, or sweetened tea.
5. Have fresh fruit for dessert after dinner.
6. Make veggies the main part of dinner instead of side dishes. Make meat/fish/chicken the side dish. I have heard that it works well to divide your plate into fourths. One fourth should be your protein, one fourth your carb, and the other half should be veggies. That sounds easy enough!
7. I am going to walk to get the boys from school whenever the weather is nice. It is exactly one mile to their school, so I would be walking 2 miles round trip. If I walk them to school in the morning I will also have to walk ds5 to school. His school is 2.5 miles away from home. I would walk 1 mile to take the big boys to their school, then (with Baby in my Ergo, and Baby Girl and ds5 in the jogging stroller) walk the remaining 1.5 miles to ds5's school. Round trip would be 5 miles if I decide to do that. So far, I am not that ambitious. Last week one day I walked to get the big boys after school. It was fun. Of course, the fact that we stopped by a friend's house and ate ice cream made it really fun! And the fact that we moseyed instead of power walked made it relaxing.

Here is my menu for the next 7 days:

Friday: Grilled chicken, potatoes, raw vegetable slices (cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper), corn

Saturday: chicken fajitas, avocados, corn tortillas, homemade salsa, refried beans, tortilla chips

Sunday: grilled salmon, salad, steamed green beans, brown rice, fresh fruit and green tea

Monday: Chicken noodle soup, homemade bread

Tuesday: grilled tilapia, fresh fruit, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, green beans, fresh fruit and green tea

Wednesday: Iri Iri Pan Pan, steamed mixed vegetables, baby carrots

Thursday: Teriyaki salmon, brown rice with peas, cooked carrots, sliced raw vegetables, fresh fruit and green tea

If I stick to that menu, I will have met my goal to have fish 3x a week, fresh fruit for dessert, and I am adding more vegetables than I normally serve. I still haven't made the veggies my main focus, but it is a start.

I am going to keep green tea in the fridge, and I am going to make the Japanese Power Breakfast one morning and see how it tastes. It sounds very good to me because I don't really like traditional breakfast food. Pancakes, eggs, and bacon are good once in a while, but cereal and oatmeal are not appealing to me. Pop Tarts are delicious, but very unhealthy so I don't keep those in the house. If I did, the kids wouldn't get any because I would eat them all the first night I brought them home from the store.

I need to get to bed. Tomorrow I am going to post a picture of the bento lunch box I made for my boys' lunch for tomorrow. I went ahead and made it tonight while I had time. I had a blast! It was so much fun t cut everything with those tiny little cookie cutters!

Goodnight! Have sweet dreams!

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Bento Lunch Ideas

Target stores: Lock and Lock boxes


•Plan your bento like an art activity.

•Choose foods for color.

•Use cookie cutters and other tools to cut foods such as bread, cheese, fruits and vegetables into interesting shapes.

•Use plastic skewers for foods such as fruit or roll-up sandwiches.

•Use cute plastic bottles or small sauce containers for liquids

•Don't forget muffin cups (large and small), to separate items.

•Egg molds press hard-cooked eggs into whimsical shapes. Go to www.24hourkitchen.word for a look at egg molds and how to use them.

•Rice molds also allow you to shape rice into whimsical shapes. Besides Ekitron, find rice molds, including Hello Kitty, on eBay.

•Here are color ideas for fruits and veggies:

For reds, select from strawberries, red grapes, halved cherry tomatoes or sliced red peppers.

For orange, consider carrots, dried apricots, sweet potato, cantaloupe or mandarin orange segments.

Green is easy: peas, cucumber, green grapes, broccoli, spinach, green peppers and asparagus.

For white, try rice, Asian dumplings, pasta, bread or popcorn.


Faux sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread cream cheese on the bread, top with thinly sliced deli meat and roll tightly. Cut into ½ -inch slices to resemble a sushi roll. (From Shannon Carino.)

Fruit sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread with pineapple cream cheese, add a banana, roll and slice.

Salad roll: Remove the thick rib from a romaine lettuce leaf. Top with favorite salad dressing, a thin slice of Muenster cheese, a thin slice of roast beef. Roll tightly and secure with a pick.

Sandwich on a stick: Alternate chunks of ham and cheese, separated by squares of bread. Finish with a strawberry.

Also Online

How to make lunches kids will love

No more doughnuts: Nutritious, quick breakfast ideas

Tortilla roll: Spread a tortilla with refried beans. Top with cooked chicken, shredded lettuce and grated cheese. Roll and slice. Use plastic skewers to secure.

Muffin cup: Layer the cup with shaved turkey, shredded lettuce and carrots.

Polenta pizza: Slice store-bought polenta, brown both sides in a skillet and top with tomato sauce, freshly chopped herbs and cheese; warm until cheese melts.

Alphabet pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss with freshly chopped vegetables and butter.

Mini stromboli: Slightly flatten canned biscuit dough. Spread with small amount of tomato sauce on half, top with chopped pepperoni, fold over and crimp edges with fork. Bake in a 350 F oven until golden.

Hard-cooked eggs: Cook egg, peel it and then press it into an egg mold. Top with favorite meat shapes.

These are ideas I got from the article in the Dallas Morning News I was telling you about yesterday. Not all of the food suggestions follow the traditional Japanese way of eating, but some of them do. There are some cute ideas, that's for sure!

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Japanese Diet

Here is the information I learned from the book Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat.

You need to get the book and read it for yourself. I couldn’t put I down last night and stayed up way too late reading it!

The Statistics:

Japanese women have an obesity rate of 3%.

American women have an obesity rate of 34%.

The life expectancy (at birth) of Japanese women is 86 years.

The life expectancy (at birth) of American women is 80 years.

Seven Secrets from a Tokyo Kitchen:

  1. The Japanese diet is based on fish, soy, rice, vegetables, and fruit.
  2. The Japanese eat much smaller portions than we do. They serve their food on beautiful, small dishes and focus on presentation.
  3. Japanese cooking is super-light and super-gentle. A lot of Japanese homes do not even have ovens. They sauté, steam, or stir-fry a lot of their foods.
  4. They eat rice instead of bread with every meal.
  5. Japanese women eat power breakfasts! A typical breakfast consists of green tea, steamed rice, miso soup with tofu, small sheets of nori seaweed, and maybe even a small omelet or piece of grilled salmon.
  6. Japanese women love their desserts, just like we do. But they do not eat cookies that are 4-5 inches in diameter! They eat fresh sliced fruit for dessert with a cup of green tea (no sweeteners in the tea) to go with it. They will have a small piece of chocolate or a small, bite-sized cookie for dessert sometimes, also.
  7. Japanese women have a healthy relationship with food. They do place a high value on thinness, just like American women do, but they do not deny themselves food like we do. For the most part, Japanese women do not practice restrictive dieting, they just eat in this traditional way and as a result, they stay thin and healthy.
An extra Japanese secret: The Japanese exercise throughout the day, naturally. They walk or ride bikes to a lot of their destinations.

The Seven Pillars of Japanese Cooking

  1. Fish
  2. Vegetables
  3. Rice
  4. Soy
  5. Noodles (buckwheat noodles are the best, according to the author)
  6. Tea (green tea)
  7. Fruit

These foods make up the core of the Japanese diet. They do have small amounts of beef and chicken. Very small amounts. They eat meat as a side dish or as a condiment.

A typical Japanese meal consists of a bowl of rice, miso or clear soup, and three side dishes. One side dish will probably be fish, and the other two will most likely be vegetables.

This diet will not only keep us thin and healthy, but will help prevent all kinds of diseases, like Alzheimer's disease. My mother-in-law has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 59, so this one is close to my heart.

Here is a link to an article about the Japanese diet and Alzheimer's disease.

I am so interested in this way of eating! I know that we can drink green tea, eat less red meat and poultry, add more fish to our diet, and add more brown and white rice to our diet. Adding fruit and vegetables is also something that we can do pretty easily. Soy may be a hard thing to adjust to for me, but I am willing to try it.

Let me know what you all think of this. I am interested in your opinions.

I checked out a Japanese cookbook from the library and I am going to read through it today. I will post some of the recipes if they look yummy!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Japanese Curiosity

I have to make this very short because I need to go start dinner and take care of the kids who just got home from school...

This morning I read this article. It sparked my curiosity about what Japanese people eat and why they live so long. I read lots of different information about their diet and I am very interested in it.
Not only do Japanese live longer, but they live HEALTHIER, longer. In other words, they live to be 90 or 100 and they are healthy! Really, who wants to live to be 100 if you are sick and in pain?? I have never wanted to live to be really old if it meant I was sick and in a nursing home.
But these people are truly healthy and live wonderfully long lives full of activity and good health.

So, what's the deal? Why do they have an obesity rate of only 3%? I am in the process of researching that today. I went to the library and checked out a book called Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat! By a woman named Naomi. I have read a couple of chapter while sitting in the line at the kids' school and it is excellent, so far. Go check it out.

This whole Japanese curiosity also jogged my memory and I recalled an article I read a few weeks ago in the Dallas Morning News about something called Bento Lunches.
Go check those out here, here, here, and here. You can search on eBay for bento and you will find lots of cool stuff.

Gotta go now!

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Beauty in the Common Things: a morning drive…coffee in hand…windows down…cool air blowing in

Listen In: Baby gurgling and squealing in his exersaucer

Supper Plans: Italian Chicken in crock pot, noodles or mashed potatoes, green peas

Today I Plan To: piddle around the house, hang kids’ artwork on the hallway wall, fold and put away laundry, drink 8 oz of water every hour and take my herbs to prevent mastitis (not feeling so great this morning; this is the way I feel when I am about to have a full blown run-in with mastitis)

View From the Kitchen Window: neighbor across the street working on his lawn

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday~Birthday Edition

This was a really great birthday. Annie can testify to that, right Annie? This birthday was in 1998 and I was turning 22. Corey planned a surprise birthday party for me. I really had no idea. He had lots of people in on it, but the most important person who helped him was Annie.

I had been at work all day and was bummed out because I wasn't going to see Corey till the next day. We were still dating at this point and I lived with my parents with my 2 little kids, ages 4 and 7 months.

I got home after work and walked into the house and there were lots of people there, a cake, balloons, streamers, the whole shebang!
But my daughter kept telling me to go look in my bedroom. She kept saying it over and over again. "Go look in your room, Mommy! Go look in your room!!"

So, I went back to my room and there were balloons covering my ceiling. Corey, who was supposedly at work and wouldn't see me till the next day, popped out of my closet, with a rose and a diamond, and asked me to marry him! It was the most special birthday I have ever had.

He is still that wonderful, too.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: cool mornings
Listen In: boys talking
Supper Plans: gyros
Today we are going to: work on land all day then go to a pool party at 6
View From the Kitchen Window: a gray morning

I have a few pictures from yesterday that I am going to add sometime today or tonight. And I am going to take pictures of the house project and post those, too. Cause I KNOW y'all want to see the concrete stemwall and the lumber piled up waiting for the framers on Monday, right???

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: a morning walk, morning glories
Listen In: Baby Girl getting in fridge, dd13 sounding exasperated with her
Supper Plans: Annie's Taquitos
Today I Plan To: run errands, shuttle kids, go to land with family and do some outside work that is needed by Monday
View From the Kitchen Window: a bright blue sky

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thankful Thursday

1. I am thankful for my dad. He is spending lots of time down here building our new home. I know this cuts into his work time and also his time with my mom, sisters, and his grandchildren. I am so thankful that he is doing this for us. It is such a gift!
2. I am thankful for my husband. He loves me so much and would give me anything in the world.
3. I am thankful for Autumn! Down here in Texas it gets so HOT during the summer. Autumn is my favorite season because we finally get a break from the heat. I love the turning of the leaves and the cool breezes. It is so wonderful!
4. I am thankful for the Bible. I have been reading about 20 pages each night (that is the plan anyway, it doesn't happen every night), trying to read through the Bible in 90 days, and I have been focusing on the character of God. I have been so blessed already and I am still in Genesis.
I am loving reading His Word and just basking in the love he expresses to us in the Bible. It truly is our love letter from our King and I am thankful for that!

Happy Thursday!

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Beauty in the Common Things: busyness
Listen In: Baby Girl talking to Baby
Supper Plans: Spaghetti, garlic bread, vegetable, maybe a salad
Today I Plan To: the usual (laundry, cleaning, planning)
View From the Kitchen Window: overcast sky

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: drinking coffee with my hubby on a Sunday morning
Listen In: kids scraping their spoons against their cereal bowls
Supper Plans: grab something from the freezer, make a salad to go with it
Today I Plan To: lie in bed and cross stitch (DH asked me to stay home from church b/c I am coughing terribly and have a headache. He would probably wonder why I am blogging and not resting. This is restful though, right?)
View From the Kitchen Window: the sun peaking out from behind clouds, very pretty

Once A Month Cooking report:
I have 14 or 15 meals in the freezer
I have several bags of chopped up chicken in the freezer, ready to use in recipes
I also have 3 bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer; I am going to use those in crockpot recipes and grilling recipes.

I am officially finished with my September OAMC! I think it went well, considering the circumstances. When I first did OAMC, I had 2 children and one of them was in school all day. My 9 year old son, who was 1 at the time, would play well by himself while I cooked for a full 8 hours. I remember putting ice cubes in a sink full of water and letting him play in it for hours. I would just refresh the ice cubes every once in a while. He loved to play in the water.
Then the last time I cooked for a month, I was barely pregnant with Baby W. It was last September or October and it was on a Saturday. Dh took care of the kids while I cooked. Dd13 helped me quite a bit and we got lots of meals prepared. The bad thing is that I got so sick with my pregnancy that I wasn't able to eat very many of the meals! My family had yummy food to eat though.

I had better go now so I can rest. Have a fantastic Sunday!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

I Give Up

Okay, this is Day Three of my OAMC and I am quitting!
Day One (Wednesday) I shopped, cooked, and chopped till I dropped.
Day Two (Friday) I put together all of my beef recipes and got them in the freezer.
Day Three (Today) I am going to chop up all of the chicken and just put it in the freezer like that. That way I can just pull out a bag of chicken when I want to use one of the chicken recipes. I am just sick of cooking and I feel like I have been cooking all week, even though I haven't been. I think that is because I have been thinking about it all week.

I have an appt today at Shopaholic for a consultation for a haircut and makeover. I am very excited about this!!! I will let you know how that goes. I listen to Gene and Julie on 103.7 lite FM and they have Sherry on their show every Wednesday morning as their fashion and beauty expert.

Hope you have a happy Saturday and a wonderful Sunday!

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: The Word of God
Listen In: Baby fussing
Supper Plans: Hamburger Soup
Today I Am: attempting to cook, attempting to clean up the house, taking kids back and forth to school, enjoying being a Mommy
View From the Kitchen Window: Sunshine

My big cooking day didn't happen yesterday. I had lots of things pop up that I needed to do and they had to come before cooking. I am attempting to cook today. Attempting is the key word.
I like Matt and Annie's idea to read the Bible in 90 days. I am excited about that and I plan to start this weekend!

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Shop and Chop

Well, it is 11:34 pm and I am still preparing food for tomorrow's big cooking day. I am tired and want to go to bed so badly! I just put beans in the crock pot to cook overnight. I need to get 2 cooked chickens, the broth, a roast, and 3 lbs of taquito meat put into the fridge and then I can go to bed.

I didn't get to the grocery store until noon. Baby was fussy today and that, plus the fact that it was pouring down rain all day, kind of hindered my early start I had planned.

But all of the shopping is done, I have chopped veggies and cooked meat, and I am almost finished! All is well.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Planning and Preparation

  • Mom’s Spaghetti (2 dinners)
  • Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry (2 dinners)
  • Taco Soup (2 dinners)
  • Beef Gyros (2 dinners)
  • Shredded Beef Tacos (2 dinners)
  • Crock pot black bean salsa chicken (2 dinners)
  • Vegetarian Taco Stuffed Potatoes (2 dinners)
  • Annie’s Taquitos (3 pounds of meat)
  • Garlic Lime Chicken (2 dinners)
  • Sticky Chicken (2 meals)
  • Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (2 meals)
  • Chicken Fajita meat/Chicken taco meat (2 meals)
  • Pizza kits (6 kits) (2 meals)
  • Black Bean and Turkey Chili with Frito's (2 meals)
  • Shepherd’s Pie (2 meals)=
  • Hamburger Soup (2 meals)
  • Spiced Citrus Dump Chicken (1 meal)= 33 meals

I made my revised menu today. Then I made the grocery list and planned what I am going to do tomorrow.

Basically, I am going to shop early, then come home, get the kids their lunch and put them down for naps. Then dd13 and I will brown hb meat, cook chickens, chop veggies, and cook beans in the crock pots and pots on the stove.

Hmmm...sounds like a really hot kitchen! Hopefully it will be cool here tomorrow. It was in the upper 80s today. That wasn't too bad. It rained here all day and I enjoyed that.

I just remembered that I printed out several Body Clutter(go to to get info on Body Clutter) menus and was going to look at them to see what I could cook and freeze. I really wanted to use some of those recipes, but I totally forgot until just now.
I think I will just keep it the way it is and figure out the points on each meal tomorrow. The Body Clutter menus have the points listed for each recipe and I was looking forward to having healthy meals (with low points) that already had the points figured up for me. Oh well, I will just have to figure out the points myself this month. Next month I will use the Body Clutter meals.

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First Day of Pre-K

My baby just went to pre-k. Yes, I know he is 5 and is not my baby anymore, but he IS my baby. That does not make sense and I am okay with that.
This child has been "the baby" since he was born. Even though he is #5 of 7 children, he has still been the baby. It's strange, really.
Maybe it's because he was our first birth child together. Maybe it's because he was my first child to be born after praying for a baby for 2 years. Maybe it's because we lost 2 babies in the 2nd trimester when he was 1 year old and it made me hold him tighter and treat him like a baby longer.
I don't really know why he has always been "the baby" but I am crying as I type this and I hope he is having a great day at pre-k. I did not cry when I dropped him off, even though another mom was bawling. I had to purposefully not look at her because I was about to start bawling, too. He was happy and excited and so, so cute with his new clothes and his new backpack. And so grown up all of a sudden.

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Once A Month Cooking Ideas

Here are some ideas I had last night while I was thinking this through. I am still trying to figure out how I am going to get all of this done while shuttling boys back and forth to school all day (take them at 7:30-8:00, then pick up at 11 and 3:30), taking care of 2 babies, and homeschooling my 13 year old daughter. Here are my ideas:

Day One: Preparation and Planning

· Go to grocery stores and see what is on sale (got sale papers last night~nothing great on sale)

· Clean out fridge and freezers

· Look at calendar for the next month and decide how many meals I want to freeze

· Make a list of meals to cook and freeze

· Make a list of ingredients

· Make a list of what I need to do to prepare and freeze the meals

Day Two: Shopping and Chopping

· Get shopping started early

· Peel, chop, cook meat

· Store it all in fridge

Day Three: Cooking Day

· Cook

  • Cut the amount of meat in half (I wonder if I should double the veggies or something else to make up for the missing meat?Are you wondering why I want to cut the amount of meat in half? 3 reasons: 1)we need to eat less meat for health reasons 2)if I buy meat for a family of 9 for a whole month of meals it will cost a fortune 3) I have a real problem with animal cruelty and I feel that it is wrong to make them suffer their whole lives. Now, I do not think it is wrong to eat meat. But I want to make sure the meat I buy is from animals who had a normal life and were not raised in a stall and never got fresh air. But free-range, grass-fed meat is expensive. Enough said about that. )
  • Use crock pot to make whatever I can
  • Freeze meals in gallon sized bags, freeze flat, then store them vertically
  • great article
  • Stick something in the crock pot to cook while I am preparing stuff (shop and chop day)
  • Add spices, onions, garlic, celery, and carrots to chickens while cooking to make healthy chicken broth. Freeze the broth.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Beauty in the Common Things: September, the smell of a freshly mown field and burning brush, a cool breeze on a hilltop
Bible Reading: Genesis 1-3
Listen In: kids jumping on couch (I know, I know...)
Supper Plans:
burgers on the grill, baked beans, chips
Today I Plan To: do laundry, relax, cross stitch
View From the Kitchen Window:
a cloudy sky

I am working on a cross stitch that is all the names of Jesus. I have made it for several people, but this time I am making it for myself! I want it to be completed by the time we move into our new house. I am using four colors: dark beige brown (DMC 839), pale delft blue (DMC 800), straw (3821), and medium forest green (DMC 988). I based my colors on a painting I have of the Mission Bell Tower. We lived in Mission, TX for a while and the bell tower was a few miles from our house. I will put a picture of it on my blog so you will be able to see what I am talking about. But today my camera battery is dead and I can't find the charger. Okay...I haven't looked for the charger, but I don't want to get up and look for it.

I am planning to read through the Bible this next year, starting today. I am going to read a passage each day, then journal about what I read. I am going to study the character of God, what He is like, who He is, His heart. As I read, I am going to write down all the names of God, then create a cross stitch pattern with those names. A friend of mine from Oklahoma created the names of Jesus cross stitch pattern and it is beautiful! I just love it. I think she also created a pattern with the names of God, but I have not been able to get a copy of it, so I am going to make my own.

I have planned my Once a Month cooking days for tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. I am going to make my menu and grocery list tomorrow ( I am going to get sale papers and base my menus on the meat that is on sale instead of following the menu I put on my blog last week), then do my grocery shopping tomorrow night after dinner while dh gets kids in bed. Then Wednesday will be prep day. I am going to get all of my meat and veggies cut up and prepared. Then Thursday I will put the recipes together and get everything labeled and in the freezer. Then we will order pizza for dinner that night! ha ha

I hope you have a relaxing, fun Labor Day with your loved ones!

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