Thursday, January 29, 2009

~Two Weeks of Eats~

I am joining Sandra for her two-week menu plan. Rather than doing a full shop every single week, I am going to try shopping for the majority of groceries for 2 weeks time, and only having to go back to the store weekly for the perishables ( mainly fruit and veggies since milk can freeze well). This plan will take us from Feb 1st through Feb 14th. We will be trying lots of new recipes this month.

-meatballs with dreamfields spaghetti

-orange chicken with rice (new try)

-breaded ranch chicken (new try)

-rosemary skewered chicken with orange glaze and rice (from chef Curtis Stone-new try)

-BBQ chicken with aloha bread and homemade coleslaw (new try)

-cashew beef stir-fry (new try)

-pot roast, veggies, gravy, salad

-meatloaf, green beans, corn

-New Orleans rubbed chicken with apricot mustard sauce (new try)

-Roast chicken with meyer lemon and roasted shallot gravy (new try)

-chicken thights with white wine, herbs and carmelized shallot pan sauce (new try)

-chicken alfredo with broccoli

-herbed grilled chicken breast with normandy veggie mix

-turkey tenders with sweet potato oven fries (new try)

-Lasagna (plenty of leftovers for lunches)


-cheeseburgers without bun

-chef salad

-taco salad

-chicken salad on Ezekial bread


-Ezekial bread tortilla pizzas (home made)

-cheeseburgers without bun

-chipotle chicken salad rolled in tortillas

-cube steak milanese

-grilled cheese and soup

-leftovers from various dinners


-various egg, cheese and meat dishes

-cereal and milk

-homemade yogurt and fruit

-bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter and piece of fruit

update 1/30/09--I made my shopping list out and then shopped this morning, and the grand total came to $359, which is a weekly average of $179.50, not too bad for a family of 9 for a diet consisting of great foods like organic milk and cage free eggs. I am reserving some cash for milk, apples, bananas and salad veggies next week, which will more than likely raise the weekly amount to $195. I guess I really did not save any money shopping this way, just spared myself a week of aggrivation by not having to do a full shop next week. Instead, I can leisurely stroll through the fun country farm store with my 4 year old to grab the above items, lost in romantic country life daydreams. ;-)

In case you wonder how we suddenly went from 8 to 9, Mike's cousin has been staying with us for several weeks, and will be for several months. We now have 3 adults, two teens, one pre-teen, and 3 other children to ♥nourish♥, and whomever else happens to stop by at dinnertime ;-)

Highest quality milk is a must because I plan on making my own yogurt, sweetening it with fresh fruit and/or pure maple syrup which is alredy in my pantry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

~Goals for February~

We've been in this house for 18 months and our living room windows are still bare, other than the mini blinds. I am making it a goal this coming month to get some kind of dressings to pretty it up. I can only imagine the difference this will make in there. As long as it's ours, I'm going to make it ours. =) I will strike items off list as they are accomplished. Whatever I don't get to, can roll on into next biggie.

Some goals for February:

-make window mistreatments for living room (first time)

-turn one pair of too short jeans into a skirt (I am in between lengths, average is too short, but tall is a little too long)

-find and make a great dessert for the first dinner for six at someone's house from our church found one here!

-continue babysitting twice per week (20-25 hours-->this is a short term job)

-host a first-time playdate with the ladies from our church

-start a two week menu plan/shopping, going weekly only for perishables

-get a more structured routine for mornings in place...less talking, more action (I made a picture routine using boardmaker for the boys to follow each morning...simple...I think I would like to do the same to label the bureau drawers so they can learn where to put their clothing by themselves.

-start teaching Aiden pre-K skills purposefully

-get a good stock of homemade frozen lunches boxed up for Mike

-stock up some art supplies

-read the book: finding a mentor, being a mentor

-be more prayerful. I am someone who thinks of God often throughout my day, sings to Him a lot, think in awe of things He has done, or will do, and contemplates what He would have me do in a given situation,....but I don't feel I actually pray as often as I should, so I am going to work on that....

-try to help my dh more

-find a hand crank grain mill for emergency preparedness

Sunday, January 25, 2009

~Be prepared to be cutified~

I've never been much of a fan of little dogs, I like big beefy dogs, good for protection as well as companionship, but this little guy came home with my daughter today and stole our hearts...his name is "spot" which is ridiculously silly, which you will see why below:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Birthday Happenings

Well, we had quite a fun little time yesterday with our little party. It was just us, my dad, Mike's cousin and two of Autumn's guests. We started the night out with some pizza and hot wings from Doogan's.

We served up some of the chocolate fudge cake with Resse's peanut butter icecream after a little DS and Guitar Hero playing. Danny opened his gift, the only thing he wanted, a DS. He was ecstatic! Autumn was told she was getting her own gym membership, though we didn't have it quite yet!

No sooner than Autumn and I began dueling on Guitar Hero, the guys decided to break out the usual Risk and twisted our arms into playing. ;-) It's always fun once we get into it, until Bucci gluttonously takes over and moves air wings and multitudes of armies onto his territories. It's so sickening, the pieces can't always fit on the board and he has to keep his piles on the table...ROFLOL!! Always a good time though....

Next thing I know, it's 11pm, we've been beat once again and I'm freaking out since I needed to get up in time for Operation Sonshine with some of the youth group from our church. I'll have to blog about that later. That was a GREAT experience and I LOVED doing it. Here are a few shots of the birthday last night:

The birthday kids

Aiden and his string cheese

Ryan, guitar hero

Dan's gift, a DS

The dueling candles!!! 6 on Dan's side, 17 on Autumn's side

Bucci tuning Felicia's guitar

Serving up some cake

What's a party without a little "Risk"?

This is what happens to us EVERY time we play with Bucci...!!!!!!!!

Start with hero, end with hero~Ryan and cousin Eric

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Happy Birthdays!!!

Today is Dan's 6th birthday. He was my fifth and biggest baby weighing in at 11 lbs and 2 oz, 22 1/2 inches, and born naturally! It's hard to believe six years have passed since that day.

Tomorrow is Autumn's 17th birthday. That is pretty shocking. She is my first born, and now has her license, and is a Junior in high school. Where did the last 5 years go? They seemed to have flown by!!

Yesterday I made a chocolate fudge cake in honor of their special days, which will be celebrated tonight. It looks scrumptious! I will share the recipe with you all since I am pleased with the results, it comes from

First a few shots of the process:

Sifting the flour, baking soda and salt and directed...

I don't have a large enough bowl for cake batter, so I use a pan...LOL!!

melting the baking chocolate in a double boiler...

The batter poured into prepared pans....

The lucious final product!!


3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 1/4 c. sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
2 1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. dairy sour cream
1 c. boiling water
Chocolate Fudge Frosting (recipe follows)

Melt chocolate in a small bowl over hot, not boiling, water; cool. Grease and flour two 9 x 1 1/2 inch layer cake pans; tap out excess flour. Sift flour, baking soda and salt onto wax paper.

Beat butter until soft in large bowl. Add brown sugar and eggs; beat with mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla and cooled melted chocolate. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition until batter is smooth. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin. Pour at once into prepared pans.

Bake in moderate 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until centers spring back when lightly press with fingertip. Cool layers in pans on wire rack, 10 minutes; loosen around edges with a small knife or spatula; turn out onto wire racks; cool completely. Makes 12 servings.

Make Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Put 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with about 1/4 of frosting; add second layer, spread remainder on side and top of cake, making swirls with spatula.


4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 pkg. (1 lb.) 10X confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine chocolate and butter in small, heavy saucepan. Place over low heat, just until melted. Remove from heat. Combine 10X sugar, milk and vanilla in medium bowl; stir until smooth; add chocolate mixture. Set bowl in pan of ice and water; beat with wooden spoon until frosting is thick enough to spread and hold its shape.

Today was supposed to be very low key, just cake and a gift for both Autumn and Daniel, but before I knew it she had invited a few friends so an impromptu party it is!

I am happy with the cake, but you will note I am NOT a perfectionist by any means.
The man of my dreams will be bringing home pizza, hot wings & soda for dinner and I will have guitar hero on standby for the friends arrival. Not to mention, Felicia's electric guitar is plugged in and standing the corner of the living room. I bet I will con talk someone into playing it for us!! Hopefully the boys don't mind the hot pink...hehe I will post photos tomorrow.

Now I must go and make lunch, pick Ryan up from school early for two doctors appointments, then back to the school to pick up another child on time for dismissal, then back home for more tidying, hence the easy dinner. ;-)

I hope you have a beautiful day where ever you are, and whatever circumstances you find yourself in.

Colossians 3:17
17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Ephesians 6:7-8
7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New England is all asparkle!

Between December and January, here are some of the shots that have caught our eyes around here:

some beautiful icicles hanging from our roof on a dark evening

This is my sweet rosebush covered in ice two days ago

We just came through another ice storm, and thankfully it is already pretty well melted.