Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - 11/29

Well it's that dreaded day of the week again! Ours actually went fairly well despite the HUGE amount of rain we had. Our backyard is literally covered in 3 inches of water! Not fun when you have 3 little boys that LOVE mud puddles! And of course being that it is Louisiana weather today it was 63 degrees outside while yesterday it was like in the low 40s. It's a wonder we aren't all sick yet!!

Anyways...back to this...I had figured out my menu plan for this week like 2 weeks ago but when I was looking over it again today I decided I really didn't want anything that I had overhaul it was!

I'm not even going to discuss what we had for supper tonight because it did not go as I had planned. The kids all loved it but I was not impressed...could be the pregnancy belly talking though!

So here is our outlook for the week:

Breakfast this week will most likely be cereal or waffles...plenty of milk to get rid of before it expires!

Lunches will be: PBJ sandwhiches, cookies, frozen grapes...Hubby will probably take soup...

So now it's dinner time.....

Tuesday - Chicken Fried Rice (plenty rice left over from my flop tonight)

Wednesday - Spaghetti and garlic bread

Thursday - Fend for yourself night ( still makes it though)

Friday - Chili dogs and french fries

Saturday - Beef or Chicken quesadillas, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans

Sunday - Beef Stroganoff, green beans, rolls

Monday - Meatloaf, scallop potatoes, corn on the cob (haven't made this meatload so we will see how it turns out!!

Our snacks will be hard cooked eggs, crackers and peanut butter, popcorn, fruit!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!


***Check out I'm an organizing junkie for more menu planning inspiration and awesome recipes!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kids helping around the house

This is a constant battle at our house. Three of our four children are very well capable of helping clean our house. They don't like to think so. I believe what we ask them to do is quite reasonable and there is no reason for them to not help!

In my Home Management Binder each of the kids have their own Chore Chart. They are supposed to do the chores EVERY DAY but it doesn't always happen that way! We are working with them on it so they can learn to clean up after themselves.

The chores they are supposed to do are :
     -Make their bed (of course it doesn't have to be perfect...they are kids)
     -Take their dirty clothes to the laundry room
     -Make sure all toys are in the toy box
     -Put their shoes into the shoe bin in their room
     -Jackets and backpacks are hung up by the door
     -After each meal they are to put their dishes in the sink and wipe up their area at the table

That isn't a long list of things for them to do!! We just have some very stubborn children that have a mind of their own.....


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Letters From Santa Box and homemade Breadsticks

I posted the other day about our Christmas Countdown that we are going to do at our house. Today I FINALLY finished the box that will come to our house every day by Santa!

Again, my plan is to leave the box under our Christmas tree every night after the kids go to sleep. Inside the box will be a letter/note and an activity for us to do as family everyday until Christmas Day.

I just began using Mod Podge and I'm not wonderful at it yet but the box turned out pretty good in my opinion.

Here's what I did:

Gathered my supplies: Wooden box, scrapbook paper, mod podge, a brush, pencil, and box cutter (or whatever you use to cut with).

Then I figured out the size of the paper I needed for each side and cut it out.

Next, I began using the Mod Podge to cover the box with the paper.

After everything had dried I added the letters to the box.

Well there you have it! There is our Letters From Santa box!

On another note, last night I attempted to make homemade bread sticks. They didn't quite go the way I thought they would. I followed the recipe just like it said but my bread sticks turned out HUGE!!
Not sure how that happened but they tasted pretty good!

Bread sticks
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup milk
6 tbs. melted butter
4 tsp. sesame seeds
(I didn't use these)

In a small bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Gradually add milk and stir to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently 3 to 4 times. Roll into a 20x5x1/2"rectangle. Cut into 24 bread sticks. Place butter in 2 13x9x2" pans. Put bread sticks in butter and turn to coat. Sprinkle with seeds.
Variations: Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, etc. can be added, if desired. Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic and sprinkle with garlic powder before baking to make garlic bread sticks. Bake at 450°F for 14 to 18 minutes

As far as the rolling and cutting mine went a little different. Maybe that was the problem! Who knows! Anyways try them if you'd like!!


I also made some homemade croutons yesterday!

10 slices day old bread
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp garlic salt

~Cut the crust off the bread then cut the bread into bite size pieces.
~Melt the butter and garlic salt together.
~Brush the butter on to the bread pieces.
~Bake in over at 325 degrees until browned. I think mine were in there about 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them!

I put them into a zip lock bag after they had cooled so we can use them on salads this week!

I think that's all that I have today!


Happy 7th Birthday to Boy#1!!! We love you!!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - November 22

I actually do our meal planning for 2 weeks at a time because that's how often I do the grocery shopping. I give myself some options on what I want to make! Of course it seems that every week I never end up going by the meal plan! My MIL has been off of work due to a car accident so she has cooked quite a few nights and either brought us some of the food or we went to their house and ate. So some of what was on my plan last week is back again!

Monday - Vegetable Beef Soup
Tuesday - Beef and Rice Casserole
Wednesday - BBQ Cups and french fries
Thursday - Thanksgiving at different houses!!!
Friday - Baked Potato Soup
Saturday - Chicken and dumplings
Sunday - Chicken Fried Rice

I'm sure there will probably be some leftovers from Thanksgiving that we come home with so once again we most likely won't be sticking to the meal plan! If you look at last week's meal plan you will find a recipe or 2 for this week's plan!

I'm trying to help my niece work on her social studies fair project that is due next week so time to get back to that!! I definitely do not miss being in school and I'm glad that our kids have a few more years before we have to get into all this stuff!!

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!


Linked to I'm an Organizing Junkie

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Countdown!!!

I know it’s a little early to start counting down to Christmas but I am SOO ready for it! This year has been about new beginnings in our family so we are starting new traditions for everything! It’s a family tradition overhaul!!

Thanksgiving is a little out of whack because of family members having to work so maybe we will start new things next year!

Anyways, I’ve decided to start a Christmas Countdown this year. We have our kids every other week throughout the year so this will be tailored to fit our situation. Yours may be different so make it fit your family! We are going to start on the day after Thanksgiving to give us 2 weeks of activities.

Here is what I am going to do:

I am in the process of making a box that will be “Letters from Santa”. Every day “Santa” will place the box under our Christmas tree with a letter to the kids and/or an activity for us to do together. This is sort of a way for us to keep up good behavior until Christmas.

November 26 – First letter from Santa. I have searched a few websites to find letters that I like. Since we have 4 kids obviously we don’t want the letter to say the exact same thing. You could type up your own if you like. Decorate Christmas Tree.

November 27 – Magic Elf; Letter from Santa explaining who the Magic Elf is and why he is at our house. I got the idea from Elf on the Shelf. You can buy an Elf anywhere you like but make sure he has arms and legs that bend so you can put him in different places around the house. I plan to tell you a little more about the Elf on another day! Our first activity will be to go to a nearby city’s Christmas Festival where there will be things to do and fireworks over the river that night.

November 28 – Letter to Santa – The kids will write their own letter to Santa telling him what they want for Christmas!

November 29 – Reindeer Ornament – Kids will use Popsicle sticks to make an ornament for the tree. You can google this and find different variations.

November 30 – Tin Can Santa Craft - See it here! 

December 1/2- Teacher Presents – We have 3 kids in school so this will take us more than one day to complete. We will fill a small basket for each teacher with different handmade/bought items.

December 10 – Reindeer Food – Use oatmeal, sugar and sprinkles. Mix together and place in baggies. On Christmas Eve they will sprinkle this in the yard so the reindeer can have a quick snack.

December 11 – Have pictures made with Santa

December 12 – Family Pictures

December 13 – Santa Hand Pictures - From family Fun

December 14- Color Christmas Wreath – Print a coloring page of a wreath and kids will color and decorate it with whatever you have.

December 15- Read Christmas books

December 16 – Hot chocolate and Christmas movie – Pick your favorite movie and make some hot chocolate.

December 24 – Cookies for Santa / Santa Tracker  – We will make cookies for Santa and track him at NORAD

December 25 – Make breakfast together and open presents!!

Hope you and your family have a great Holiday Season together!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEE!!!

So today is my wonderful birthday!! It has been a great day! Nothing too extravagant or anything but just the way I wanted it!

Went to eat Thanksgiving lunch with Boy#3 at school. The food was surprisingly pretty good! Not how I remember it from being in school!!! After school we did the boy's homework and played around the house. Then this evening I cooked an easy supper for us...baked fish and french fries. Hubby came home and brought me roses and a new watch! I've been wanting a new watch sooooo bad! He is an awesome husband really! The boys and I made milkshakes and popcorn and we are all about to watch a movie together!!

Best way to spend a birthday! My family is absolutely wonderful and I love every minute with them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday To-Do (Organizing)

In preparation of MY birthday tomorrow I've got a long list of to-do's to get done today so that tomorrow I can rest! Wait...did I just say rest?? Impossible!! I have 4 kids, a husband, and a house to take care of! Well maybe I can just have a few things to do tomorrow!

Making room for the baby on the way means a lot of organizing and planning so that everything fits together just right. Our house is on the small side so to have 7 of us living in here comfortably takes the work of a genius...yes...I am doing it all (well most of it).

We are also preparing for the holidays and that means getting rid of clutter too! Yay!! I'm not quite sure how we manage to even have clutter when there is barely enough room for us in here.

I've found some ways to help with organizing and thought I would share them with you along with what I will be doing today!!

Simple Steps to Organizing
1 Set a goal – know what you want to get accomplished.
2. Write out a master to-do list for each room.
-Divide that up into a daily list – only complete 4-6 items on your list a day so that you don’t get burnt out. You didn’t get everything in one day and you can’t get rid of it that fast either!!
3. Find 15 in the current room you are working in
5 things to give away
5 things to throw away
5 things to put away
-a little at a time goes a long ways!!
4. Work in 1 corner at a time. Do not pull out more than you can put up in 20 minutes.
5. Take a deep breath. Turn on your favorite music and get moving! Do NOT turn on the TV or you will get sidetracked!!
6. Know your limits- when you are tired…you are tired…clean up the mess you have and take a break. You can come back to where you are later or even tomorrow!

7. Keep track of everything you are getting accomplished! Don’t look at what you haven’t! It’s more motivating to see what you already have done!!

Here is my to do list for today: (I will cross things out as they are done!)
Clear Little Girl's room to be ready for furniture tonight
Vacuum living room, hall, bedrooms
Finish laundry
Clean bathrooms

The list doesn't seem long but there is plenty there to keep me busy! Most will have to be done before the boys get home from school or else it won't get done today! know how it goes...

I just might go out into our storage building and start finding our Christmas decorations too! I know it's still a little early but I just can't wait much longer...I'm so impatient!!!

Anyways hope you get your to-do lists done today too! Good luck with it!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well it's Monday again...and that least favorite day of the week. Our weekend was very relaxing and of course today starts off with TONS of rain. I definitely wanted to sleep in today but I had to get the kids up and ready for school!!

Anyways, today is Menu Plan Monday over at I'm An Organizing Junkie . If you need any help with menu planning she has that available for you here. Be sure to check it out!

So what's on my menu for this week??? My recipes are listed below the menu plan are noted with ***. If I got the recipe from somewhere else you can click on the link to find it at it's original home!

Pancake Muffins***

Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches

Bagel Pizzas***
BBQ Biscuit Cups
Beefy Mac and Cheese
Taco Soup***
Chili Fries***
Vegetable Beef Soup***

Not sure of my side dishes...I really don't like to plan those because my pregnancy brain changes it's mind too much! These probably aren't the healthiest of recipes BUT they are frugal recipes!

Bagel Pizza
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Topping of choice (for us it's pepperoni)

Assemble "pizzas" on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Taco Soup
(This recipe can easily be doubled and frozen)
1 lb ground beef
1 can corn
1 can ranch style beans
1 can rotel
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch dressing and seasoning mix

Brown ground beef and drain. Combine ground beef and remaining ingredients in pot and cook on Medium for about 30 minutes or you can cook in crock pot on low 6-7 hours.

Chili Fries
1 large package french fries
2 cans chili (with or without beans...your choice)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Bake fries according to package directions. Heat chili on stove top. When done add fries to bowl and pour chili on over them. Top with cheese. You can add anything else on top that you like!

Vegetable Beef Soup
(another recipe that is easy to double and freeze)
1 lb ground beef
2 cans veg-all
1 can corn
2 cans tomato sauce
3-4 potatoes, cubed
water as needed

Brown ground beef and drain. Add veg-all, corn, and tomato sauce to ground beef in pot. Add potatoes. Cook on Medium heat until potatoes are done. Soup may be thicker than you want...add water until it is how you like it!

Well that's what I'm cooking this week! If you read this post leave me a comment so I can check out what you are cooking too! Take a look at my previous post also my Home Management Binder!

Hope you have a great week!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Home Management Binder

At times my house can be quite the zoo! There is always somewhere to go or something to do. It is never ending!

Then bills...when are they due? Where are they at?

Cleaning? Oh my much to much to do...

What is their phone number? Do you know the address?

Any of that sound familiar to you??? Bells are going off in my head. We were VERY disorganized. I thought about it and did research to see what worked for others. I soon found out that at some point ladies everywhere were creating Home Management Binders. I thought...hmmm that could definitely work for me!! Let's give it a try!!!

The binder is easy to create and you can make it as small or big as you want/need.

Here's what I did:

I had a simple black binder at the house so I grabbed that!

Then I added a zipper pouch that includes some bank deposit slips, a few pens, start stickers for the kid's charts and a calculator.
Then I found a 3 hole punch for binders and added that to make it easier to add papers to my binder.
Now the fun part...actually filling it up! I have changed this up alot of the time I've been using it. You will find sometimes things work and then they don't. If it is something that doesn't work you won't use it so MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!

1. Cover page telling what the binder is
     -Behind there is my phone number and address book

2. Family Information Sheet
     -This is just a page I typed up to include our mailing and physical address, our home and cell phone numbers, our dates of birth, social security numbers, and driver's license numbers. Below that is a list of family emergency numbers and the kid's school address and phone number.
     -After that is the kid's behavior chart. I found a template in Microsoft Word and tailored it to our needs. We have 4 weeks on each page so it saves paper!
    -Using the same template as above I created Chore Charts for each of the kids.
    -Then I made up another page to include everyone else's birthdays that we need to know...other family and friends.

3. Routines and Schedules
     -First I have my daily schedule. Now I don't stick to this exactly but it gives me somewhat of a guideline to follow to make sure that I get everything done that needs to be!
     -Then I have my morning, evening, and before bed routine. This is just some different things that need to be done daily.
     -Next is my daily to-do list. I have places for things to do, places to call/go, what needs cleaning that day, and my zone mission for the day from
The Flylady . I have a separate page for each day of the week.
     -Behind that is a 2 month calendar I printed to add appointments which would also be added to my daily to-do if it falls in that week.

4. Finance Information
     -I have the cover sheet in a clear protective cover and inside that is where I put all the bills as soon as they come in the mail. That way I always know where they are!
     -Account Info sheet - here I list each account, the account number, website if any and login information, and the phone number to each place.
     -Bill Payment Summary by Check - pretty self explanatory
     -Bill Payment Summary - I write EVERY bill that we have, it's due date, amount due, date paid, check #(if any), and the online payment confirmation code.
     -Printed Check Register - I will log in to our bank account online and write down everything as it shows up on there then cross check it will our checkbook register to make sure that everything is written down.

5. Meal Planning
     -Freezer Inventory sheet
     -Pantry Inventory sheet
     -Calendar where I plan out every day's meal from breakfast to lunch.
     -Grocery list for the week
     -Any recipes I need for the current meal plan

6. Cleaning
     -Weekly Checklist
     -Detailed Checklist for each room of the house; daily, weekly, monthly.
     -Detailed Cleaning List for each Zone (Check out
The Flylady to see what that means)
7. Holiday Planning
     -I have page printed for each child and this is where I will list the presents that we buy them for Christmas.
     -Then is a master list for other presents to buy or make.
     -Christmas Card List - who we plan to send them to with their addresses.

8. Inspiration and Notes
     -A Wife's 10 Commandments
     -A list of books I want to read
     -Craft ideas (soon will be in it's own category)
     -Things I want to buy for the house split up by room
     -Website that I want to look at

Soon I will be adding a section for Bible verses and daily devotions...but I might also make a separate binder for this.

I also want to add a section for the crafts I want to make and instructions and also for the ones I have already made in case I want to make them again for someone else.

If you are wanting to make your own household management binder it is super easy and makes a big difference in your life if you use it. If you would like any of the forms that I use you can email me and I will be glad to send them to you. Hope this helps you!!