Friday, October 28, 2016

Weekly Menu - Changes!

It's weekly menu time but I'm going to highlight some changes.  As this posts, I'm still enjoying some wonderful non-cooking time and I'm loving my break but, as we get ready to get back into the groove in the coming weeks, Darryl and I want to focus on eating healthier and changing some of our habits.  We have young kids and realize that we need to work on being a little more healthy on a daily basis.  Now, don't get me wrong, we still enjoy the good comfort food and have some fun food but if we can make these changes it will be good!!

The other thing is my new grocery store night is . .. Friday.  I know.  That's so exciting.  I was trying to go to the store during the day with the kids just to keep the nights free but it was really impacting our school time so it's back to evening shopping and Friday is a free night right now.

Here's the plan :

Friday - Monday - We are still having fun :-)

Tuesday - Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Steamed Broccoli, Brown Rice and Salad.

Wednesday - Grilled Steak Salad, Raspberries, Minestrone Soup and whole wheat rolls

Thursday - Pampered Chicken, (a new recipe that I'll share if it is good!), Broccoli, Couscous, and grapes

Friday - Mustard Crustard Fish (I'll see what looks good at the store), Brown Rice, Honeydew Melon, Asparagus, and whole wheat rolls

Doesn't it all look yummy?  I think the biggest change is just eating "fresher" and no mixed dishes like cassaroles OR pasta!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekly Menu

I keep thinking I will have more time to write - I even made a list of blogs to write but, days are busy right now with school, co-op and other fun things going on.  At least we are still eating ;-)

This coming week we have lots of exciting things so it makes my planning so much easier!

Friday - Josh has requested Pizza and since, we won't be eating at home on his actual birthday, this is his birthday dinner.  I don't mind not cooking :-)

Saturday - Today is Josh's birthday so we are out for day to celebrate him!

Sunday - Tacos for lunch.  Darryl is working so something nice and easy.  We are meeting my mom for dinner to celebrate Josh (of course)

Monday - The boys are at my mom's for a few days.  As much as I don't like cooking when they are gone, I do plan on cooking something simple - Chicken and veggies most likely.

Tuesday - I'm not cooking HA!  Darryl and I need a date night :-)  We don't have many choices so it will probably be just Applebees or me meeting him somewhere if he works late (as he does often).

That's my week :-)  After this we have plans for some family fun at a family wedding.  I won't have to cook again until after Halloween :-)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Fun

This past week we actually did have fun.  We had some really nice weather early in the week so we took advantage of it.  During the cold, snowy days of winter, we can double up on some lessons while we are stuck inside!

On Monday, after Live Lessons were done, we had to go to the laundry mat.  We then went to lunch and I surprised the kids with a trip to one of our favorite parks.  We only go to parks in the spring and fall when the weather isn't hot!  This wooden park is so much fun and to make it better, we unexpectedly ran into two other families from our home school group who have kids that my boys know well.

 Nathan running through the park. 
 Monkey Bar Fun 



On Tuesday, we took China to a dog wash station at a car wash.  She had gotten really sick on Monday and needed a bath worse than ever.  With the weather nicer, I figured that this was the time to check out this dog wash.  I was pretty impressed.  The water was warm, the sprayer had lots of soap options (just like a car wash!) and there was even a dryer.  It was all going great until I started the dryer.  My arthritic dog did a backflip out of the bathtub and landed on her feet.  My heart about did a backflip out of my chest!  Geesh China :-) 

We love our sweet pooch!! 

On Wednesday we had the opportunity to meet with my brother, Kel and sister-in-law Debby as they were passing by heading to Ohio.  It's a rare treat, since they live in Brazil, to get to share coffee together so we really enjoyed the visit.  

 The boys love their Aunt and Uncle especially because they speak Portugese :-) 

We did actually get some school work done too.  I've figured out that how I currently have the school day laid out is not working.  So I'm making some changes which will roll out the first week in November.  I'd do it now but we have this week to get through and then we have a week off.  Instead, my goal is to just finish their lessons by the end of the week!!  
 This board keeps me sane.  It lists their Live Lesson Times, Be-Weekly call dates, and due dates for special assigments.  Granted, I just remembered at 9:35 pm on Sunday that Nate was supposed to record a book this weekend. Oops!  We will work on that first thing Monday morning!
Nate was working on some school work but did not want his picture taken! 

Thursday we spent at Thursday school and Friday, we had errands to run and Nana came over for a couple of days!  It was an extremely busy week with things like swim lessons and AWANA too.  

But . . .we had fun! :-) 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Weekly Menu - The one I haven't planned

It's only October and I'm already tired of cooking HA!  No, really, I just haven't had the time to really sit down and plan the next week.  I'm also finding it hard to have time to do a fully grocery shopping trip so have been going for 2-3 days at a time recently.

So, here's what the next few days look like:

Friday - My mom is coming  - Darryl's bringing something home for us all to enjoy

Saturday - We will eat at home . .. but might order in.  Boy do I wish we had a better selection of resturants!

Sunday - Darryl's working and I have book club so the boys and I will grab something for lunch and dinner - I think I have stuff for quasidillas . . .so we'll make those.

Monday - This is one of those "running" nights.  I have a hair appointment; the boys have swimming.  So, I think I'll just have stuff for tacos and everyone can eat when it fits in to eat.

Tuesday - Thursday  . .. well I haven't planned this yet.  :-)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fall Fun - October 3-9, 2016

Do you know what I realized as I was writing this post?  I didn't take a single photo.  I'm still trying to get into a better flow with our day.  I feel like we are literally tied to the table from 9:00-2:00 and I don't like it.  So, here's a bullet list of what we did this past week:

* Monday = School and swimming.  The boys truely love swimming so I plan on trying to keep that going for now.  I finally have a new bathing suit ordered so we might fit in some free swim time after their lessons in the coming weeks. We had a treat too as my in-laws stopped by inbetween dinner and when we left for swimming.

* Tuesday = School. That's it.  Just school

* Wednesday = School and AWANA.  Darryl had practice so it was just the boys and I so we treated ourselves to dinner before I had to take them to AWANA.

* Thursday = Thursday School Co-Op.  This day is busy and tiring.  The boys love their classes (especially their Art Class) Darryl was also home today but was running to Dentist and Doctor Appointments.

* Friday - The boys have TKD and then my mom came over for the afternoon/evening.  We enjoyed dinner and just family time.

Our weekend was much quieter then the last few.  The boys and I went to the store to window shop for their birthday's and Christmas.  This is a great way for me to see what they are really interested in and I'm always surprised by what they pick verses what I would have picked for them. We also enjoyed dinner at our favorite Mexican resturant followed by ice cream :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Weekly Song - Even If

I shared this on my Facebook page on Saturday:

It's hard for me to fatham that it was 5 months ago tonight that my dad enter Heaven; almost 6 months ago since he was silenced. Reality is really in that 5 month marker because during those last 4 weeks prior, we still had him even though he wasn't who he always was before. We still had the warmth of his hand and, well, hope for a miracle. Reality hit when the hope we had left was the simple hope in Jesus that someday we will be re-united in heaven. It doesn't take away the pain; it really doesn't even make it less because the ache of missing his wisdom, his laugh, his voice, his encouragement . . .that ache is still deep. The loss of hopes, dreams - it is all difficult to grasp. I've said before that music speaks to my soul and this is one of the songs we chose for my dad's funeral because, quite honestly, we all begged God to bring healing and he chose not to . . so Even If the healing doesn't come, He is God and He is good.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Family Fun - AWANA Games

Throughout the year, the boys attend AWANA at our church and one of the things they work toward is playing in the AWANA Olympics.  This is something that I did as a kid so its kinda cool to watch my own boys partcipate in it now.  This is another bittersweet moment because my dad was there to watch the boys.  This is a photo op I missed - I should have snapped a photo of the boys with their grandparents who were there.

 My two super cute sparkies!  This was Nate's first year to partcipate.  They boys were excited to be together this year.

 Those faces though.  I can't believe how much they have charged from March until now, October.

 Our church brought such a big team that they had to be split up so the Josh and Nate ended up on seperate teams.  

 Nate had to sit out a game because there were too many kdis - I felt so bad for him but when I asked him about it later, he said he was just resting.

It really is fun to watch them play and compete.  :-)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekly Menu

We had a good week.  We ate out a little, I cooked a little . .life is good.  I know I need to get back into trying to get the kids, most specifically Nate, tasting new foods.  I am not a "eat it or go hungry" kind of parent; probalby because I'm a little bit picky myself but, I do find it annoying sometimes when the pickiness becomes well, refusual to try something.  Josh is willing to try a little more (shoot, the kid loves sweet potatos) but Nate, he could live on Chicken Nuggets and Mac and Cheese!

Anyway, all of that to say, this is what is planned for the week and who knows, maybe Nate will learn to like something new (For the record, he has learned to like grapes, apples, and "salad" - he loves croutons dipped in dressing. . .even blue cheese dressing :-) )

Friday - We get a special treat as my mom is coming over and she is providing dinner :-)  We haven't seen in her a few weeks and are going through withdrawel.

Saturday - I don't cook on Saturdays.  For real.  This Saturday I have plans to do a few fun things with the boys while Darryl is working, along with running a few errands, and then meeting him for dinner.

Sunday - Simple BBQ Ribs, Cheesy Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Biscuits; Then we will have Homemade Pizza for Dinner.

Monday - Cheesy Broccoli Soup and Ham Sammies.

Tuesday - Stir-Fry Beef Lo Mein and French Bread

Wednesday - Stuffed Shells with cheese, Salad, and Garlic Bread

Thursday -Slow Cooker Enchiladas, Mexican Rice and Chips and Cheese

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What We're Eating

Image result for snacks

What we haven't been eating is too many new recipes.  I'm just getting back into cooking after a pretty laid back summer.  The few new recipes I've tried fall into two categories:
1) I'll never make it again
2) I took a photo but due to my computer kinda half-way craashing and backing everything up on my external hard drive so I can use Josh's school computer . . well, the photos need to be sorted.  

I did try a new evening snack though! 

Image result for vanilla pudding with raspberries

Ok, this is a photo from Google and my version of this was much simplier! 

In this house, we tend to eat dinner early.  I've actually started trying to push dinner to 5:30 or 5:45 instead of our normal 5:00 just to try and eliminate the second dinner at 7:30 HA!  Because we eat earlier, I am ready for snack by 8:30 and it is easy to just start grabbing stuff.  I've been working on finding some new, healthier options that still meet the "sweet, crunchy, salty" craving that comes at night.  

My simple version of the above is: 
1 carton of vanilla pudding (you know - just a pudding cup)
A handful of raspberries (or blueberries, black berries etc)
Throw in a little bit of your favorite granola (or nuts of any kind)

It's easy, its tasty, and it is just the right amount for a snack. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Fun - School, Home Depot, and Airplanes

Like my summer "series" about our weekly activities, I thought it would be fun to share some of what we do each week.

This past week (Sept 26-Oct 2) we really focused hard on school.  We've had a lot of interruptions during the first three weeks - both planned and unplanned - so we needed to catch up and get back on track.  Our basic schedule right now looks like this:
Monday - Wednesday - We hit lessons hard, doubling up on subjects like Math and Reading.

Thursday - Thursday School (Co-Cop) in the morning; Educational Technology in the afternoon (this is a fun lesson where they get to play on the computer)

Friday - In the morning we catch up on anything we didn't get done and do art.  Nate also has a Live Lesson.  The afternoon is Tae Kwon Do.

Even with the busy schedule, we still manage to find a little fun too.

On Monday nights the boys have swim lessons.  This is my view for about an hour every Monday night.  Once I replace my bathing suits that fell apart, we might even stay for open swim after this just so I can get into the pool and not just sit beside it!

 During one of Nate's science lessons this week, he and I had to go outside and observe a plant (Practicing the scientific method) As we were talking about what the plant looked, felt and smelled like, Nate caught sight of the biggest catipillar I've ever seen.  Because I'm a freakazoid about poisenous things, we looked it up to make sure it was safe (and it was) and our science lesson took a turn.  Both boys enjoyed watching this guy crawl and, yes, poop.
 Just love this candid shot.  And yes, Josh is still in PJ's.  It's a battle every. single. day.
 This photo doesn't do it justice - it was about three inches long.
To add to our science lessons of the day - Josh snapped this photo of a cloud he thought was just amazing.

 We ended our week with some fun too.  Being the first Saturday of the month, Home Depot hosts their kids workshops.  These workshops were something I reserved for my dad when it worked out for him to take them so it was a little bit emotional taking them myself.  Nate said, as we pulled into the parking lot, "Mom, I have some tears in my eyes trying to come out."  Then as we worked on building their fire trucks they both talked about how much Papa taught them about building.

After enjoying lunch at Olive Garden (Nate's favorite place) we headed to the Airport to the Observation Park to see the airplanes.  We hit the motherload too - I think we saw a good 10 planes land and take off.  These cuties just had a blast running around and watching planes.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Weekly Song - I have this Hope

A week or so ago, someone shared this song on Facebook and it included the story behind the song but, of course, I can't find that post now.  Ultimatly, the story doesn't matter because the song itself is so powerful.  It doesn't matter what type of pain or unknown you are walking through right now - We have hope.  Some days, it is what gets me through the day as I cry out to God and ask him, "Why" - "I have this hope; In the depths of my Soul."  So powerful.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Family Fun - St. Patricks Day and TKD Testing

So, I have to admit that as I'm going through photos from March, it gets a little harder because I know now that my dad's time was counting down.  It makes it more emotional.  I wish I had taken a few more photos of him when he was with the boys but I'm thankful for photos we do have taken in March when we gathered at my parents house to see my brother.  It's like another "first" seeing photos taken just weeks before my dad's stroke and realizing there is a "before" and an "after".

Somehow, St. Patricks Day has become my most fun holiday to celebrate other than the "big ones" (Christmas and Easter).  It's just plain fun.  I think part of it is the simple fact that the boys truly believe that a Leprechaun comes into the house and leaves candy all day (Rolos).  It gets harder each year to hide them without them seeing me but still - it's fun.  I also love buying them a special t-shirt - it's the first summer shirt of the season and it is just plain fun.

 Wow, they are pasty white HA!  Compared to right now where they are super tan . . .yikes!
 Josh and "Itty Bitty"  - he loves that cat.

 Our annual Green dinner.  Stuffed Cabbage in the crock pot, Green Jell-o, Green Kool-aid, Crash potatoes and Green pudding with coins in the bottom of the glass.

The boys were able to test for their next Tae Kwon Do belts on March 18th.  They had worked hard during two semesters of Friday School to learn what they needed.  A cool thing was at the end of the testing, they got to break a board with their foot.  It was fun to watch.

They both moved on to their yellow striped belt.  (And yes, they are already working hard on being able to test for their next belt in the spring)