Monthly Archives: January 2011

Thrifty Thursday

This week was a good week for me in the thrifty department. As you all know, I have 4 kids who are growing like stinking weeds, and 3 that are destructive when it comes to their clothes. Pickle is the most destructive, which is not cool because she has surpassed Princess2T in size & is now the passer rather than the passee in the clothes department. My main problem with her destructiveness is the stains. For some reason, I am not the greatest at stain removal. It may have to do with the fact that clothes occasionally get hidden for a couple days before making their way into the hamper…or I may just stink at it. Regardless, since Pickle outgrew Princess2T, NO jeans have made the grade to be passed down. There have been a few passed from Princess2T to Chubbs, but nothing from Pickle. So, when I saw this deal, I had to jump on it. The ‘Cookie’s The Kids Department Store’ site had some jeans for HUGE discounts. I ended up purchasing 3 pairs of jeans for Princess2T & 2 pair for Chubbs (Pickle received several pair for Christmas/her Birthday).

Regular non-sale retail price would have been $169 + shipping…I chose items on Clearance & used a coupon code and paid less than $39 shipped. They are all super cute & I can’t wait for the girls to see them!

Okay, on to my Walgreen’s run…

(6) small boxes of heart candy – Reg. price 2/$1, after WGC .39/ea = $2.34 total

(2) Ester-C Gummies $6.99/ea  - B1G1 = 2/$6.99 – (2) $2 coupons = $2.99 total

(3) Kraft Mac & Cheese – Reg. price $1.49/ea, after WGC .69/ea = $2.07 total

Omega Smart Super Critical Fish Oil – $10 – $2 coupon = $8 – $10 MIR = $2 profit

Pedia-Care Cold Relief – $5.99 – $1.00 coupon = $4.99 – $4 RR = .99 total

(3) Bag candy – Reg. price $.99/ea, after WGC .79/ea = $2.37 total

So after, RR & MIR, I ended up paying $8.72 for everything pictured.

Menu Monday ~ 1/24

This week was super easy…plus I thought it would be cool for you to see what type of stuff you need to do the 5 Dinners in an Hour thing. Here’s the prep phase…Ingredients, Prep Items, & Containers

And here are the completed meals…Completed meals awaiting transfer to fridge

Sunday: My husband took me out for dinner on Saturday night & we had enough leftovers for dinner! =)

Monday: Chicken Breast w/ Honey-Balsamic Glaze (I’ve never tried this one before, but had boneless skinless chicken left over & didn’t want to refreeze…it’s not one of the 5.) I plan on serving it over rice & w/ a veggie.

Tuesday: Shrimp Quesadillas w/ sliced avacado, chips, & salsa.

Wednesday: Grilled Turkey & Swiss Sandwiches w/ Vegetable Soup

Thursday: Roasted Chicken Wings & Vegetables w/ salad (I made a double batch of this one & froze the extra for another time.)

Friday: Grilled Teriyaki Chicken w/ rice & broccoli

Saturday: Slow Cooked Shepherd’s Pie w/ mashed potato topping

If you’d like to share your menu for the week, feel free to link up below.  Thanks!

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Snow Day Prank

Last night after 3/4 of our kids had gone to bed, we got the automated call…no school again tomorrow due to snow.  Princess2T & I devised a not-so-evil plan to prank the other 2 school age kids.  Since Princess2T is the ‘manager’ of the other kids, she makes sure they get all their morning duties done & that they’re ready to leave for school at the right time.  She was to get up & get ready just like any other school day, and make sure Pickle & Chubbs did the same.  This is what went down when they were ready to leave…

Snow Day

When the snow is good, I love everything about a snow day.  I’m probably just as excited as the kids when school is called off.  I absolutely LOVE snow.  Of course, since I don’t have a typical job, I don’t have to get out in it, which as I remember is a total bummer.  Aside from that, snow is wonderful.  From the first beautiful snowflake floating down from the heavens, to packing billions of snowflakes together for forts, snowballs, or a snowman, to making snow angels while cold wet flakes land and melt on your face, to the hot cocoa after coming into a warm house & peeling wet clothes off the kids…I love it all.  Most of all, I love sharing the experience with my kids.  I hope these are the kind of things they remember forever.

Today, we bundled up – 3 shirts, 2 pants, soccer socks, hats, gloves, coats…we quite resembled Randy Parker from A Christmas Story. (I wear my snowboarding gear, so I can stay out longer…and the snowboarding boots are heavy & give me quite a workout!)

Decked out in all my layers & crazy heavy boots!

Outside, we started building a snowman, but ball #2 fell apart so it turned into a snowblob that they just climbed on.

Chubbs standing on the 'Snow Tower' aka snowman fail.

Princess2T lookin' pretty!

The kids made snow angels, attacked Pickle while she was posing for a close-up, and ran around flinging snowballs.

Froggy making a snow angel.

Pickle being attacked!

Snowball Fight!

After a little over an hour, I came in & started the 3 different versions of cocoa…gotta love having kids with conflicting allergies!  They stayed out about 15 more minutes and then were ready for cocoa.  They thoroughly enjoyed the cocoa, especially the adorable gingerbread man & snowman marshmallows!

Mmmmm...Hot Cocoa, Hot Vanilla, & Hot Cocoa w/ Soy!

Gingerbread Man & Snowman Marshmallows

Here’s the recipes for the cocoa’s I made:

Mexican Hot Cocoa – (for me and the ‘normal’ children)

3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. baking cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 1/3 C milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, & cinnamon.
  2. Over medium heat, gradually stir in milk & stir constantly until hot, do NOT boil.
  3. Remove from heat & stir in vanilla extract.  Beat w/ wire whisk until frothy.
  4. Pour into mugs, garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately & enjoy!


Hot Vanilla – (for Chubbs who’s allergic to chocolate & soy)

3/4 C milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Heat milk to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min. in microwave safe measuring cup.
  2. Stir in sugar, vanilla, & cinnamon.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows & extra cinnamon if desired.
  4. Serve immediately.


Hot Cocoa w/ Soy Milk – (For Pickle who’s allergic to milk)

1 C soy milk

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking cocoa powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe mug.
  2. Heat to just below boiling point, approx. 1 1/2 min.
  3. Garnish w/ marshmallows, serve immediately, & enjoy!

A Typical Tuesday

Here is an example of a typical Tuesday in our household…

6:00 – Wake up alarms start going off…kids have 15 minutes to complete their ‘Morning Duties’ (make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, & put dirty clothes in hamper), I begin my morning devotional.
6:15 – Kids start their devotional
6:30 – Kids start their exercise (playing on the Kinect) – 2 at a time for 15 minutes until all 3 girls have had 2 turns (whoever is not playing at the time gets their hair fixed by me)
7:15 – Final backpack check, and out the door w/ Big Puppy.
7:30 – I start my Kinect workout…either playing Kinect Adventures, or doing the Biggest Loser workout depending on how sore I am.
8:30ish – I shower & wake Froggy up, if he’s not up yet.

8:45 – Breakfast
9:00 – Start making my driver phone calls & placing ads…I do this along with another ‘work from home’ type job, in addition to all my household duties – (figure at least 3 loads of laundry in here somewhere…it’s towel day, along with various straightening up), and working on my blog.

12:00 – Big Puppy comes home for lunch
1:00 – Back to calling drivers/answering driver phone calls & placing more ads.
2:40 – Leave to pick up the girls from school.
3:30ish – Back from picking up the girls from school…check backpacks, help with homework.
4:45 – Head out to Princess2T’s tumbling class

5:15 – Big Puppy meets us at tumbling class so he can take the remaining 3 kids home
6:10 – Pick up McDonalds & a Redbox movie for Movie Night.

6:30 – Arrive home to showered kids, pass out Happy Meals & start movie while Princess2T showers.
7:45 – Kids begin ‘Before Bed Routine’ – Nightly chores, making sure backpacks are ready for the next day, rooms are clean, and as manager, Princess2T checks everyone’s work.
8:00 – Chubbs & Pickle’s bed time.
8:30 – Princess2T & Froggy’s bed time.
8:45 – After tucking everyone in & praying with the kids, I can now take a minute and relax. This either consists of some sort of craft/art project, working on the computer, or watching tv…while working on some sort of craft/art project or working on the computer. LOL I’m one of those people who can’t just sit & watch tv…I have to do something while I watch.

Now the time varies, depending on what I’ve got going on and how exhausted I am. I typically go to bed somewhere between 10:00 & 1:00…then fight sleep, and get up at 6:00am to start it all over again.

Menu Monday ~ 1/17

A few months ago, I started using this system called ‘Make 5 dinners in 1 hour’.  I had seen it on a friends blog, and figured I’d check it out.  I absolutely love it.  The way it works is you are emailed 20 recipes for the month, along with instructions and a grocery list.  You pull out which week of recipes you’d like to use, take the grocery list & mark off anything you already have on hand.  After you shop for the items you will need for the week, you then take out all the items you will need to prepare the meals…as in cutting board, bowls, storage containers, foil, measuring spoons/cups, etc. as well as, all the food you need to prep the meals.  Then you follow the step by step instructions to assemble your meals for the week.  They don’t take up a ton of room in the fridge, and if you label, everything is simple to locate when it’s dinner time.

3 out of 5 meals for the week

Since our weeks are not typical weeks, (we go from Friday to Thursday because of our custody arrangement) I like to take Saturdays or Sundays to prep my meals for the next week.  That way I can either bust it out while my husband watches the little one, or my girls can help me and start learning some domestic skills.  Also, since there are only 5 meals available per week, you will either need to eat leftovers (which are rare at our house), or throw in a few of your own recipes.  Typically on Tuesdays, my oldest daughter has tumbling, so we do the McDonalds 1/2 price Happy Meals & a free redbox movie, but this week is the sacrifice week for the Haiti Orphanage, so we’re not doing that. (I’ll post about that later…)  So here’s the rundown for this weeks menu:

Friday – Monte Cristo Sandwiches w/ Sliced Oranges, Strawberries, & Grapes

Saturday – Grilled Cheese & Turkey Sandwiches

Sunday – Saucy Strip Steak w/ Steamed Broccoli & Mashed Potatoes

Monday – Southwest Chimichangas w/ Chips & Queso

Tuesday – Italian Baked Bow Ties w/ Rolls, Corn & Salad

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Chicken Lasagna w/ Salad

Thursday – Messy Pete’s (our homemade Sloppy Joe’s)

There are some days that I have to make something special for our daughter that is allergic to milk…like on Monday she is having chili that I froze for her, and on Wednesday she is having a mini meatloaf.  I also occasionally throw in a dessert…we had pumpkin bread on Friday with the Monte Cristo Sandwiches, and we often have ‘Healthy Smoothies’…still working on a solid recipe for that one.  My only complaint about the ‘Make 5 Dinners in One Hour‘ plan is that it is more expensive then I’m used to.  Otherwise it is awesome.  We get to try many new recipes, plus I don’t have to worry about remembering to come up with something for dinner every day.  If it sounds interesting to you, I would suggest trying the sample menu found on her page.  Bon Appetite!

Slowly, but surely…

Well, my totally awesome husband finally decided to help me with my blog.  I guess technically I could do it myself, but seeing how he’s a web programmer it would be much easier for him to do it.  Plus, I don’t really have the time to jack with settings I don’t understand anyway.  So, over the next few weeks my blog will be undergoing the rest of it’s transformation.  I plan to have stuff organized on here so it’ll be easy to find stuff if people want to, a place for ads…gotta at least attempt to make some money on this hobby, a devotional widget type thing so if someone wants to join me in my devotional it’ll be easy, and lots more features.  I also plan on hosting more contests, doing more meme’s (ie. Menu Monday/Thrifty Thursday/Wordless Wednesday), and more of my total randomness…I mean, that’s what you come here for, right? ;)  So, please excuse the broken links and occasional weirdness that you may experience over the next few weeks.  I look forward to getting back into the blogging groove…I’ve missed you guys! =)