Monthly Archives: April 2011

Menu Monday ~ 4/18

Well, I’m a little late getting this posted…it’s been a slightly hectic morning. It started out great, then I got a phone call from the school that Princess2T was running a fever and I needed to go pick her up. My day went from relaxing and getting housework to rushing to get Froggy out of the bath, grab my coffee, and head out the door. So today I’ve been all over the place/a little scatterbrained, but I’m pulling it together! Here is our menu for the week!

Monday ~ Basil Chicken w/ peas & rolls

Tuesday ~ Roasted Sausage, Peppers & Onions w/ Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday ~ Make Ahead Spaghetti & Meatball Casserole w/ salad & Texas Toast

Thursday ~ Homemade Pizza w/ salad

Friday ~ Slow Cooked Asian Beef & Broccoli w/ brown rice & egg rolls

Saturday ~ Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas w/ Salad & Chips w/ Queso

Easter Sunday ~ Pineapple Crusted Ham, Ambrosia Salad, Sweet Potatoes, Deviled Eggs, 5 Bean Salad, and Strawberry Shortcake

What’s happening at your table this week?

Shearing The Frog

‘What’s that?’ you might ask? A small woodland animal? Nope, it’s the result of Froggy’s initial summer hair cut. Froggy likes his hair long, and I think it’s cute, but it’s gotten to the point that he desperately needs a haircut. His hair is impossible to fix after he wakes up in the morning without wetting it first, the back is all fuzzy and matted when we get out of the truck, and it’s starting to look like a bad hair cut rather than a non-existent one. I do love the way the wind blows his hair as he runs after the soccer ball, but I also love his hair short…plus it’s getting warmer out & we always give him a Marine-type hair cut in the summer. Soooooo, he went from being this shaggy beast…

Froggy the 'Shaggy Beast'!


To ‘Stage 1′ (using the longest guard so I can see what the heck I’m doing) of the process…

We're getting there...


To ‘Stage 2′ (no guard, fading the sides, praying he doesn’t wiggle and have to be completely bald)…

Doing great...no major wiggles.


To the end result (the only haircut I know how to do) Froggy’s awesome ‘High & Tight’.

Ta-da! He chose the faux-hawk styling...too cute!

Oh, the dramatics!

We’ve recently started Geocaching, and like to take a few hours on Saturdays to ‘Treasure Hunt’.  There are a variety of hunts, so we like to throw a ‘hike’ type cache in so the kids get some good exercise and we get to really see some nature.  This week we attempted a cache out near Pigeon Creek.  This was our first ‘multi-cache’, which means the GPS coordinates lead you to the first way point, then you get new coordinates there to the next way point, and so on until you reach the final cache.  We brought lunch with us, plenty of water, our camera, along with various gear and headed out.  Problems began immediately:

#1 Right off the bat, kids start complaining about having to carry their own water…seriously?  I’m carrying a backpack loaded with all our stuff, Big Puppy is often toting Froggy on his shoulders, and they’re whiny about a water bottle.

Mama the pack-mule.

#2 We misinterpreted the instructions of where to begin, so ended up hiking off trail all the way to the first way point.

Way point #1 break

At the first way point, we took a water break, took some pics, wrote the new coordinates down, and headed to way point #2…on the trail.  Along our route, we ran into a man looking for his lost dog.  We took down his information in case we ran across her, and continued on.  We now had kids occasionally whining about their water bottles and whistling/yelling out ‘Ruuuuuubyyyy!’ (We did not come across the dog.)

#3 Since I’m one of those crazy people who want to do things efficiently ALL  the time, we kept going off trail to take a straighter route to the way point (since I am unfamiliar with the trails, I wasn’t sure if it would come back around)…problem because of ticks, icky spiderwebs, thorns, etc.

We located way point #2 fairly easily, took another water break/rest/photo op, and headed on to way point #3.

Way point #2

This is where the real problems began.  We searched the area for about 45 minutes, and did not find the 3rd way point.  We had a really good idea what we were looking for, and where it should be, but were unsuccessful.  Kids took their whiny-ness to a new level, now complaining about being hungry.  We decided to continue on the trail since we knew based on previous cache logs that there was a bench with a beautiful view along the trail where we could enjoy our lunch, and it was in the direction of the truck.  Along the way, Pickle began to sag and lag behind like she was dying, Princess2T in her typical dramatic flair clutches a small tree and cries out ‘I can’t go on!’, Froggy argues with Chubbs about who gets to walk behind me, and Big Puppy brings up the rear so we don’t lose anyone.  To try to keep everyone together, I ask Big Puppy to call cadence…I thought the kids would get a kick out of it, but it was I who ended up doing it.  The only one I could really remember was the Lady Leatherneck song, so I felt like a weirdo singing about my Drill Instructors from over 13 years ago.  The kids loved it though, and were amazed that I remembered the song from boot camp.  We finally reach the bench, and dish out the food…you’d think they hadn’t eaten in weeks.

Lunch with a view.

Our view at the final location...beautiful!

I pull up the geocache logs on my phone & see if I can get a clue as to where the final cache is, since I know it’s near the bench at which my children are sprawled stuffing their faces.  They began getting a second wind, and exploring the nearby rock ledges (not near any edges…I’m a little over protective).

#4 I start looking around and under rocks until I come across this:

Ewww!

You’ve never seen me move so fast…I HATE SNAKES…and pretty much all wildlife in general if I’m not viewing from a distance.  I resigned from the position of under rock peeker, and promoted Big Puppy.  He discovered…scorpions.  No cache.  We took some pictures of our view, and headed back to the truck.  This is when we realized our initial mistake, and discovered how hard we made this hunt.  After our 3 hour hike…yes, I said 3 hours…we made it back to the truck empty handed.  The kids said they had fun and would like to try to find the cache again sometime…WHAT?!  All that whining & they wanted to try again?  Wow…they are full of surprises.  We started home, and decided to do a few P&G’s (Park & Grab) on our way home.  We ended up completing 3 caches that were in a series…one that we had tried before & couldn’t locate.  Once we knew what we were looking for, it was much easier. ;)

Our first find (a micro-cache) of the day...WOOT!

Overall, it was tough, but the kids had a good time.  We got some good exercise, and were able to log 3 finds.  They ask nearly everyday if we can go ‘Treasure Hunting’, so I’m sure this will be a recurring post theme.  If you are a fellow geocacher, please add us as a friend on geocaching.com!  Our user name is Life@30ish.

Menu Monday ~ 4/11

Last week was pretty good, menu-wise.  We followed the menu except for 1 day because of a last minute change of plans, so this week we are going to do a freezer/pantry clean out week.  We will be carrying over the Green Eggs & Ham Cups from last week, then using whatever I happen to have in the pantry/freezer to fill the rest of the week.  The weather has been beautiful here the last few days so it’s got me in the Spring Cleaning mood!  What better place to start then the kitchen?

Monday: Green Eggs & Ham Cups w/ hash browns & strawberries (figured I’d add a pic since this didn’t post yesterday…BONUS!)

Green Eggs & Ham Cups w/ Hash Browns & Strawberries

Tuesday: Crockpot chicken w/ steamed green beans

Wednesday: Chili w/ grape salad (it was a huge hit on Sunday, so I figured I’d go for it again since I have some grapes left over)

Grape Salad w/ Walnuts

Thursday: Messy Pete’s (made with ground turkey) w/ dippin’ veggies (carrots/broccoli)

Friday: I think we are going out to eat…if Big Puppy didn’t forget we had date night planned. ;)

Saturday: Grilled Steaks (not sure about which marinade yet) w/ baked potatos & green salad

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner – eggs, sausage, pancakes & fresh fruit

What’s on your menu?

Thrifty Thursday

As you know, we went on a nice vacation over Spring Break. What you may not know, is that I had a little shopping spree while we were on vacation. I got some fabulous deals, but wouldn’t really consider myself to have been thrifty since I ended up spending over budget. Oops! Regardless of budgets, I scored a pair of black sandals, white sandals, gold wedges, and some Sketcher Shape Ups. (Yes, I did say I would never buy a pair because of their horrible Super Bowl commercial, but I got them for $50, and couldn’t pass that up.) I also bought 2 super cute pairs of shorts, and several awesome shirts. I absolutely love all the clothes I got…THANK YOU, BIG PUPPY! =) So this weeks thriftiness occurred at…you guessed it, Walgreen’s. Here’s the rundown:

(2) Scott’s Naturals Paper Towels 6-roll $5/ea – $1 WGC – $1.50 coupon = $2.50/each or .42/roll.
(7) Googly Bands on Clearance for $.49/ea.
(1) Colgate Max Toothpaste $2.99 – $3 RR = FREE
(2) Rice Krispies on Sale for $1.88/ea – $1/2 coupon = $1.38/each.
(2) Kotex U on Sale for 2/$7 – $1 coupon = 2/$5 – $3 RR = $1/each.
(1) 8×10 photo – WG Photo deal = FREE

What kind of savings did you get this week?

Inspiration

Yesterday we had the bug man come out for our yearly termite inspection. The house wasn’t exactly spotless, but considering we recently got back from vacation, then had company for a week, it was good enough. The bug man first checks the game room, then has to go into the black hole garage. When he came back in from the garage, he mentions that he noticed the BNC sticker on the back of my truck. I told him we’ve been going there for several years, and absolutely love it. He excitedly launched into a story about a book that changed the way he looks at his church, his life, and the way that God uses us. That book is Transforming Church in Rural America, written by our pastor & friend Shannon O’Dell. It’s funny how things come around like that. I explained about how our church has grown, and he was surprised at how many campuses we had across Arkansas and now in Texas. He said he was inspired by Shannon’s vision, and how God put His hand in, stirred the pot, and made such a HUGE difference in a small area. I love that when I’m feeling low about something totally random, God makes an appearance in the most unexpected and abstract way. So, to sum up, I need to quit being a mopey pants, suck it up, and do what I need to do for my family & for the Kingdom…and I got that inspiration from God through the bug man. Sheesh.

Menu Monday

I’m finally back into the groove of normal life as opposed to vacation/company life…and we are finished with our diet (we’re on the phase that you start integrating carbs & sugar back in…yeah!) The final tally was I lost 13 lbs, and Big Puppy lost 22lbs…now to maintain & tone up! We will be eating the same stuff as the kids again, but plan on limiting starches & sugars. Very excited to be returning to some sense of normality. So back to the menu!

Monday ~ Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Tuesday ~ Cuban Sandwiches, green salad & chips
Wednesday ~ Green Eggs & Ham Cups, hash browns, & strawberries
Thursday ~ Grilled Orange Chicken Tenders, steamed broccoli, & brown rice
Friday ~ Slow cooked BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans
Saturday ~ Broiled Steak Bites, Baked potato, steamed green beans
Sunday ~ Jerky Turkey Burgers, sweet potato fries, and fruit salad