Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Monday & This Weeks To-Do

Well here is Menu Monday & this weeks to do list.  As for last weeks recipe the Caribbean pork chops were okay. Not my favorite so I probably won't make them again. The Hunts Tomatoe & pesto chicken was surprising good. (My hubby was right) So that I will probably add onto our list of menu ideas.  As for this week my hubby is out of town for the first of the week, so my cooking will be lacking until he comes home. 

This Week MENU

Monday -  Fried Chicken from Grocery store 
Tuesday - Swiss Steak with Rice
Wednesday - Herb & Garlic Steak w/ Baked Potatoes
Thursday -- Clam Chowder w/ Homemade Bread sticks
Friday -- Slow Cooker Vanilla & Honey Pork 
Saturday -- Mexican Chicken Casserole
Sunday -- Roast & Potatoes

Breakfast Ideas:  Scrambled Eggs, Fruit & Muffins, Biscuits & Gravy, Hot Cereal, Creamed Egg on Toast,  German Pancakes  & Waffles

Baking: I only made cookies last week so here is to actually getting bread made, & some sort of cookies for my hubbies lunches once he returns home.

 This last week TO DO list didn't get very far, so most of it is carry over. I am hoping to be a little more successful. I did get the sewing done for Robyn & I must say I thought they looked cute. I did finish a couple of crochet projects done. So I will post  pictures of all my finished projects later. Also my office did get cleaned so that is nice.

This Weeks TO DO LIST
  • At my husbands request: ALL laundry washed & put away by Tuesday night before he gets home ?? (Questions marks because it doesn't really thrill me, but does need done).
  • Edit & Post Pictures from Blain Reception
  • Edit & Post pictures from Reed Baby Photo Shoot   (Done!!) 
  • Finish Painting my sewing Table   (Done!) 
  • Post pictures to my family blog      (Done!) 
  • Get my sewing tutorial posted on here. 
  • My pajama's Made
  • Work on Costley Baby Quilt (I have the basic design figured out now, but I just need to make some minor changes to it this week & then get the rest of the material bought so I can start putting it together). 
  • Remember this pattern for Crochet slippers, well I bought it last week & would like to try making it this week.
  • Womens House Slipper Crochet Pattern for Violet adult house slipper

   We did make our trip to the post office last week, & that was fun. I have never had a tour of the post office. We are really focusing on reading this week in home school & have our 1st official spelling test. We practice spelling words, but we don't have a "test" on them very often. So we will see if it is something we like or not.   I found some cool homeschooling stuff on pinterest this morning & may put off finishing the different classifications of animals & do a unit on the body. I have to check my overall sheet to see where I am.     
   Well I should get moving, though I am slow. Something about having my hubby out of town makes my days seem to drag. I could never be an military wife, but give huge props to those who are. Anyways Happy Monday to you all & we will see you tomorrow. Or later today. Who knows! : ) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Love-Hate Relationship with Blogs

    I have a love/hate affair with blogs. Okay maybe a love hate relationship is a better word, or maybe I should explain.  I was having a conversation with one of my friends yesterday & she said something to the fact after reading my blog post yesterday about reading to my kids, something to the effect of : "'I'm doing a pretty crappy job when it comes to reading to my kids...................AAAAAAAAAhhhhh! Just another thing I SHOULD be doing!"   

     I can relate . . . all to well. There have been many times when I have read someone else blog & had those same thoughts go through my head. Here is where my love - hate relationships with blogs comes in.  Most days  I love reading other peoples blogs. It is my little escape & relaxing "me" moments.   I love the new insight I gain from seeing something from someone else's perspective. I love being reminded of little things or being inspired to create something for the first time after seeing it on someone's blog.  I love the daily little inspirations on motherhood, life or inspiring my creativity that other people are willing to share. Then there are other days:

    Days that are pretty good & then I read something and the thought "AAAAAAAAhhhhhhhh. One more thing the I SHOULD be doing that I am not." Chalk that up on the board for one more against me.   It's these days the devil uses what normally inspires me to sneak thoughts in my head as if I am not good enough. Because in my mind I think: "Well gracious, how in the world does  she do it all? They have 7 kids ( I only have 3), she looks perfectly in shape ( I need to lose some).   I only imagine their home spotless, everything dusted, polished & floors so clean you could eat off of, and all their children fluent in several foreign languages & she has time to not only create a pattern or 2, but publish them in a book? What is my problem? "   Slight exaggeration but you get the idea. And now I am down on myself.   I find that if this starts to happen consistently, I have to make myself take a break. Take time away from the computer & more specifically blogs, until I can come back (sometimes a week or longer) and realize that they are okay & I am too. 

      I have to remind myself that  most people only show the things they are doing "good".  Because somehow sharing a picture of your mountain of laundry calling out to be washed doesn't seem quite so . . . wonderful.  I failed to mention to my friend that as I was sitting writing in my office about yesterday's blog post about how wonderful our family reading time was, I was sitting in a messy, knee - deep office that needed cleaning. Okay maybe not knee deep, but it was pretty darn bad.  Some days that is what I tell myself,  "yeah sure she can put out a book, but did she spend an hour yesterday building pickups & hunting trailers out of Legoes with her boys?" It may sound awful, but it reminds me that I may not  be doing everything "RIGHT" (& who determines right?)  but there are things I am doing right & that is good enough, so I will just keep trying . . . one quote I love is by Mary-Anne Radmacher-Hershey. that says:

  "Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow."

        And so goes my love - hate relationships with blogs. Some days I love, love, love reading them, & other days I hate they way I let myself feel when I compare someones best in writing to my worst.  

   And those are they days I just have to breathe deep and say, It's okay .. . I can try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Family Reading

        So my little brother before moving dropped off  a pile of books for me to read to my kids he thought we would enjoy, as I try to read a lot to them. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein. "If you want your kids to be intelligent read them fairly tales.  If you want your kids to be even more intelligent read them even more fairy tales."
      Anyways, we are slowly reading through his pile of books. There is a large variety. One is a large volumes on all the famous authors of fairy tales, in true format. Not all of them are the happy endings you are used to reading, and we have pretty much finished those up.  So the other day we picked up some of these. The Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne. My boys have fallen in love. We can read a book in a little over an hour, or a little less depending on who is reading.  The boys after reading one of the books decided they wanted to go in order, so we went the library & picked up  the first 3. We started book 2, yesterday morning, but I only read a chapter.  So later night in the middle of making dinner, my Little Dude comes in carrying book 2.

He wanted to know if I could read it, right now. I explained that I was in the middle of making dinner, but he could ask his dad to read.  He looked at me exasperated, "Dad doesn't know how to read."

    I am not quite certain how he drew this conclusion, because the Hubby is a definite reader. He is reading books all the time, but for some reason little dude was didn't think dad could read these books. So dad called to him, & they sat on the couch reading until dinner was ready. Then after dinner the boys asked if he could read more. So we gathered around the fire place & listened as he read to all of us, until the book was finished.  It was wonderful. I snapped a picture with my phone, which isn't the greatest but I didn't want to disrupt the moment. 

Which only partially worked because the minute I went to snap a picture all heads turned from my hubby to me. Oh well. It is moments like this I want to remember & love.

We will probably head to the library later today to pick up a few more of the series, but I am curious. What books are you reading to your kids?
I am always looking for ideas. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Menu Monday & To Do's - Yes On Tuesday

Well here it is Menu Monday  --  Yes on Tuesday. But having a holiday on Monday always makes my week slightly off. So today really feels like Monday.   It has already started being a kind of crazy week, but here we go anyways.

This Week MENU

Monday - Caribbean Pork Chops with Mango Salsa from Our Best Bites
Tuesday - Rice & Sausage Casserole
Wednesday - Hunts Tomato & Pesto Chicken from HERE , this is the meal they show on a commercial for Hunts tomatoes. Every time we watch it my husband comments on doesn't that look so good. So I finally decided to give into his wishes (even though it doesn't to me)
Thursday -- Clam Chowder w/ Homemade Bread sticks
Friday -- Swiss Steak w/ Rice 
Saturday -- Steak & Grilled Veggies
Sunday -- Roast & Potatoes

Breakfast Ideas:  Scrambled Eggs, Fruit & Muffins, Biscuits & Gravy, Hot Cereal, Creamed Egg on Toast,  German Pancakes  & Waffles

Baking: I didn't get any baking done last week so this week I am just trying for Bread, because we are out.  Maybe No Bake Cookies too. They sound simple enough. 

As for a review of last week menu.  The pork was pretty yummy & I would probably make again. The ChickenTortilla soup, had good flavor, but I must have messed up because there was a lot of liquid for little substance, so probably not.  I did try some copycat recipes for Bajio Sweet Rice & Shrimp Tacos. They weren't perfectly Bajio, but they were close enough to curb my craving. I will try getting those posted later this week.

Linking up as well to Menu Plan Monday on Org Junkie.  

Since it seems to be my planning day & I am also posting this week TO Do list on Here. Maybe if someone else knows what I am trying to get done I will be able to accomplish more of it. Now this is above & beyond the regular  home  & school to do's that everyone has.

This Weeks TO DO LIST
  • Sewing for the Robyn done. (Has to be done my Wednesday) I am sewing a pair of  Pajamas for one of her children along with matching doll pajamas. Here is what the doll pattern looks like: 
  • Simplicity Sewing Pattern 4268 Doll Clothes, One Size
I am sewing the Pajamas in the bottom right corner.  The boys pajamas are all done & the girl is 3/4 done. Then I just have the child pajamas to do. I am hoping with another 2 hours or less into it today I will be finished.
  • Edit & Post Pictures from Blain Reception
  • Edit & Post pictures from Reed Baby Photo Shoot 
  • Finish Painting my sewing Table
  • Clean & Organize my messy office
  • Get my sewing tutorial posted on here. 
  • My pajama's Made
  • Start Costley Baby Quilt (Needs to be designed, sewed & quilted by February).
  • Laundry room needs some Organization

I am sure it won't all get done, but there are my to do's for the week. We are also for home school co-op going on a field trip to the Post Office, so that should be fun. We haven't been on a field trip for co-op since before all the holidays hit. 

     Well, I know it isn't a fancy posts today, but it is a post none the less. I will hopefully have pictures to show of my finished sewing projects this week to you. I do have a basic tutorial to put on here. It isn't fancy but it's my 1st sewing tutorial so I am excited to share.  But for now, I have better get moving. I have some chores to do, school to start & sewing to finish today. Happy Tuesday to you all. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Last weeks meal planning helped out a lot. There are a few meals that were planned, but at the last minute I changed my mind. So we are repeating them onto this week. So don't think I am eating them over & over again, they just got bumped onto the next week. We are also trying a few new recipes this week, so I will let you know if & how they turned out & what we thought of them. So here it goes:

This Weeks MENU

 Monday:  Chicken Tortilla Soup from Our Best Bites 
Tuesday:  Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with    
                          Parmesan Mashed Potatoes  from Real Mom Kitchen
Wedneday: Baked Potato Bar
Thursday: Shrimp Tacos w/Copycat Bajio Sweet Rice 
Friday:  Beef Noodles (we never ate this one last week)
Saturday: My Little Dudes Birthday!!! Tacos & Party Pizzas along w/cake & ice cream, or whatever dessert he wants.
Sunday:  Roast & Potatoes 

Baking: Bread or bagels, & cookies since they didn't made last week & Cake of  Course.  

I am also linking it up to: 


Learning to Crochet & some ideas

           So I have set a few goals for this new year. Mostly it is just one word goal, but then after seeing this post on U-Create Crafts, I decided to add one more to the list. I have always loved people that can knit/crochet. One of our good friends, Jodie, can knit, and she makes the cutest stuff. She has tried to teach me over & over again, but for some reason I struggle. I even started with something simple, like a washcloth. She told me she can make one in about 2 hours if she takes her time, it took me about 2 weeks to finish it, and it wasn't very relaxing. It also didn't turn out very square.  I was rather frustrated.  So I decided after seeing this post, maybe I should try to crochet again. I have learned enough every couple of years  to crochet each of my boys a blanket (square, no design), right before they were born. But the last one I did was four years ago.    But now I am determined to try again. There are such cute things that are crocheted. I must say this go around it makes me a lot happier. Thanks to these awesome videos that give an entire school to learning to crochet.  I am very much a visual learner, so these help me a ton & if I don't get it or forget it, instead of calling someone up, I just re-watch the one I want to. 
   The best part, I started with something simple like washcloths. This time I finished it in an less than two hours. Yea!! 
                                          (my 1st washcloths) 

   I love when I can make something, & it is relaxing to me instead of stressing. So if I am watching hulu at night with my hubby, I can crochet something, feel like I am still being semi-productive & it is relaxes me too. I made my 1st wash cloth last Wednesday, I have made 3 more since. They all were square too. That is a first. I also finished my 1st little boy beanie Saturday night. The best part, it actually looks like a hat. I am starting to catch the bug & have a couple more projects I want to try. I did promise my older 2 boys that I would make them a beanie. I am hoping to have those done by the end of the week & then make this cute hat for me.

                          ( It is called the City Girl Cap, I found the pattern off of Raverly. )

Or I think these headbands are quite cute as well. 


Or since I am having a boy & the rest of my kids are cowboys I should learn to make these:

                                Pinned Image

       Or I found this pattern on etsy from Two Girls Patterns Shop & though they might be fun to try one day.
Womens House Slipper Crochet Pattern for Violet adult house slipper

And one of my last favorites I have found in the last week: This pattern from Brookes Little Stitch. on Etsy too.!!  There is only one word for this hat. ADORABLE!! 

CROCHET PATTERN -  Moose or Reindeer Crochet Hat w/permission to sell finished items

  So yeah, I am getting excited about the possibilities once I figure out the basics. Cute, fun, & relaxing. 

Leave a comment & let me know if you have a crafty goal for this year! I would love to hear. Also the menu Monday post should be up later today, or maybe tomorrow, who knows. We will see how the next few hours go. Have a great Monday though!! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Handmade Christmas part #1

So I promised to show of  we made for my boys for Christmas. Here is the first set of pictures. I tried to get my boys to be "models" but it's not really their thing, so what we see is what we have.  

What we did, is I  made all three of my boys Wool vests.  I couldn't get my little dude to pose for anything, so I will have to try again. I had been thinking about making them for quite some time, but I was hesitant. I am a quilter more than a seamstress, but my husband was sold on the idea.   He was so excited, that one night when I just wanted to crawl into bed due to morning sickness. Yes, . . . I am one of those blessed people that have morning sickness for my whole pregnancy. I spend 10 months sick daily, throwing up, & dry heaving. It's awesome, but it is how pregnancy & my body get along. ( Or not get along).

 So one evening, my husband convinced me he would cut them all out if I would just lay on the bed & tell him what to do, & he did. Bless his heart. The coolest part of these wool vests is that we made them out of old    
 army blankets like these: 


They are made from 70% Virigin Wool, & the fabric is naturally fire retardant. Not because being Fire Retardant is really necessary, but it just makes them sound that much more tough. Vests that you could walk through fire in (not recommended) but it sounds tough. We had a piece of one lying around & cut them, dyed them & lined them with a black flannel. The boys are in love with them & are wearing them everywhere. Well except for my little dude, that is convinced his is a CAMPING only wool vest & won't wear it until we make it camping. It might be awhile, but I will keep on trying to convince him. So I am actually thrilled how they turned out & have had several people ask about them. So  I am considering making a few some similar ones, maybe more wool ones  & putting them in my Etsy shop. I will let you know if I do. Here is a slightly better look. The blanket we used had a slight pattern in it & you can faintly notice them.


Anyways, I am linking up to the Polkadot Chair Homemade Christmas linky Party.the Polkadot Chair  

  So go check it out & I will try to get my other homemade present on here later this week. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Slowly Getting Back :

Sorry for the leave of absence. Life has been crazy & wonderful. I am sure to tell you more about it later, but just letting you know we are here, & that you will get a real post tomorrow. But my husband has one more day off before he returns to work  He is still recovering from a surgery 3  days before Christmas. Nothing serious, but we have been laying pretty low.  I am excited to show you our wonderful break. Here is a glimpse on some of the fun we had. 

With more of those to come & others, along with some fun stuff from Christmas & I will finally show you my finished Christmas projects.  I couldn't show them to you before because honestly they didn't get done until Christmas Eve. But I will show you what we made the kids, but I am still trying to get back on track. So for today (a day late) I am sharing with you our Menu Monday. Which I used to do consistently, & in order to keep with my new years resolution (A whole post about that one). I am starting to share, but next week, it should be on Monday. Which was actually planned yesterday, just never posted.  For some reason I think it is always interesting to see what people eat. 

Menu Monday:

Monday:  Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast       
                 (Recipe from Here)
Wednesday:   Beef Noodles (family Recipe)
Thursday: Chicken Noodle Soup & Bread sticks  w/ leftover Chicken from Monday night
Friday: Taco Salad in Homemade Crunchy Taco Bowls (Request from my 5 year old)
Saturday:  Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Rice
Sunday:  Roast & Potatoes

Baking This Week:  Homemade Wheat Bread, Granola & Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies (maybe)  

So happy Tuesday to you all. (Though it still feels like Monday to me) And we will see you all tomorrow.