Sunday, February 22, 2015

40 Bags in 40 Days

Ok, I totally caved and am now just tracking for 40 bags in 40 days. After doing the first sweep of the basement rec room area, I am not taking a break so that I don't get angry at my children and finish the sweep by removing every single one of their toys from the house to make up for the sheer amounts of food related trash I found down there. Where no food is allowed. Sigh. I have a feeling that since they are having so much trouble keeping their stuff cleaned up anyway, more of the toys are going to find a new home than would have otherwise.

I am also actually sorting through the bookshelves again. I've made an initial pass through all of them. Hoping to go through them all at least one more time in the next few weeks. Books are awesome but having so many books that you can't find the awesome ones mixed in among the junky ones, well, that is just not so awesome.

Later tonight I am hoping to make a pass through the kitchen cupboards and remove the extra stuff. Like that wine rack that really has no place in our home since we really don't drink around here.

10 assorted bags/boxes/items removed from the house in the beginning of February, now I'm working on getting 40 more bags/boxes out by Easter. Seriously, I think the junk just multiples when we aren't looking.

Meal Plans

S: waffles (B), leftovers (L), pot roast (D)
M: yogurt (B), ramen (L), taco soup (D)
T: overnight breakfast casserole (B), pbj (L), honey gazed chicken (D)
W: eggs and toast (B), leftovers (L), pork chops (D)
T: oatmeal (B), alphabet soup (L), turkey and rice (D)
F: cereal (B), tuna sandwiches (L), tilapia (D)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Frugal Friday

I know, I'm late again. Story of my life it seems. Just bare with me. Or not. Your choice.

So what have we managed this week?
-7 kids have been given haircuts. Those boys were getting shaggy looking. Seriously. And Ellie's hair needed to be shaped a bit because it is growing in all kind of funky because she has hacked it off to many times in so many places. I seriously doubt she will have a normal looking head of hair for a few more years.
-Alan's repairs to the truck were successful so we did not have to take it anywhere.  Which is good since Bryan dinged up the car in a fight with a guard rail and a light needs to be replaced now.
-Alan and the kids pulled multiple cars out of the ditch on the side of our road. Not sure if this counts truly as frugal since we already pay for roadside assistance and they were on their way. And Alan got frostbite from his efforts but no one was injured, all of the vehicles are fine, and everything is back to normal. Until the next time it snows.

In other news, Ellie decided to swing from a rope tied to the basement ceiling like it was a vine or something. And face planted on the tile floor. Major bleeding, lots of tears. Took her to urgent care since she wasn't really opening her eyes and was acting sleeping. I was concerned about a possible concussion. And they REFUSED to see her. Seriously. This is the same place I took her for her last head injury over a year ago. At that time she was old enough to be seen there for a head injury. This time the nurse practitioner came out and said "Well, I can tell you her nose is bleeding." Seriously, no way! Hello Captain Obvious. And the entire stinking reason for an urgent care is so you can avoid the germ infested over run pediatric ER. Call me crazy. But by the time I got home again (was going to get the directions for the step down ER so I could avoid the large pediatric one), she was acting fine, 30 minutes later, she was tap dancing in the living room.

Anyway, that has been our life in a nut shell this week.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meal Plans

M: omelettes, toast (b), pepper steak sandwiches (d)
T: muffins,fruit (b), pancakes, strawberries, whipped cream, sausage (d)
W: eggs in toast (b), bean and cheese burritos (d)
T: yogurt, granola, fruit (b), broccoli beef, fried rice, egg rolls (d)
F: oatmeal (b), fish, coleslaw (d)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Family Rosary Time

Attempts at the family rosary usually don't last long around here. I just don't think the yelling and fighting and craziness that ensues is at all inspiring. A near occasion of sin would be more like it. But I am going to attempt it again for Lent. I'm trying to work the younger ones up to a full rosary. What have I learned tonight? I need to work on basic prayers with the younger ones. The Hail Mary according to the younger ones is as follows:

    ~Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with me.~

Gotta love it. And check out these awesome roses made by Grandma to help the kids pray. They were so cool looking that even Gabe wanted to participate.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meal Plan

Just have to say that I am sort of enjoying getting to the last of the beef from our order last year. Today I unearthed a sirloin tip roast. Delicious. Seriously. It made up for all the guilt of having the kids just eat donuts after Mass for breakfast. Donuts from the social hour after church. Because when you have to be at Mass at 8:00 am and you need to plan extra time to get out of the driveway (snow and ice and a big van do not mix), it  is way too early to feed anyone.

M: cereal (B), shepherd's pie (D)
T: oatmeal (B), spicy chicken soup, cheddar muffins (D)
W: ham and egg breakfast bowls (B), pork chops (D)
T: baked oatmeal (B), curry chicken (D)
F: eggs and toast (B), potato soup (D)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Home Depot Saturday

Liam asked this week if we could please do the kids' workshop at Home Depot this weekend. I hate to admit how long it had been since I have taken the kids to a workshop. I'll just say it was before Seamus was born.
Today I took the younger 8 kids with me and they built these boxes. Liam left the heart off his because, well, that would be too girly. So Ellie ended up with two hearts on her box instead. Yes. I will admit that I consider this sort of thing to count for school. Call it life skills or wood shop or whatever you'd like. It still counts in my book.

28 Bags

I know that a big purge is often done during Lent (40 bags in 40 days) but I am feeling the urge to clear the house out now. I don't want to wait until Lent to get started but I also don't want to count things purged before then. So hopefully I can follow through with 28 bags of stuff removed from the house in February. Here is an in progress picture of the playroom.
Unfortunately, the kids seem to have moved toys all over the house so I'm likely going to have to help them clean out their bedrooms before I see the kind of progress I'm really looking for this year.

Frugal Friday

A day late again but I was a bit busy on Friday.

-did two online surveys with Pinecone research
-submitted a grocery receipt to checkout51
-did our taxes myself
-gave Alan a haircut
-Alan flushed the radiator in the truck himself. It did not entirely solve the overheating issues so he and Bryan will replace the thermostat this coming week.
-tweaked the meal plan when I was sick so the kids could do all the cooking. Stuck to it the rest of the week.
-stayed home a bit extra this week

Every little penny counts. I keep hoping something big will jump out at me that I have been missing to help cut our costs a bit but so far, that just has not happened.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Handwriting Prayer Practice

I'm finding so many things to love lately over at Catholic Icing.  I recently printed out these prayer handwriting sheets for the younger children. The perfect combo: handwriting practice plus learning some necessary Catholic prayers. I also printed out these poster type versions of the prayers to hang up in the house to help with the learning thing. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Craft

The littlest dude started getting very grumpy and miserable on Friday. More than he normally is which is already way more than most of the other kids at this age. This should have been my sign that he wasn't feeling well. He was rather sick Saturday and Sunday and was oh so generous in sharing his illness with me. Luckily Alan was able to work from home on Monday (the snow helped contribute to that but he can usually do that anyway when I need help) so I was able to sleep. And snuggle with the baby a bit more. But this means I have not accomplished everything on my list for the past weekend and the kids are still waiting on an art project I promised to do with them. I tell you, the finger paints are calling alluringly to the children from the kitchen counter.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a project we did actually get to last week before the sickness descended. I'm trying oh so hard to add more of the fun stuff I used to do with the older ones back into the younger ones lives. I've been terrible about it the past few years. But I need to remind myself that it is just as important to do all the little things with the younger ones that you found the time to do with your older kids. Ok, maybe not the story times and playgroups and such things seemingly meant for moms with just one or two kids because frankly, no one has time for that anymore. Seriously.
This craft comes from Catholic Icing. My version involved glitter (can you hear the cries of joy from the children?) and playing the song to go along with it. Oh the glitter. The table was all kinds of shiny for the rest of the day.
This craft was super easy and involves pretty much only stuff you'd have at home. I'd say you only truly need construction paper, glue, and something to color with. The rest was a bonus. And the St. Valentine's Day decorations are starting to go up a bit early this year.