Saturday, November 30, 2013

Meal Plan

This is the birthday week edition of the meal plan.  Ellie's birthday is on Monday but we'll have her birthday dinner on Sunday because Monday night is super busy.  Kieran's birthday is on Thursday.  St. Nicholas Day is on Friday. By the end of this week, the kids will have had way too much sugar I'm thinking.

S: cereal (B), Ellie's birthday dinner and cake (D)
M: baked oatmeal (B), tacos (D)
T: eggs (B), hamburger stroganoff (D)
W: yogurt and granola (B), pasta (D)
T: breakfast pizza (B), Kieran's birthday dinner (D)
F: candy and muffins and candy (B), potato soup (D)
S: waffles and pumpkin butter (B), pizza (D)

Day 30

Thankful for a guy who insists on making the pizza dough entirely from scratch while the stand mixer is broken.  Yes, he refused to use the hand mixer and did not even consider getting the bread maker from the basement.
He even fixed that giant gapping hole that has been in the kitchen ceiling for the past few weeks.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 29

Stopped at the thrift store today after Katie asked if we would look for a dress for her for church. Our first place to look for clothes is always the hand-me-down bins in the basement. But being the oldest girl in the family and on the upper end of the girls we usually get hand-me-downs from, finding dresses for her in the hand-me-downs rarely happens.  But one of our favorite stores was having a 30% sale today so we stopped in.

We found a dress for her, 2 sweaters for me (the thing about losing 30+ pounds is that you find a significant amount of your clothes no longer fit and when you don't have the budget to replace them, you start to like thrift stores as opposed to always wearing clothes that just kind of hang on you funny), a matching set of 4 serving bowls, and a matching set of 4 soup bowls all for $17.  Yes, it can take longer to find what you are looking for this way and you can't be too picky (the soup bowls don't match our existing ones perfectly but are the same brand, color, and size, just with an extra decoration on them). But we save a ton this way. It truly makes me regret not shopping this for everything in the first few years of our marriage.  We were stupid then and got caught up in the need to impress everyone trap including a few years we put Christmas gifts for extended family members on credit. Like I said,we were idiots.  I'm just hoping that our own kids learn from our mistakes and always think to look at the thrift stores first.

So, yes, today I am thankful for the abundance of decent thrift stores in our area and not at all ashamed to say so.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28

Thankful today for actually having Alan at home.  This marks only the second time in 14 years that he has not had to work on Thanksgiving.  Admittedly, a few times he only had to go in for a half day and be at home on call the rest of the day but the option to actually be home all day with us is a new one.  Granted, I do think some of the kids will get a tad upset when they realize this means I have not actually stocked the house with our normal finger food feast of junk but I think they'll get over it.

It's strange that it was only after moving so close to so much of our extended family that I started to actually feel lonely and hate having Alan always working on Thanksgiving. But then again, perhaps it's the being so close to extended family that does it to you when you are still kept at a very large arm's distance away from everyone else.  Sigh. But I guess that just serves as a reminder that there are so many people out there spending not only this holiday alone, but every day. Because it's hard to celebrate a with family when you don't have one to share your time with.

Anyway, thankful to have Alan actually home with us this year. Yes, he is in charge of all the cooking and teaching the kids how to get it all done (no, I have never ever cooked a turkey in my life.  perhaps I'll have to tackle one later this year).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27

Snow shovels, children old enough to use them, neighbors with trucks who will plow the end of the driveway when the plows have dumped a couple feet of extra snow there. And the beautiful view when driving to the feed store this morning. Power that only went out once today. Simple things to be thankful for today.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26

I have finally found it. A simple, easy recipe for granola. One that requires few ingredients, minimal cooking time, all the family loves, and is easy to change a wee bit if you actually have extra ingredients in the house. Ok, first I found a simple recipe, then I changed it.

Yes, that is what I am thankful for today. So here's the latest version being used in this house.  It SHOULD provide the kids with enough for two meals but in reality, it usually gets eaten in one day between breakfast and the littlest lady sneaking into the pantry to shove more into her mouth every chance she gets.

3/4 cup of honey
3/4 cup of oil (I imagine you can substitute melted butter but I haven't tired that yet)
1 TBS vanilla (or whatever I feel like putting in)
2 tsp of cinnamon (or as much as I shake out of the jar)
8 cups of rolled oats

Mix the first 4 ingredients together, pour over the oats. Mix well.  Spread in baking pans and cook at 300 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every so often.

The version made tonight had a cup of sunflower seeds thrown in as well.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25

Thankful today for kids and art projects and a husband who will do them with the kids while I am gone.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 24

It is Sunday. That means it is dessert night around here. Cooked today by one of the kids. Because I have managed to convince them that we don't always need to have ice cream. But we do need to maintain a family tradition. Hoping for more chances to make small changes and intentional memories with the family. And learning that it is important to explain to the children why our traditions are important. Thankful for the chance to explain these things to them.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Meal Plan

We are attempting to get back to making our own bread this week. Wish me luck. I know it is a super easy thing to do and saves a ton of money. It just requires a little bit of extra planning.   And it turns out that Alan will actually be home on Thanksgiving (only the 2nd time in 14 years that he hasn't had to work or be on call all day or been gone on orders). This means we are not doing our traditional finger food feast that the kids and I normally throw together on Thanksgiving.  I'm wondering if the kids will protest the lack of their yearly chance to get me to buy spray cheese.

S: eggs (B), buffalo chicken sandwiches (D)
M: crockpot breakfast casserole (B), pulled pork or maybe pork chops (D)
T: oatmeal (B), cheeseburger macaroni (D)
W: yogurt and granola (B), south of the border skillet (D)
T: pumpkin bread (B), turkey and such things (D)
F: cereal (B), finger foods/leftovers (D)
S: cinnamon rolls (B), pizza (D)

Day 23

Cold weather, good books, and hot chocolate.  And this pizza recipe. A delightful change from our normal pizza selections.  Seriously yummy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22

Girl time.  Enough said.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 21

Silly surprises. That is what I am thankful for today.  Like yesterday when I heard Ellie's muffled voice coming from behind a door and found her sitting in the pantry on a cooler, neatly crammed between the wall and the shelf, shoveling cereal into her mouth as quickly as possible. Notice I did not say as neatly as possible.

And tonight when I was getting ready to leave for karate and I looked into the pantry and saw this.
How can you not smile when you see things like that? And shake your head and wonder what the heck your kids are doing when you are not looking.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20

Today the yearly box of sweaters arrived. The kids were thrilled. I knew if I announced when I saw the UPS man walking up the driveway that he had the sweaters, the poor man would have been run over by the children. So I waited until the box made it into the house to tell them what was inside.

Thankful for handmade sweaters and goofy children.

Day 19

Yes, I forgot to do this yesterday but let's just pretend. I am thankful for the ability to be productive. I managed to get most of school done with the 7 older kids, 3 loads of laundry, dishwasher ran I think 3 times, yogurt was made, 2 batches of detergent were made, granola was made, dinner was even made, and I spent some time on the treadmill.  Thankful that I am able to actually do these things because this time last year I could not.  Alan would walk me down the stairs in the morning, leave me on the couch, and head to work. The older children pretty much kept everything running for weeks, no, months because I was physically unable to do much of anything. I could not walk back up the stairs. I could not make dinner. I could not chase down a toddler getting into trouble. For a few weeks we had dinner brought every so often. For a few weeks, a friend took the older boys to scouts. For the first week after Isabel's death, we had family here to help. After that we were on our own. And it wasn't until February or March that I really started feeling just a bit better physically. Since I was not up to being alone with the little ones, I would still drive the older boys to scouts and karate and sit and read a book.  I managed to pretend and keep things going for the meetings and such things we had at home but it usually cost me a day or so in bed after.  So I'm thankful that this year I am able to be productive and do things this year. Even if I would really prefer to be doing almost anything other than the laundry.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dried Beans in the Crockpot

Beans are supposed to be an inexpensive food.  And dried beans are supposed to be even cheaper (although I've noticed the prices on them keep going up unless you buy in 5 lb bags lately). The problem with dried beans is that you have to remember to prep them before you use them in your recipe.  Which means lately I've been relying on canned more than I should. Canned beans with extra salt and junk in the packing liquid.  Yes, we always rinse them off and read labels to try to buy the ones with the least extra stuff but still I'd rather have just plain beans.  The solution is as easy as a tool I already use multiple times a week but for some reason kept putting off using in this way: the crockpot.

A while back I picked up several two pound bags of beans that were on clearance at Target. Brought them home, tossed them into the pantry, and mostly forgot about them.  Because, well, just having them around is enough to save money. Ok, not really.  I've read in several places that you can cook beans in the crockpot without doing a presoak so I decided to give it a try yesterday. I mean, if it didn't work I figured I'd only be out $1.28.

So I sorted and rinsed the beans. Dumped them into the crockpot with 12 cups of water (because I was cooking 2 pounds of beans), put the lid on and set it for high.  6 hours later and the beans were done. They are now in my freezer bagged in 2 cup portions which is roughly the equivalent of a can of beans.  The difference here is the cost.  Admittedly, this batch is so cheap because I got the beans on clearance. But I typically pay 79 cents for a can of pinto beans.  I paid $1.28 for 2 pounds of beans and have the equivalent of 6 cans in my freezer meaning I spent about 21 cents per can this way.  Much cheaper. I have one more bag to cook and plan to bag those up in 4 cup portions since we never use just 2 cups at a time.  Not sure what I was thinking last night other than following the given directions. YMMV depending on your prices but give it a try.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18

Freebies. Seriously.  I was able to order birthday presents for both of our December birthday kids for free.  One using gift card earned from Swagbucks, one using points earned with Pinecone Research.  Nothing makes birthdays easier than free. The November gift was free as well. So was the part to fix the washer. So were the pizzas half the kids ate on Saturday night thanks to Book-It. And coming in fairly close to free were the frosties from Wendy's and ice cream cones from McDonalds because I remembered to buy the Halloween coupons and keep them for my own kids. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has shared with me how to earn free gift cards and other ways to get things for our family so inexpensively.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17

Our bathroom is fully functional again.  Seriously, this makes me very happy.  And I'm grateful Alan can take care of these things without having to hire someone.

And it is much harder to come up with something new to put down every single day. Give it a try. If you can't just name people or material possessions, it is much harder than you'd think.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Meal Plan

S: hoping for French toast (B), meatloaf (D)
M: oatmeal (B), cajun bean soup (D)
T: eggs and toast (B), chicken broccoli alfredo (D)
W: yogurt with granola (B), potato soup with rolls (D)
T: cereal (B), sloppy joes (D)
F: egg sandwiches with nectarines (B), pasta (D)
S: biscuits and gravy, spiced apples (B), pizza (D)

Not entirely certain what we will have for snacks this week but I am having a craving for peanut butter rice crispy treats so unless the younger two get into the marshmallows again, I plan to make those at some point.

Day 16

It has snowed once. Melted but still left most of the cold behind. I imagine it is here to stay.  And our upstairs fireplace is broken. So our bedroom is cold. Not as cold as my bedroom was in my parents' house in KS. I mean, no liquid will freeze in there yet (yes, I had liquids freeze in my bedroom if they were on the wrong side of the room so needless to say the other side of the room wasn't much warmer).  But I am still feeling incredibly thankful for the flannel sheets. We bought flannel sheets for all the beds our third winter here and I have never regretted the purchase. The only downside is that it makes it just that much harder to get out of bed in the morning.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 15

New recipes are the spice of life. Literally some times.  We love trying new things and we love using the crock pot.  Just in case you didn't know that already.

On Wednesday night around 10:30, I put this recipe into the crock pot.  And we woke up to a delicious warm breakfast with no work involved.  It cooked on low until around 6:30 when Alan switched it to warm and was cooked perfectly. The recipe says it serves 12.  Everyone had toast with it and everyone had firsts but several of my kids were looking for seconds and there were none to be had.  Yes, that picture looks funky. Maybe even gross. It didn't look like that. I promise.

Thankful for breakfast from the crock pot. Mornings rarely get better than that. (Unless maybe you end up with breakfast in bed and I did that morning.)

Day 14

Yes, I know I'm a bit late on this one. Life got in the way.

Day 14 and I'm thankful for this picture.
The girls are all learning to crochet and Ellie is trying to join in on the fun.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13

Day 13.  Today I'm feeling thankful for libraries. Although a trifle annoyed by the staff who feel it is ok for them to maintain a normal speaking volume conversation when standing a foot from folks trying to read and enjoy the quiet.

90 minutes spent alone in relative quiet while Sean attended a city council meeting.  Time spent sitting on the floor browsing the cookbook section (I know I'm not the only one who does that), a few new bread baking books brought home to test out.

A much needed quiet respite tonight.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12

Thankful for a newly cleaned/organized basement school room/play room area.  The kids bought new couches for the room and Alan helped us get it all picked up tonight.  Hopefully it will stay this way for more than a day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11

Veteran's Day.  Today I'm thankful, as trite as it may seem with everyone suddenly saying the same things, for all those folks who are willing to live the military life.  Thankful to my Dad for giving us a much better life than we would have had if my parents had decided to settle in western NY and raise their family.  Thankful knowing what it cost them in terms of relationships with their own siblings/family.  I'm glad that I grew up thinking it was normal for the national anthem to play before the movies at the theaters, went through that phase that many young Army brats do of saluting every flag we passed (which was sometimes a lot living on base), glad we got to see things and have experiences that sadly my children can only read about in books.  Like every other kid in our high school, we brought home chunks of the Berlin wall, we practiced evacuating the school for bomb threats, you learned to wring every last bit of fun out of your friendships because once you or they moved, the letters never truly lasted long.

Thankful to my husband for being willing to make those same choices. For loving a life that means something more. For being ok with it all. And thankful for the wonderful folks we've met through his "second job."

I'll admit when I sit and think of my close friends, almost all of them are still involved in the military in some way.  Which means address books in pencil, knowing that we all look at pictures and determine who was in them by which house we lived in. And now after living as someone married to someone in the military, I have one small request. The next time you hear of someone who has a spouse who is deployed, don't just assume they are doing fine. Don't just look at the outside appearance and believe it. Because we have to keep it together on the outside for the kids. I just have a hard time respecting those spouses who think it's ok to fall apart in front of their kids all the times or beg for help constantly.  Seeing not just what I've dealt with in the short times my husband has been gone for training and deployments, but what other friends go through with husbands who are often gone every other year for 9 or 12 months at a time.  Yes, their kids are hurting and trying to hide it. Yes, the parent at home is desperate for some time alone. So maybe, just maybe, next time just assume they need help and take that extra kid to the movies with yours. Help teach the 5-year-old how to ride his bike. Get up a bit early to shovel their driveway once. Send over a pizza for dinner or ask your husband if he can fix the broken pipes for them. Be willing to drive that extra 15 minutes to come help them if they do step outside their comfort zone and actually ask for help. Because it is often the quieter folks who aren't asking for help who need it the most because all the help is going to the ones who are being vocal about how hard it is to have their spouse gone.  Just a thought.

Anyway, thanks for all you do for us. I hope that our children will still have the chance to give the same sacrifice you have in the future.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 10

The older 3 were camping this weekend and did not get home until after Mass in the morning so we all went to Mass at St. Michael's in downtown Rochester this afternoon. May I say this church is absolutely positively take your breath away beautiful?  Amazingly beautiful.  It reminds me of some of the churches we would see in Europe. The kind of place that is oozing with history and certainly has not be rectivated like so many of our other churches.  (I hate when they pull out all the older stuff and make it all modern and sterile looking.) I loved seeing the worn floor boards, the worn patches in the pews where you can just feel generations of people sitting before you. The amazing windows that tell actual stories. The German inscribed on the walls because it was built by a German congregation in the 1800's that I'll admit I read and then had my brain kick in and say hey, that was German.  I love the feel of a church that puts you in awe of God's wonders and is so beautiful that even the littlest kids just feel that they are someplace special and are quiet.

It reminded me in some ways of my Grandparents old parish that we would visit when were living with them between moves. Some place I never felt comfortable as a kid because it  was so different than what I was used to. I mean, I'd never seen the communion rails actually in use and had no clue what they were for or the concept behind receiving on the tongue at that point in my life so it made me feel so awkward and out of place and uncomfortable. But I look back on the church now and realize how beautiful it was and what a gift it was to see a church that had been left mostly unscathed by the trend to modernize everything.

I completely understand why the military parishes we belonged to for so many years growing up were so plain. The buildings had to be used for multiple services so they had to be rather utilitarian.  I'm sure I wasn't the only kid who never knew what the heck the little cup holders built into the backs of the pews were for or who thought the cross/crucifix that turned on it's axis was super cool. And I can remember having to sneak over to the Protestant side of the sacristy to steal back our altar server robes a time or two. That always felt like we were intruding on some place we just didn't belong.  The parishes felt like home, especially when they would have coffee calls after Mass every week and CCD right after that. It was just something that gave a steady rhythm to your Sunday.  But the buildings themselves never gave me that awe inspiring, this is something holy kind of feeling.  So I am thankful for these hidden treasures and for a husband who takes the time to seek them out to share them with our kids.  Apparently last time he took the kids to Mass there, they let the middle ones ring the church bells and I've been told they were all pulled right off the ground and were flying in the air.  In other words, it was just so cool.

Meal Plan

M: oatmeal (B), cream cheese chicken (D)
T: eggs and toast (B), broccoli beef (D)
W: cereal (B), pork chops (D)
T: muffins (B), spinach tortellini soup (D)
F: eggs (B), pasta (D)
S: French toast (B), pizza (D)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 9

Thankful for movie night. Movie night means pizza for dinner. Homemade pizza. Which means the kids get a bit creative in the kitchen and we've started branching out and learning to make more than just the standard pepperoni and sausage type pizzas.  Even though some weeks I think geez, not pizza for dinner again, this has given the kids a simple family tradition to look forward to which means they will all have some shared memories of family time spent together. Something I will admit I completely lack with my siblings and I really hope to leave with my children.  Traditions that don't have to be complicated or expensive yet leave a lasting memory in the kids' minds.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 8

After dropping the boys off to go camping (in the cold) and picking Alan up from work (he who seriously sprains his driving ankle gets taken care of by his wife for a few days), the Garth Brooks cd came on in the car. Leaving me thankful for this song and the memories it brings back.

And this one because even though I know it has to do with a different subject, it seems appropriate for what I've been feeling these past few weeks.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 7

Thankful for people like this who get what it is like to have a house full of boys and take the time to help us all laugh at ourselves about it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 6

I meant to do this earlier but life got in the way a bit.  We make plans for our life (big or small) and God laughs. I should know that by now.

Today I am thankful for my youngest child.  A brief time spent with us but a presence felt in our hearts much longer.  She looked like her oldest sister. She captured our hearts and minds. It's been a long lonely year without her. A year spent worrying about how the older children were handling things, a year watching one son become overly protective of me, a year watching my husband still fight with the guilt of could he have done more, a year of learning that you frankly can't lean on anyone because they just can't be there for you.
Thankful for this picture because it represents the generosity of a group of people I don't know.  You see we'd priced things out and saved money until we could afford a simple stone. Then we called the church to see who we needed to talk to and were put in touch with the one guy who handles everything for the cemetery. We were then quoted a price 4 times what we'd been prepared for. In a bit of shock and dismay, I sent an email to a friend telling her what I'd learned. I just figured we'd save longer and figure it out eventually. But she reached out to her local friends (all of whom I've never met) and they donated enough to cover the cost of the headstone.  Seriously amazed by the generosity of strangers.  Truly touched. And it also makes me wonder why it's so much easier to help those we don't know.

So today I am thankful for generous hearts, small souls, and mournful spirits. May we all learn to treasure those things in front of us just a little bit more than we do today.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5

Today I am thankful for the teenaged boy who learned how to fill the gas tank tonight. For purely selfish reasons I must admit.  This winter when it is cold and dreary and miserable out, I can send him to put gas in the van.  Tee hee!  Ok, I'm thankful for him for many many more reasons than that (and yes, I do believe kids can learn to put gas in the car before they turn 16 but NY state says it is illegal to allow them to do so).

This oldest child of ours is a tremendous help, a wonderful big brother, has a kind heart, and a gentle spirit.  Gabe thinks he is the best thing in the world and Bryan still tolerates Gabe hanging on him, even when he wishes he wouldn't.  Ellie thinks of him as another grown up and runs to him for hugs when he arrives home.  He'll sit in the hall and serve as nap time guard, he can make chicken soup from scratch, he's even been known to make bread from scratch. Now if we can only help him get over his algebra phobia but I think that is something he inherited from his Dad and sometimes heredity is a hard nut to crack.

I'm blessed by the man he has become and look forward to seeing where his future takes him.

If You Are Properly Equipped

Just because this is my day today. We have some water leaking from an upstairs bathroom, through the ceiling, into the kitchen. Of course it is not the toilet or sink because those are easy to turn off at the source. Ask me how many times I've had to do that for various repairs because these things rarely happen when Alan is home and I just refuse to be the kind of wife who doesn't know how to turn the water off to major areas of the house.  It annoys me when women act like that. But anyway. . .

So we have to turn the water off to the entire house. But since getting hooked up to city water, this process is more complicated than it was before. With the well lines, you just flipped a switch. So easy in fact that on one occasion the then 2-year-old child did it without me noticing. Until we ran out of water a bit later. When Alan was gone, of course. That was an interesting phone call for guidance at 10:00 at night. "Hey, we seem to have no water but nothing is wrong with the well. What should I check? What a sec. Gabe was in here earlier today.  Ugh, the darn kid turned the water off."

So I have given the following instructions to the children: if you are properly equipped, please go pee outside for the rest of the day. So right now my children are out back digging a latrine.  Because apparently everyone is properly equipped and we can't just go pee on a tree.  Love my kids, really I do.

My Response to That Popular Blog Post Marriage Isn't For You

If you travel the Catholic blog-o-sphere, you've likely seen that post on Marriage Isn't For You. And on some level I like it and understand why so many folks are sharing it.  Yes, we must look at marriage from a different view point than the one society is selling.  But there is another part of me that just read it and thought "You're newlyweds. You're in love. God Bless you. You know nothing."

And neither do we really. Other than just keep trucking and praying and pulling each other along for the ride.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4

This one may seem weird but today I'm thankful for military funerals. Because they make you stop and realize this is something serious. I don't think until the guns went off that most of the folks attending realized how serious the occasion actually was this evening.  There was a noticeable change in the feeling in the room.  And I'm thankful for those folks who sign up to be the honor guard and show up to the funerals when called.  I'll admit it was my first time attending a military funeral at all and it was a very interesting experience.  You'd think after being around the military my entire life, it would not have been the first one but for me it was. May God Bless that young man and be with his parents and sister in the coming months. I know the path they will be walking is a lonely one and not an easy one travel.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 3

Let's be honest here. We keep our house on the cooler side in the winter. If we are expecting guests, we turn the pellet stove up a bit. But in general we keep the thermostat set around 60-62 (hoping that the furnace never really kicks on) and use the pellet stove to heat the main living areas of the house instead. But our house has weird heat pockets and the kitchen/dining room/our bedroom are always freezing cold. I have my theories involving what happened when the garage was added to the house but I don't know for certain.  But today I am going to say I am thankful for warm socks. Especially the pack of new wool socks someone bought for me at SAMS this year.  Warm socks keep me happy, especially when they are ones that my kids can't steal because there is no way to mistake that these socks are mine.  Yup, my children are sock stealers. Then they wear them outside. And run on the gravel driveway. Without their shoes.  Making my socks fairly disposable. Sigh. And, no, even writing Mom on the bottom of the socks has not helped.

Today's List

Apparently making a list keeps me accountable and causes me to get things done. So before I head out to Mass with a few of the kids, I thought I'd put something down for later today.

pick up tea for the sick kid
pick up a few more traps for the basement
2 loads of laundry washed
4 loads of laundry folded/put away
make dinner
make yogurt
inventory/organize freezers
research how to process suet
make sure the cat gets fed

Wish me luck. Alan is working this weekend and I just now realized I forgot to take the kids to the Home Depot workshop yesterday. Oops.  Anyway, since one of the middle kids is sick, Alan will take the older ones who are babysitting this morning to Mass this evening when he gets off work.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Meal Plan

I have a feeling the meal plan will likely not quite be followed to the letter this week. Then again, it rarely is.

S: cereal (B), alphabet soup (D)
M: yogurt (B), chili and corn bread (D)
T: eggs (B), spaghetti and meatballs (D)
W:  ? (B), pork chops with apple chutney, some of the kids have been talking about making a birthday cake (D)
T: easy oatmeal breakfast bars (B), chicken azteca (D)
F: cereal (B), bean and cheese enchiladas (D)
S: pancakes and sausage (B), pizza night (D)

Planning to inventory the freezers this week so I can make a better plan for using up the older stuff in there before it gets replaced. Added 25 more pounds of local beef to the supplies this week along with some suet and since the boys put it away for me, I need to take the time to do a wee bit of rearranging.

Day 2

Keeping it light and simple today. Totally thankful for being asked to bring home the leftover pizza, wings, and cupcakes from altar server training today.  Free lunch for the rest of the kids. Just means I must plan something other than pizza for dinner.

Friday, November 1, 2013

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 1

Time to take a step back and focus on all the little, maybe seemingly inconsequential things in life that we should remember to thank God for each and every day.

Day 1 leaves me thankful for Liam. Sitting across from him at dinner, I suddenly realized how grown up he is becoming. He is very mechanically minded, great at fixing things (and sometimes breaking things), and fairly awesome at looking after his younger brothers.

Happy All Saints Day

I'm sure I'm not being all technically correct with wordage and such but, hey, live and learn.  Just sharing something a friend shared.  It makes me realize how much I miss hearing the Latin at Mass from when Fr. McGrath was our pastor.  How much I miss all the more traditional things added to feast days when we just go to the neighboring parish.  Sure, we attended Mass and met our obligation but we missed out on all the extra awesome stuff. The stuff I never knew I was missing growing up because my entire generation was frankly robbed of our rightful history. But that is a gripe for another day. Happy Feast Day folks. I hope you find something fun and meaningful to do with your family to commemorate the day.

The Blurry Halloween Pics

My camera has been dropped a few times. You now have to turn it on and off repeatedly to get it to even attempt to focus properly.  And even then, it sometimes changes it's mind. As it did while we were taking pictures last night. But telling all the small people to stand still while we figure out the camera is just not happening so imagine the picture all sorts of clear and such things.
There were several last minute costume changes and in the end we had a princess, a chef, a pilot, a frontier girl, an astronaut, a boy scout, Indiana Jones, and 2 MiB.  I told the kids all costumes must come out of the dress-up box or stuff we had at home.  We attended a trunk or treat at a local parish that was sadly very small because from what I've been told, there has been a huge exodus from this parish as a fall-out from people being people.  And Father decided the two handing out candy resembled the Blue's Brothers so that's what he called them. A fun time was had by all, especially the younger ones who have only been trick or treating once before this.