Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meal Plan

I have decided someone is out to get us. In the last 2 months, we have had several rashes of major things breaking. First there was the week where the dishwasher, washing machine, and the brakes in the van all went at once.  Then the dishwasher was installed wrong so it flooded the kitchen from under the flooring so now we need to add replacing the kitchen flooring to our to do list.  A few weeks later, there were two car accidents in two different cars and a broken pipe in the laundry room which flooded two levels of the house (and set off the smoke detectors causing the alarm company to send out of the fire trucks), causing over $5K in damage to the house. Reason number 3 to never have an upstairs laundry room. Then we had every single one of our lawn mowers and the lawn tractor die. The push mowers could not be fixed and were set out for the scrap collectors. The lawn tractor needed 2 new parts plus a new battery but the yard is finally mowed although I was starting to enjoy the meadow like look and the wild flowers.  Last night the oven died. And today is Liam's birthday (a bit hard to make a cake with no oven) and I'm scheduled to take dinner to another family. And the cameras are dead. Again, kink thrown into my plans. And the cow and pig were significantly larger than expected this year which is awesome (more meat this year) and a bummer because, well, it was more expensive than planned. Needless to say, our plans to fix the air conditioning in at least the van have been set aside until next summer and the other repairs around the house have been set aside as well. One day I will get another cabinet in the kitchen or a microwave over the stove but not this year. And eventually the boys will have a bathroom in the basement but also not this year. So all of that is to say that this week's meal plan assumes I am able to get the stove fixed early in the week. It is complicated by the fact that it runs on propane so only certain people will even touch it. Again, whoever planned that for the house was a moron.

S: Liam's birthday so his choice
M: danish, fruit (B), easy Mexican casserole (D)
T: eggs and toast (B), crock pot sweet n sour pork (D)
W: oatmeal (B), leftovers or pasta salad and fruit (D)
T: yogurt (B), something grillable, maybe steaks (D)
F: bagels (B), short rib sandwiches (D)
S: FFY (B), pizza/finger foods (D)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cherry Picking

We headed out to Whittier Farms for our annual cherry picking expedition. I love that this place is small and family run. No higher prices to allow for touristy crap. And it's where Bryan worked last summer so we get to enjoy people actually knowing us a wee bit.

 I wasn't able to get too many pictures  before my camera died. I fear that this time it just might be dead, dead. Hoping not but we shall see. Given that Alan's camera only focuses half the time and mine only works when it wants to, I think we may need to start shopping for cameras again. Sigh.

We now have a bit more than 30 lbs of cherries to eat and process this weekend.  A say a bit more because they did give us a slight discount. Yet another thing I like about small family run places. The folks running the register have the ability to do such things for you just because.

And I think I heard a couple of kids talking about going out to check on the cherries in our yard and the raspberry bushes. Not that I think any of that will make it into the  house.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Riding Pictures

 Just a few riding pictures. Katie seems to be making excellent progress and really enjoys the lessons.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meal Plan

Yes, this is going up part way through the week. It's just been that kind of a week.

M: cereal (B), hamburgers (D)
T: eggs and toast (B), leftovers (D)
W: oatmeal (B), sloppy joes (D)
T: cereal (B), I will hope for leftovers (D)
F: eggs (B), something meatless (D)

Just in case you can't tell, I am lacking inspiration at the moment. We shall see what actually comes together this week. We still have plenty of snacks in the house (both fruit and more junky stuff because the kids have been spoiled this past week). I'm thinking other than a run to the store for milk and maybe bread, we'll be good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm Gonna Say It

Homeschooling conference was nice. Not amazing but truly nice. But the time away from the kids and the responsibilities and 3 days of quiet, that was awesome.  Truly awesome.  Now to get back to reality. I'm attempting to avoid it as long as possible. Sigh.

On a side note, we attended Mass out of town on Sunday and I truly had to do a double take to make sure we were in a Catholic church. Because at least 95% of the people were actually truly dressed up in their Sunday best.  I so miss seeing things like that. What is wrong with us now? Yes, Mass is more important than going out to dinner so you really should look better than you do when you go out to a nice restaurant. It is always more important to attend Mass if you are unable to get home to change but when you do have the chance, please do so because no where else is Jesus truly present before us. Ok, off my soap box.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meal Plan

S: eggs (B), sandwiches (L), Dad's choice with a dessert made by the kids (D)
M: breakfast sandwiches (B), sandwiches (L), unstuffed cabbage rolls (D)
T: muffins (B), leftovers (L), apple bbq pork chops (D)
W: eggs and toast (B), leftovers/finger foods (L), spicy Dr. Pepper pork (D)
T: yogurt and granola (B), hamburgers (D)
F: cereal (B), hot dogs/bratwurst (D)
S: bagels (B), pizza (D)


We celebrated Pentecost last week with cake. Because life is always better with cake. I have crafts and such things ready but kept forgetting to do them with the kids so hopefully we will do them this week.

2 pounds of strawberries and a table full of happy children. Life is good.

Keeping the Little Ones Busy

Small hands and long presentations do not always go well together. But as much as possible we believe it is important for the entire family to attend award functions for each other. Which means packing coloring books, lacing cards, matching games, and other such games.  The latest in young child entertainment around our house are mini mosaics.

These art kits are fairly inexpensive and can keep a kid in their seat for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the age of the kid and the complexity of the project. And bought us a decent amount of seat time earlier this week.

Court of Awards

The older 3 boys had their end of year Court of Awards for Boy Scouts this week. Which meant a family pot luck/picnic for everyone. Planned by the adult leaders. Meaning as long as all you wanted was chips, cookies, and brownies, it was an awesome evening. If you wanted real food, you had to come home and eat. Yup, it is the same thing every year. The kids come home full of sugar and the adults come home starving. But all 3 boys made progress this year so a good time was had by all.

Liam will join the troop next year. I will admit on some level I feel a bit badly for the boys because there are so many of them that many of the adults never bother to learn their names. They just refer to them as "Oh, you are a Hitchings boy."

Home Depot Kids' Workshop

The younger six enjoyed another round of the free Kids' Workshops at Home Depot. Yup, totally free on the first Saturday of the month. Check them out if you have one near you.

This month we made wooden tractors. I've smartened up and started asking for a second set of hands when I check in because with 6 kids and one adult, a little extra help finding hammers and nails and such things just makes things go a bit more smoothly.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Meal Plan

We are working on trying to make a bit of room in the main freezers so we can turn off the spare one again.  It's honestly a bit of a debate. Part of me says just accept that we need that extra freezer and start using it properly but part of me is fighting it. Maybe we'll just invest in a smaller chest freezer sometime this year since they are more efficient than the ones over a fridge. But with the size of our pig and cow this year, the suckers are currently packed still. Not a bad problem to have in the least.

S: cereal (B), sandwiches (L), cheesy chicken hashbrown casserole (based on this recipe but for the love of all things sacred, don't use bacon bits, I beg of you, use the real stuff) and cake for dessert as it is Pentecost (D)
M: English muffin sandwiches (B), leftovers (L), beef teriyaki over rice (based on this recipe with carrots, peppers, and onions added) (D)
T: pancake sausage muffins and nectarines (B), tuna sandwiches with sliced veggies (L), Boy Scout picnic/court of awards (we have to bring drinks) (D)
W: eggs and toast, spiced apples (B), peanut butter and jelly (L), pepper patch pasta with grilled chicken (D)
T: yogurt with granola and fruit (B), leftovers or sandwiches (L), pepper steak sandwiches (D)
F: bagels (B), baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese (L), bean and cheese enchiladas, spanish rice (D)
S: French toast and bacon (B), clean out the fridge (L), pizza (D)

And at some point this week, I plan to make a strawberry rhubarb crisp.  Just because.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Sitting in church this evening, I realized all the kids were dressed in matching clothes. Not being one to pass up an opportunity like that, I planned to get a few pictures when we got home.  I was envisioning a nice stair step type picture of all the kids lined up oldest to youngest.  Not too much to ask you would think.  Well, it started like this:
Not too bad. There were a few other nice ones that were just slightly out of focus. Then we got this one:
And it ended kind of like this:
At least they all enjoyed themselves.