"" Three Ladies and a Dad: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I went shopping last night for my first week on this. I can tell we are already going to save so much money! Plus, it feels great to know I am not going to have a dinner meltdown figuring out what to cook.

Week of March 31

Monday - Stuffed Shells
This are Jeremy's favorite meal that I cook. Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese, plus an egg, all stuffed in a shell, topped with spaghetti sauce. I thought this would be a great time to try out a new homemade spaghetti sauce recipe I have. I use all low-fat cheeses and add some spinach in there as well. Very yummy!

Tuesday - Turkey Burgers with (I forgot the name of it)
The turkey burgers are 1-1.5 lbs. ground turkey breast, 1 egg, some spinach, 1 medium onion, and some oatmeal to get it to hamburger consistency. I usually add ground flax seed to ours as well. Your really cannot taste it. The side dish is something I got from an Ab's Diet cookbook that taught me so much about nutrition. It is basically just any kind of bean you want - we use black, red, garbanzo...whatever you want. I also add some corn. We like it cold but the recipe calls for it to be hot and topped with cilantro, which I am not a fan of. We just salt and pepper it out of the can and mix and serve.

Wednesday - Fajitas!
Shrimp and chicken with just about any vegetable you can think of! Peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, sugar snap peas, broccoli and whatever else I can find! We serve ours on whole wheat tortillas and omit cheese and sour cream and all that jazz.

Thursday - Salmon, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
This is pretty simple. Make sure to top the salmon with fresh lemon juice!

Friday - Chicken and brown rice.
I plan on cooking enough chicken on Wednesday for this too. I buy 99% Fat Free cream of chicken. Then I put it in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and add some water and brown rice. Mix in the chicken and bake. Very yummy and a one dish meal, which is great for Fridays!

Head on over to Laura at Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Other menu followers - you might want to check out the tips/rules on Menu Planning Monday. It's really simple, although it sounds complicated and you can talk to me about any questions.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Anything to avoid homework...

The girls are in bed, watching Enchanted. It is our new favorite movie and I imagine it will be for the next few months. I still have homework and 2 loads of laundry to fold up before I get my chance to go to bed. (A mother's work is never done, right mom?)

I just wanted to post something the girls did before I forgot about it. The laptop was out tonight and I was in the laundry room switching out laundry. I checked on the girls and they were typing away on the computer. I looked to see what they were doing and they were creating their mom an ad on Yahoo! Personals.

Hopefully, I won't get any requests to meet someone...Jeremy might get a little upset and trying to explain that to him...

This weekend we have a wedding reception to go to. It should be a fun time and I am sure I will see a lot of people I have not seen in years. We also have to get our passport pictures taken! Next week, we plan on meeting with our travel agent. I am getting so excited.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If you need me, I will be in the basement.

Jeremy and I were talking last night and it looks like Mexico is 98% a go! (I told you I would not let that idea die!) We are thinking late May-ish. In turn, that means I need to get back in our gym. We are fortunate enough to have everything I would need in our home. But finding time to put it to use the hard part. I will keep you posted...mostly just for my record though.

Next week, I am going to try menu planning again. I know it saves money and prevents my family from eating junk for dinner. I have already started on some things and I am also including snacks for the girls. I will shop for the week Sunday night and post the menu on Monday. I think some people would be interested in joining me (*clears throat* Whitney). If anyone wants to join me, let me know. I think it would be a fun way to share some recipes and get new ideas.

For the record, that is the true color of the water in Playa del Carmen...it is stunning!

That's it for today, folks. I am fresh out of ideas.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I need a vacation.

I ssooo need a vacation. I have been thinking what we should do this year. I really would like to take the girls to see the beach and all it's wonder. We talked about doing an extended family vacation but getting everyone off of work at the same time may be a tad bit difficult.

Yesterday, my dear husband teased me. He was talking to my mom about taking a short trip to...drumroll please...Mexico.

Just. Us. Two.

My mind started racing. I was already relaxed just thinking about it. Beach loungers. Sunshine. Seagulls. I mentally started going through my closet...what to pack?!

Why would he say something like that? Does he not remember when he slightly mentioned wanting a plasma? And my reaction was, "Let's buy it now. Come on." I was the one that was bugging him to get it. I am the queen of not letting people off the hook. If they even give me the impression it is a possiblity, I want it to happen tomorrow. (Remember my 'I Want it Now' post?)

I told him we could go on our anniversary. That's right. It is already coming up in less than a month. (And they say the first year is the hardest! But that is for another post.)

His reply to that was, "That's a little quick, don't you think?" He mentioned leaving on a Thursday and coming back on a Sunday. The advantage to having a short trip would mean we could still take a family vacation. The girls are just as happy going to St. Louis as they are anything. But then there is Branson again. It is relatively inexpesive, too. (There goes my racing mind again.)

Mexico sounds great to me! But I won't hold my breath.

But I am secretly already getting my hopes up.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter 2008

Happy Easter everyone! After a weekend packed with our ordinary weekend things, plus family get-togethers, we are finally home. Saturday night, we went to church with my family. The girls stayed the night with my parent's which worked out perfectly. The "Easter Bunny" was running behind. We made a mad dash to Wal-Mart to get basket goodies. I was somewhat surprised - the parking lot was semi-full considering it was a weekend night at 11:15 p.m. I guess I wasn't the only mom running late this year!

Today, we had a lunch with my family, followed by an Easter egg hunt. Then it was off to Jeremy's family for dinner and another egg hunt. The girls came out like bandits, as always! Thanks for the baskets everyone!

This week looks like it will be a pretty normal one, with the exception of Jeremy's alumni tournament. Hopefully, it will stay that way and there won't be any surprises!

I am headed off to do a quick run through of our house before I go to bed. That is the only thing I do not like about selling your house...you have to keep it spotless all the time! Have a good week everyone.

In case your wondering, that is my nephew, Ethan, in the top picture.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I want it now!

I have never been one of those people who wait until it goes on sale. If I want something, I want it right now! Instant gratification is my middle name.

Last night, I had an appointment to get my hair cut. If you know me personally, you know I have always had long hair. I just prefer long hair on myself. Well, I decided to cut if off, as in cut about 9-10 inches off. I am going to donate it and details of that will come with that post.

After we met with the realtor, Jeremy had to go back to work. I was getting ready to leave my house to go see Cortney, and I could not find my keys! Looked in the cushions, drawers, my car...everywhere. I call Jeremy and I hear, "Sorry...I have both sets of keys". He could not leave and bring them back to me.

Frustration described me at that point. Because Cortney is getting married, she is taking a couple of weeks off. Completely understandable. Because of this, my appointment is April 9. Thanks Jeremy! (I am not upset with Cortney at all. Honestly, I am not mad at Jeremy either.)

Maybe God is trying to teach me patience.

On another note, I have noticed I am getting around 20 hits a day. Leave me a comment - let me know who you are! Blogging without feedback can get kind of boring!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thank the spammers...

I have received a few spam comments. Because of this, I am going to not allow anonymous comments anymore.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Random Ramblings

Can I just ask you something? Did the midwest do something as a whole to bring this unpredictable weather? Since March 1, we have had snow, ice, more snow, 70 degree weather, and now rain. Not just your ever day rain, but record breaking amounts of rainfall. The local record for rainfall during a 24 hour period was 6". The rain started sometime after midnight on early Tuesday, and as of Wednesday, we had 12.5"! There has been four deaths from the flash flooding. Multiple streets have closed and fields look like lakes. Streams have overflowed and basements are flooded.

Usually, I ignore the flash flooding warnings - just like I did this one. But, just when you think you are experienced (for lack of a better word) enough to distinguish what is dangerous and what is really not dangerous, God laughs in your face and shows you.

On top of that, the power has been out at work. It went out Wednesday morning at 7:30. It just came back on a few minutes ago. School was called off yesterday so that makes Macie out of school until next Wednesday. Oh boy.

Oh, Jeremy bought Enchanted last night. The bedtime conversation went something like this:

Myself: Girls, do you want to lay down in our bed with me and watch Enchanted?

Jeremy: But I wanted to watch it too.

Ha! Ha!

Pictures coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I love freebies!

My sister, Whitney, called me earlier this morning with a freebie.

1. Go to this website: www.magnetstreetweddings.com
2. Go check out the labels. Choose the one you like.
3. Enter your address information for the label.
4. During the checkout process, enter this promotional code: WBCFLS
5. You get 50 free labels!

All of the Above

This past weekend, Jeremy and I took the girls to see Horton Hears a Who. It was a cute movie and the ending was the best part. The girls are now obsessed with chanting, "We are here...". Speaking of movies, Enchanted comes out today and personally, I can't wait. I have to say that is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I want to give it to the girls for part of their Easter baskets, but I want to watch it before then!

We have decided to put our home back on the market. Our realtor is coming on Thursday to take a peek at the house and talk numbers. That should tell you what I have been up to the last few days. Cleaning out closets! Sounds exciting...yeah right! I have tried to do deep cleaning the last few days so that will leave me with just my normal cleaning to do tomorrow night. Fun, fun. Hopefully, it will sell quickly. We have some ideas on what we want the next step to do and I am hoping it will all work out. If I have told you what this step is, I ask you to pray that it will all go smoothly, granted it is God's will. (Mom, remind me to tell you something! Ha!)

I was smart to take pictures of Zoa in her ballet outfit. She lost all desire and insisted she was not going to participate in ballet on Monday. Sigh. ( Sorry Jessica, it was fun while it lasted.)

A drastic change is coming up for me....pictures to follow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cochineal, anyone?

I subscribe to a newsletter, Green Living. They publish and e-mail articles about living a 'greener' life. This weeks topic was on Easter egg dyes. They mentioned a few of the ingredients in dyes - coal tar and carminic acid. What is carminic acid, you ask? As the article states, it comes from dried, crushed bodies of pregnant female scale insects called cochineal. Yuck.

This year, we are going to try the alternatives they suggests. Just to name a few, you can boil some water and add some red onion skin for red color, yellow onion for yellow, spinach for green...etc.

Jeremy has not quite jumped on this bandwagon with me yet. This should be interesting.

On another note, I plan on starting a garden this year. I will definitely need to purchase this. Having a garden means I won't have to buy organic food, I will just grow them! Sounds easy, right?

Plan on a lot of entertaining pictures coming!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

How good does this look?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Goodys!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Another part of a party is the GOODY BAGS! Here is my virtual goody bag for all attendees.:

First things first...I love bareMinerals. make-up. My favorite product is Warmth.

Next, I think everyone deserves a massage...

...and some lotion for pampering as well.

So, there it is. Now, if I won anything from the Blog Party, I would have to choose:
Number 45: A Custom Blog Design. I really want an unique looking blog but do not want to spend a lot of money on it.

Number 15: Kids Magical Wonder so I can get a free tu-tu!

Number 34: Live, Laugh, Dance is also giving away a custom tu-tu! They are very reasonably priced so I might have to check it out anyways!

Others, I would like to have: 8, 38, 44, 50, 55, or 55. Really anything for little girls, ages 3 & 6.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The After

As I was getting the girls ready for bed, I had the camera out and realized I have not posted their "new" bedroom.

Macie's Bed

Zoa's Bed

These blocks are on their dresser:

Their nightstand. Ignore the missing picture in the picture frame. Macie had to take the picture to school and it has not made it's way back in the frame. I know...I am a slacker.

These words are on the wall, obviously.

The comforter for the beds.

We purchased the furniture and blocks from Ashley Furniture. The bedding came from Wal-Mart. After searching the internet and all the stores around here, I finally found something I liked enough to buy. Who would of thunk it? The words on the wall came from Words Anywhere, which I found to be the best all around site online. We still need to purchase some new curtains, along with a set of blinds. But all in all, we think it turned out well.

This is my last post today, promise.

Ballet - Take One

Tonight at ballet, Zoa took a potty break and refused to go back into her class. There was only about ten minutes left in the class so after a three minute debate, I gave up and we left. The owner of the studio said that this is normal for her age. We will try again next week and if Zoa still has no desire to re-join the class, we will stop her class and try ballet again in the fall.

On the way home, I realized I had not taken any good photos of her in her ballet outfit. Scared I would not get another opportunity, I took a few tonight. I played around with the one that I liked and came up with this. Hopefully, this will not be the last one of her with her ballet gear on but just in case...

I am off to clean our house. I am not too sure it would even pass a health inspection at this point. Ironically, it was nice and clean on Sunday evening, which was, ummm, yesterday. Sigh.

Five Minutes for Mom

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting a blog party. They are giving away tons of prizes. You don't have to be a blogger to enter for the prizes. Go check it out!

As for my part of this party, we will start with food. And since it is a party, let's have some junk food.

Tomorrow, I will be passing out goody bags.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Zoa's First Dream

Zoa had her first dream a few nights ago, although she insists it was real. Around 4:50 a.m. yesterday morning, Zoa comes stumbling into our bedroom.

"Mom, ake up. Crabs are in my bed and they are biting my yegs."

I asked her what they looked like and she said there was one big yellow crab and it was biting her. She even showed her pre-school teacher where it was biting her! Last night, I had to put Band-Aids on her imaginary bites. Four of them.

This is the first dream she has told us about. I remember when Macie had her first dream, she woke up telling us that she was thinking while she slept.

Oh, children!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cutting Back

Last night I had Titus 2. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this is, I will explain it. Titus 2 is a ministry at our church which encourages women to help other women be what the Bible wants us to be. It is based off of this scripture found in Titus 2:4-5

"that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands..."

I have learned many different things through this and I know I have much more to learn.

We received a book last night, Created to be His Help Meet. The book focuses on helping you to become the wife God designed you to be. I am so excited to start reading it!

I know how God wants us to prioritize: husbands, children, home, and finally any extra activities we would like. I feel like with everyone going on, I am failing at this. I have decided that after this school year is over, we will take a break from all the extras. I know this will help me be a better wife and mother. We might start ballet up in the fall, but I will deal with that once I get there.

It is almost like a catch 22. I want the world for my children so we do things at church, we have ballet, etc. But at the same time, I lose focus on my home and most importantly, Jeremy. I emotionally and physically suffer from it as well. In this book, it talks about how your husbands likes to come home to a happy, energetic, and most of all, joyful wife. Now that I have thought about it, evenings at our home go a lot more smoothly if the girls are happy, everything is picked up, and so on. I am hoping to become this joyful wife, similar to this! (Ha! Ha!)

In all seriousness, I hope and pray this book will help me to realize my purpose as a wife.. And for the record, our marriage is fine...but like all relationships, we are not perfect.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hint of Spring

This weekend, the weather was gorgeous. We spent four hours at the park on Saturday. We took a picnic lunch and just played. The girls were exhausted. Saturday evening, once Jeremy got home from a rugby game, we went to buy a new camera.

It is a Canon Powershot SX100. I love it and can't wait to play around with some photos on Picasa. This is an editing software that has some great features on it. Best of all, it's free!