"" Three Ladies and a Dad: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

All better...

The virus has left our house! Zoa felt fine all day yesterday, but becuase of pre-school rules, she could not return until today. She had a great day at school and told me she missed her friends. Precious!

It has been rainy here all week. Not a constant, steady rain, but the afternoons are pretty droopy and wet. Hopefully, it will clear up in time for the weekend...we will see. Not a lot of plans for the weekend, but I still want nice weather!

Now that Zoa is back to normal, our life is back to normal. Maybe that is the reason why there have been little post about that...but summer is coming up so I am sure I will have plenty of stories to share.

Off subject, but I am about to kill my cell phone. Gotta go!

Health is not valued till sickness comes.
--Dr. Thomas Fuller

Menu Plan Monday: Full menu for May

My goal for this month's menu is to make up as many meals as I can ahead of time and stick them in the freezer. With NO EATING OUT this entire month, I have a feeling it will help me stick to our goal for the month.

With that being said, I plan on making one big shopping trip this weekend with my grocery cash in hand. Here we go:

Week of May 4

Monday: Pot roast (trimmed of all fat) with carrots & potatoes
Tuesday (Cinco de Mayo):
Mini taco bowls with corn and black beans, Sombrero cookies

Wednesday: Beef veggie soup, using leftover pot roast
Thursday:
Meatball subs and a salad (make extra for freezer)
Friday: Pot roast burritos, using leftover pot roast (Check out One roast, three meals.)
Saturday: Picnic at the park...sandwiches, a bag of chips and lemonade
Sunday: Baked tilapia with lots of spice, wild rice and a veggie (Happy Mother's Day!!)

Week of May 11
Monday: Roasted chicken, a veggie, and homemade rolls
Tuesday: Stuffing topped chicken, mashed potatoes and a veggie (using chicken from Monday)

Wednesday: Italian beef in the crock pot with crusty sourdough bread
Thursday: Recession noodles (so simple, fast and kid friendly!)
Friday: Chicken on the grill (marinated in FF Italian dressing) with sides TBD
Saturday:
Pizza night
Sunday: Beef & Broccoli served over rice

Week of May 18
Monday: Meatloaf from the freezer, corn and a salad
Tuesday:
Homemade burritos with corn and black bean salad
Wednesday:
Chicken broccoli lo mein

Thursday: Biscuits and gravy and/or omelets with Easy oat bread from the freezer
Friday:
Texas chicken quesadillas

Saturday: Picnic at the park...sandwiches, a bag of chips and lemonade
Sunday: Steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and a veggie

Week of May 25
Monday: Paninis and soup
Tuesday: Hamburgers and homemade baked fries (trying these homemade buns)
Wednesday: My birthday...Jeremy and the girls can cook and surprise me. If not, we will have Salisbury steak, a veggie and another side.
Thursday: Chicken caeser salad wraps (A common meal for us in the summer.)
Friday:
Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken & Mexican Style Rice
Saturday: Pizza night
Sunday: Chicken and rice casserole

Snacks: Vanilla scented granola, applesauce, popcorn, oatmeal muffins, yogurt and graham crackers, Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Apple carrot muffins

For more menu ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
-- Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She's got the fever...

Zoa is sick. No symptoms really, other than a fever. I thought today was the end of it...until around 2:45 when the fever reared it's head again. Good thing I headed to Target to pick up one of these because our old one was not working right.

Yesterday, I took her to the doctor...her fever was 103.7!! They tested her for strep and Influenza A & B, both which came back negative. They said either one could be a false negative and they are surprised the influenza test came back negative, but what are you going to do?

She is fine when the fever is gone, but once it comes back, she is done...on the couch, covered up, no energy and lethargic d-o-n-e.

(This was taken today at 6:15 pm.)

I guess it has just got to run it's course...the doctor said I have to call tomorrow if she still is sick.

I would much rather be sick though.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Simple week...simple menu...

Monday:
Salsa chicken
Tuesday: Taco salads
Wednesday: Chicken caeser salad wraps
Thursday: Sandwiches and salad
Friday: Omelets and toast
Saturday: Steaks on the grill, a veggie and mac and cheese
Sunday: Leftover buffet

Snacks: Crunchy granola bars, goldfish crackers and popcorn

For more menu ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Woot woot!

Look what I got from work?

Oh, and they were free! Even better! I am soo excited...I love the Cardinals and I have never been to a Cards vs. Cubs game...until now! They are Dugout Boxed seats...15 rows from the third baseline...I guess we will have to show those Cubs who's boss.

I'm off to get ready...I hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Silence

Besides my dog whimpering, all I hear is silence. Macie started t-ball practice tonight and Jeremy is the coach. They are off doing that and Zoa is with my dad watching the practice.

I might go grab a bite at Panera with my mom and then we are off to listen to a Dave Ramsey national seminar at a new church we went to last weekend.

Whatever will I do without anyone I have to take care of?

RELAX...that's what!

People are just plain mean.

I agree with her. I need advice but I can't ask you. Sometimes, I just wish people I know in real life did not read this thing...maybe then I could ask. (And everybody I actually know IRL, please don't ask! :))

What to do, what to do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day & rubberbands

What have I done in the past year to promote a greener lifestyle?
1. Reusable shopping bags --- So handy...and not just for shopping!
2. Stainless steel water bottle.
3. Recycle, recycle, recycle!
4. Reduce our waste and reuse more.
5. Cold water for everything in the washer and hang up as much as possible.

What do I want to start doing?
1. Get a recycling system down at work!
2. Reuse more things...I am still bad at just throwing stuff away we don't use.

Oh...I started the Couch to 5K this evening. Only I could not run because my pants kept falling down! (I was running outside, mind you.) I would run for a few seconds and there they would go...not all the way down obviously but they were getting there. I guess P90X is doing it's thing! We are on Week 3 and still going strong...yippee! I promise you, this will be a workout for life. It's awesome!

And here is a tip for you, if anyone has a low arch non-existent arch in there feet, these shoes are awesome. I would have a hard time doing Plyometrics because my arch would start hurting during the warm up. We went to Hibbett Sports and I love them...no pain whatsoever. They said Asics are made for running and jumping. Right up my alley!

I am off to do some abs and then I have supper to cook. I need a wife.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another year...

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that.

---Michael Leunig


Happy Anniversary Jeremy....I love you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can I get 5 dollars?

Has anyone ever listed items on Ebay? I just listed quite a few 30 things from our closets and will be posting more items this week. I plan to go through the basement and finish the closets. I thought this might be better than having a garage sale and/or consigning it. Nothing better to do on a rainy Sunday!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Oh...we got some great results from the Great Strides walk. I will let Whitney share them but in the meantime, here is a picture:

If you can't tell, Jessie was well loved. Dont'cha think?

No spending for a month...

In the past, I tried to do the whole Dave Ramsey thing. The budget form I had was not very useful...yes, it did it's job, but I want a lot more than what I had in the budget sheet. I found a new budget online in the form Excel spreadsheet and it inspired me to get back on track!

For April, I set up a very 'loose' budget. I figured out all our debt, listed it from small to large according to the balance and started paying. After having everything in front of me, I figured out we could pay off two big bills in this month alone. This made me sick!

I proposed to Jeremy that to kick things off, let's try a No Spending Experiment. No eating out, no 32 oz. sodas, no quick trips to get the girls ice cream...nothing! After a little chit chat, he is on board. This will begin May 1 and continue through the month of May. The only way it will not last the entire month is if we end up going on vacation at the end of May which depends on a Jeremy's work. (He is a sales manager for AT&T. Management is non-union so if this does happen, he will be at work a lot.)

As hard as it is, I know this will help us so much! I have mentioned before we spend so much money on the weekends with the girls...now I just have to find free stuff for us to do. This should get interesting.

If anyone would want to join us on this little expedition, let me know! It would be great to share ideas on how to make the best of your time with the kids while not spending a dime.

(Image via.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Final Act of Love

April is National Donate Life Month. Obviously, this is something that many, if not all of my friends and family feel strongly about.
It only takes a few moments to register but before we get to the how to's, I wanted to share with you a few facts.:
1. Every day in the United States, an average of 18 people die while awaiting organ transplants because of a critical shortage of donors.
2. In 2008, 27,958 organ transplant procedures were performed.
3. Most religions view organ donation as a final act of love.
4. Each person who decides to become an organ and tissue donor has the potential of saving and enhancing more than 50 lives and taking up to eight people off the organ transplant waiting list.
5. One donor can donate kidneys to free two people from dialysis treatments needed to sustain life.

If you choose to donate your organs, please do three things:

  • Register here for organ registry (or here for bone marrow registry).
  • Sign your drivers' license.
  • Tell your family. They have the final say and need to know your wishes.
I know a few different people that may eventually need organ donations or have had one. As much as I don't want it to, the need for an organ really can happen to you or people you love.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easy Oat Bread

Yesterday, I got a cookbook in the mail I requested a while back. It is recipes taken from Nancy Baggett's cookbook titled, "Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-free, No-Knead Bread".

I have some oatmeal that needs to be used so I was excited to see that there was a recipe for Oat Bread. Last night, I made it and today is is sitting on my kitchen counter rising for the second time. (I also made the Oatmeal Muffins...so good!)) I will bake it tonight and let you know how it turns out!


Easy Oat Brea
d - Yield 2 medium loaves

  • 5½ c. unbleached all-purpose white flour or unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 c. old fashioned rolled oats or quick cooking oats (not instant), plus 4 TBSP. for garnish
  • 3 TBSP. granulated sugar
  • Scant 2¾ tsp. table salt
  • 1 tsp. Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast
  • ¼ c. clover honey or light (mild) molasses
  • ¼ c. corn oil or other flavorless vegetable oil, plus extra for coating dough top and baking pans
  • 2 ¼ c. plus 2 TBSP. ice water, plus more if needed
First rise:
In a very large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, oats, sugar, salt and yeast. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the honey or molasses and oil into the water. Thoroughly stir the water mixture into the larger bowl, scraping down the sides until the ingredients are blended well. If the moisture is too dry to incorporate all the flour, a bit at a time, stir in just enough more water to blend the ingredients; don't over moisten, as the dough should be stiff. Brush or spray the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. For best flavor or convenience, you can refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. If convenient, vigorously stir once during the rise.

Second rise:
Vigorously stir the dough. If necessary, stir in enough more flour to yield a hard to stir consistency. Generously oil two 8 ½ x 4½-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle a tablespoon of oats in each; tip the pans back and forth to spread the oats over the bottom and sides. Use well oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife to cut the dough into two equal portions. Put the portions in the pans. Brush or spray the top with oil. Press and smooth the dough evenly into the pans with an oiled rubber spatula or fingertips. Sprinkle a tablespoon of oats over each loaf; press down to imbed. Make a ½-inch deep slash lengthwise down the center of each loaf using oiled kitchen shears or a serrated knife. Tightly cover pans with nonstick sprat-coated plastic wrap.

To finish the rise, let it stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. The dough should come pretty close to the plastic wrap.

Baking:
Preheat oven to 375ยบ and place rack in lower third of the oven 15 minutes before baking time. Bake on lower rack for 50 to 60 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cover with foil, then bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out a very little particles on it. Bake another 5 minutes longer to be sure the centers are done. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then take out of the pan and cool thoroughly. Eat it up!

This recipe should be kept well for 3 days at room temperature or frozen for up to 3 months.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maddie



Within approximately 72 hours of losing their precious Madeline, Heather and Mike's March of Dimes account soared passed their goal of $3,000.00 to over an astonishing $26,000.00.

That speaks volumes. You must read about Maddie.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Just realized we are having a lot of rice this week...oh well. The family will survive. :)
Monday: Dirty rice
Tuesday:
Chicken and rice casserole...recipe in detail to follow.
Wednesday:
Ham and beans with cornbread
Thursday:
Meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes and a veggie
Friday:
Chicken and rice soup...never got around to it.

Saturday: Sloppy joes and a veggie
Sunday:
Taco salads

Snacks:
Oatmeal muffins, popcorn and applesauce

For more menu ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!


(Image via.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Always updated...




STL Mommy






Deal Seeking Mom

picture not available



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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Life Envelope Project

My red envelope is going out tomorrow. I would love if you joined me....

1. Buy a red envelope.

2. On the front, address it to :
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0001
Include your return address.

3. On the back write:
"This envelope represents one child who died in an abortion.
It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world.
Responsibility begins with conception.”

4. Visit The Life Envelope Project's website, scroll down a bit,
and fill out the small form stating how many envelopes you mailed.
You can also find more information on the project at the website.

Edited: I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but due to the nature of this post, I am going to disable comments. This is more of a preventive action than anything. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Leslie Patricelli's Books: A Review

I remember when I would be shopping for books when the girls' were not quite old enough to pick out their own. Bright colors, easy reading and simple illustrations was what I would look for. It probably is not a coincidence that the girls prefer books similar to this now that they choose their own.

Recently, I received two books to review. Leslie Patricelli is both the author and illustrator of the books...Baby Happy Baby Sad and Higher! Higher!. Both books are loved by Zoa. She is four and although Macie (7) is a bit old for them, she loves to read them to Zoa.

Baby Happy Baby Sad is exactly what you would think it would be...it tells the story of different ways a baby could be happy or sad. The colors are attention grabbing for their eyes and it great to read to your own baby or toddler. The hard pages make it very durable for their little hands.

Higher! Higher! is a fun book that focuses more on pictures. It's character uses their imagination to explore what she could be swinging toward...a rocket ship, space...etc.

Both of these books tell the story mainly through pictures. I think it would be a great way to interact with your child by asking questions about the pictures.

Gotta have it? Higher! Higher! retails for $15.99 and Baby Happy Baby Sad retails for $6.99. (Both of these qualify for free shipping at Amazon!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

A day in St. Louis...

Sunday, Jeremy had a rugby game in St. Louis. Due to the game getting pushed back, we were not able to make it to the zoo or The Magic House like we wanted to. We decided to go to the Omnimax theatre at the Science Center. If you have ever been to an Imax theatre, you know how much fun they are. The girls loved it and was in awe of how real life it felt. We saw the Grand Canyon Adventure (which was super interesting) and at times, my stomach would drop...it is amazing how much you feel like you are there!

We made it home late last night and was wind burnt this morning...the wind was awful at the game. On top of that, 'ole man winter decided to give us one last round so temps are in the high 30's and low 40's the last couple of days. And I just put my sweaters away!

The next day spent in St. Louis will hopefully be a bit warmer and we will be able to hit up the zoo. The best part is they are both in the same area so we can do both at once.

Nothing much more exciting going on in our lives other than that...I guess that is a good thing!

Oh...and there have been over 120 tshirts ordered. Thanks to everyone that bought one!

(The pic was taken with my phone..not the best quality.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I think we can do another pantry week. With plenty of food still around, here is our menu:

Monday: Rice and meat skillet casserole and a veggie
Tuesday:
Hamburgers and homemade french fries
Wednesday:
Chicken caeser salad wraps
Thursday:
Spagetti and meatballs
Friday:
Soup and salad
Saturday:
Dinner with family for Easter.
Sunday:
Easter Sunday...today will spent with family.

Snacks:
Oranges and Apple Carrot Muffins ... I had some granny smith apples to get rid of so I made a triple batch of these on Saturday and stuck some in the freezer. They are so good! I did make some substitutions though with what I had on hand...instead of the sugar, I used a combination of raw sugar and honey. Instead of the egg, I used applesauce and instead of the buttermilk, I used plain yogurt. They turned out fantastic and the girls love them! This recipe is a keeper.

Check out Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Bargain Meal of the Week: Aldi's

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(Read this for more information on Bargain Meal of the Week.)

Ingredients:
As always, I try to work with recipes that call for produce when looking for Aldi's recipes. You can always count on to be good and priced well. For this recipe, pick up the smoked sausage that is on sale for $2.29.
Total - $2.29

Meal Idea:
Smoked sausage and zuchinni saute

I hope you enjoy this bargain meal! Be sure and browse all of the Bargain Meals.

Bargain Meal of the Week: Kroger

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(For more information Bargain Meal of the Week, read here.)
Ingredients:
Russet potatoes - Buy one get one free - $3.69
Sharp cheddar cheese block - $1.33
Oscar Meyer bacon - $2.99

For this recipe, you will 2.5 pounds of potatoes, sic slices of bacon and a block of cheese.

Total: $6.34

Meal Idea: Baked potato soup

I hope you enjoy this bargain meal! Be sure and browse all of the Bargain Meals.

Bargain Meal of the Week: Schnuck's

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(Read this for more information on Bargain Meal of the Week.)
Ingredients:
Asparagus - $1.99/lb.
Boneless turkey breasts - $1.29/lb.

For this recipe, you will need 3 pounds of turkey breast and a pound of asparagus.

Total: $7.96 (A little more than usual but with three pounds of turkey, this meal could be used as great leftovers.)

Meal Idea: Marinated turkey breast and asparagus with garlic and onions.

I hope you enjoy this bargain meal! Be sure and browse all of the Bargain Meals.

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