Saturday, January 30, 2010

February menu

This month will be crazy. Every Monday and Wednesday, I'll be at class while Jay stuffs food in the girls' mouths and shuffles them to dance/4-H or religious education. Despite that crazy schedule, we are determined as ever to minimize our eating out and see how-low-can-we-go with our food budget. I need food to take with me for lunch and supper on MWs, and we need to cook things that are either crockpot or are fast and easy. The nice balance is there are three big events this month that require some food fun: Valentine's Day, Natalie's birthday, and the start of Lent. With that in mind, here is our very simplistic, cheap, and quick February 2010 menu:

1

Scrambled eggs and bacon

Fried rice and Beef-n-broccoli stir fry

Leftovers

2

Oatmeal

Mac-N-Cheese

Pizza Rolls

3

Toaster strudel

Frozen lunch

Chicken and pasta

4

Toast and cereal

Leftovers

Confetti ham and potatoes

5

Toaster strudel

Frozen lunch

Au gratin ham


6

Pancakes

Cheese crescent rolls

Leftovers


7

Waffles (make extra and freeze)

OUT

S&S meatballs and rice


8

Egg sandwich

Frozen meal

Tacos


9

Cereal

Cheesy tacos and fruit

Breakfast supper


10

Waffles

Frozen lunch

Chili and cinnamon rolls


11

Waffles

Mac-n-cheese and hot dogs

Meat loaf and baked potatoes


12

Donut Day

Leftover meatloaf and potatoes

Frito pie


13

Biscuits and gravy

Grilled cheese and soup

Heart-shaped homemade pizza


14

Pink pancakes

Parmesean chicken

Leftovers


15

Egg burrito

Frozen meal

Pork stir fry


16

Cereal/oatmeal

Leftovers

Broccoli-sausage puff


17-Lent starts

PB sandwiches

Leftovers

Tuna casserole


18

Cereal

Frozen meal

Tacos


19

Donut Day

Frozen meal

Fetuccine alfredo and French bread


20

Waffles

Natalie’s first

birthday party


21

Pancakes

Tomato-basil soup

Meatballs and rice


22

Toast and apple pie jam

Leftovers

Leftovers


23-Natalie Bday!

Oatmeal/cereal

Mac-n-Cheese and hot dogs

Chicken nuggets and baked fries


24

Egg sandwich

Frozen lunch

Crockpot roast


25

Waffles

Roast beef sandwiches

Enchiladas


26

Donut Day

Leftovers

Potato soup


27

Omelets

Fried rice

Meatloaf and butternut squash


28
Waffles
Leftovers
Hawaiian pork patties

Colors

Lainie's having some troubles verbalizing her colors, which means we don't know if she doesn't know them or if she can't say them or if she's just pulling the wrong word forward. Thus, a singing lesson on colors. Hopefully, this will help my musical-learning princess strengthen the pathways in her brain, so that eventually "red" will always come out her mouth, automatically, when she sees red.
video

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Miss Natalie, going solo

Natalie does not like to be left alone. Imagine that, with three big sisters who fight over playing with her. As we are nearing her first birthday and the newness of her is wearing off on her sisters, we're trying to acclimate her to the world of self-entertaining. Thus, the following conversation in our house:

Me: I know you don't like being along, but you won't really be alone. Mommy will be right next to you, working, because I have to get some work done.
Natalie: ahayaya
Me: Look! In your playyard! There's the Dora couch, your push toy, your stacking blocks, a Little People toy.
Natalie (as I putting her the playyard): WAAAAYaaaWaaa. (which translates to I.Do.Not.Like.This.)
Me: And here, I'll even throw in this unsafe toy.
Natalie: Huh? oooooo! (As she crawls over to the Christmas tin, basically safe just not APA approved.)

Ah, my little daredevil. Who must have a crowd around her.

So, when did your kiddos start self-entertaining, especially your 2nds or 3rds (or beyond). We haven't even really let her cry it out at night; she's been very indulged this year, compared to her big sisters at the same age.

And right now, she is NOT happy with mama.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wonder-dude

(First, please note that the last post was written at 4 a.m. after my coughing woke me up. Disregard any rambling and ranting that wasn't pertinent.)

My husband rocks. He is seriously earning the title of Wonder-Dude.

I caught bronchitis, and I had to get better fast. I cannot miss any of my A&P classes; it'll be too hard to make it up. So, I knew I had to get rest this weekend, and Jay knew it, too. So, he got up with the kids in the morning, allowing me to sleep until 9:30 or so. I took naps in the afternoons while he was outside enjoying the warm weather and prepping his garden areas. He even went grocery shopping Sunday with Natalie so I could rest with Lainie and get a bit more shut-eye. Even while I was awake, I wasn't much more useful than a lump of coal. Then again, a lump of coal at least helps create energy; I was more likely to create friction. And last night, that prince got up with Natalie at midnight and 4 a.m.

Today, I have work then class, and thanks to him, I'm well enough to do it. And while I'm doing my thing in Manhattan, he'll be teaching all day, then picking up three girls, sitting at dance class for an hour, feeding the four of them at Wendy's, then managing them through a 4-H meeting...and that's the easy part. When he gets home, he'll be getting all four ready for bed, probably starting a fire as soon as he can, and then sitting down to grade another stack of papers. For enjoyment, he'll probably spend 30 minutes or so on his gardening blogs, where he learns all sorts of new ideas to help grow his garden and his business.

Seriously. Did I pick a good husband, or what? Take that, all you suckas who missed out on this gem! He's mine, and I love him!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just say no

I'm not a nurse (yet) but I am a journalist (or was), so please allow me to use a definition to explain this appalling situation..

Irony is defined as an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

Irony is watching forty percent of a class filled with CNAs or pre-nursing students take a smoke break. 40 percent! Two-fifths! Seriously.

We had one break in my anatomy and physiology class, which runs from 5:30 to 9. At that break, forty percent of the students stopped for a cigarette.

Why in the world would you willingly be smoking in today's world? Hello! It's called a cancer-stick for a reason! The message that smoking-is-bad has been drilled into all of our heads. We see it on TV, billboards, read it in newspapers, magazines, hear it on the radio, in classes. You cannot be an adult, English-speaking American and NOT know that smoking is bad for your health. So why are these young adults still puffing away on their Marlboros?

(This is where I take a step back from my shock and pull from the many textbooks I've been reading lately.)

I'm sure it's part of the generational forgetting, the theory that you cannot learn from your parents mistakes and instead repeat the same mistakes previous generations did. And there is probably quite a bit of the invincibility fable in there, the idea that (most) teenagers believe that it can't happen to them, that they cannot be hurt, and that they will live forever. Maybe it's part of the sunk cost fallacy? "I've already been smoking for x years, so I probably already have cancer. Why stop now?"

I understand that it is an addiction, but why was the addiction started? These smokers were all in their late teens or early twenties, so they most likely started smoking as teenagers. One theory states that in households where parents or grandparents smoke, adolescents begin smoking to appear more mature, more like their adult counterparts. Another says peer pressure, that friends pressure them into trying it. A third considers low self-esteem, that by smoking, teens can find a peer group and feel like they fit in. Another idea states that kids try it once, thinking that they are stronger than any addictive factors and are cocky enough to believe that they can stop at any time...until they can't stop.

Why do I care? It's not about the secondhand smoke issue. (I'm one of the few (or one of the silent majority) that is against a statewide smoking ban. I think we have enough laws infringing on our freedoms, on our decision-making ability. I think an individual can make a personal decision whether to go into a smokey restaurant or whether to work in a smokey bar or casino. I think the government needs to draw a line somewhere, a line where they stop trying to parent everyone, "nanny-government" at it's worst. I worry that if we don't draw the line soon, we will have government officials telling us what we can eat, drink, and do...and at that point, I believe we become a communist country. I see that as bad. But, I digress.)

I care because my mom smoked; because many of my aunts and uncles smoked, struggled with alcoholism and/or drug addiction; because addictive tendencies run on both sides of my gene pool; and because I have four daughters. I do not want to ever see them step outside for a quick cig. Ever. I believe it is my husband's and my responsibility to ingrain in them that smoking is evil. I want to identify what risk factors cause people to start smoking, and then do all I can to eliminate those risk factors from their lives.

Going back to the textbooks, one specific chapter focused on teenager behavior. It discussed that the limbic system, which drives emotional impulses, matures before the prefrontal cortex, which drives emotional regulation. In other words, teenagers brains are running into overdrive with inadequate braking. They act before they think. Now, anyone who has ever been a teenager knows this is a fact; at least, it was for me. So, based on the developmental process, I probably can't count on my girls' cognitive skills to help them make the smart decisions when in a peer pressure situation.

So, I have a theory. Make it a habit. If we can make it a habit for them to say no when offered a cigarette, chew (don't ask.), alcohol, or drugs, make it so as soon as they hear "do you want one?" that the words "no thanks" comes flying out before they have time to activate that prefrontal cortex, then maybe just maybe we can get them to adulthood on a little easier, safer path than their (ahem) mother took? Maybe it would enable them to get to adulthood without those lifelong addictions? And maybe, just maybe, they won't be running outside for a smoke break between classes.

Life throws enough risks, challenges, hardships on us. Why generate new ones by making poor decisions?

And for goodness sake, if you are in the healthcare industry, practice what you preach. Live what you learn.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

W is for White Chili

Lunch today rocked, simply stated. We've been trying our best to not eat out, with Chinese food being the biggest temptation. We all love Chinese buffets, but it costs us about $30 to go, now that there are 5 paying to eat. So, today, Jay watched the girls and I prepared some good, fried, authentic-ish, homemade Chicken Lo Mein, Fried Wontons, and Crab Rangoon. YUM!

Here's hoping supper's White Chili (adapted from here) will meet or exceed lunch's yummy-ness!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 anaheim peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
  • 1 can red beans, undrained (just because I didn't have two cans of white beans)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook chicken until cooked through. Remove from saucepan.
  2. Add another tablespoon of olive oil Add the onions and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until onions are tender.
  3. Add the chicken, chicken broth, green chile peppers, cilntro, oregano and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add the beans. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
  5. Add sour cream and stir until mixed thoroughly.
  6. Ladle into individual bowls and top with the cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.
(Post supper report: Not too spicy for the girls, good flavor for us adults. Definite repeat.)

Upside Down Pizza

Continuing with our Alphabet January, we've made it to 'U'. Upside-down something...and since it's girls only tonight, Upside Down Pizza it is! I like this recipe because it uses pantry items and doesn't require Bisquik (that stuff is expensive!) I set aside some spaghetti sauce from earlier in the week, which saved me a dollar on a can of tomato sauce.

1 pound pork sausage
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, or tomato sauce
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozerrella cheese

Brown pork sausage in a saucepan.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, basil and oregano. Stir into cooked sausage.
Pour spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce or pizza sauce) into sausage mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together 1 cup flour, eggs, milk, oil, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
Spread sausage mixture into a sprayed 13x9 casserole dish.
Sprinkle cheese on top of meat.
Pour flour mixture over cheese.
Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes, until top is golden.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our new typical MW

  • 4:45 a.m. Natalie woke up. Jay was kind enough to get up to give her a bottle, but she was ready to play.
  • 5-5:30 a.m. Mommy tries to get Natalie back to sleep, while Daddy snoozes.
  • 5:30-6 a.m. Daddy tries to get Natalie back to sleep, while Mommy snoozes.
  • 6 a.m. Mommy gets up for the day. Every "work" morning, I get up at 6 and get myself ready (teeth brushed, makeup, hair, dressed) before the girls. It's my 10 minutes of sanity.
  • 6:15 a.m. Katie is up and taking over the bathroom. I brown the roast and put it in the crockpot with the vegetables I cut up last night, onion soup mix, and beef broth. Supper is done. Grab some toast-and-peanut-butter while packing up my lunch and supper.
  • 6:30 a.m. Wake up Maggie and Lainie. These two do not like mornings. I cajole them downstairs with a promise to carry Lainie and a "oh, Maggie, you should SEE your hair!" Help them brush teeth, get dressed, and fix their hair. (top-only ponytail with ribbon for Katie, piggy tails for Maggie, and a ponytail for Lainie)
  • 6:45 a.m. Maggie, Lainie, and Katie are getting their shoes and coats on, while I get Natalie dressed and Jay is loading all our bags into the car. "All our bags" means Natalie diaper bag, Lainie backpack, Katie backpack, Maggie backpack, my backpack *GULP, my work bag and laptop, my purse, and my lunch cooler into the Suzuki; Jay's 3 work bags into his truck.
  • 6:50 a.m. Pull out of the driveway and drive carefully (in 4-wheel drive) through the muddy road.
  • 7 a.m. Arrive at daycare. Carefully unload kids, one at a time, so that the big girls don't get mud on their pants.
  • 7:10 a.m. Leave daycare, after much hugging and kissing.
  • 7:13 a.m. Stop at gas station for a refill fountain drink. This morning, I was good; I settled for decaf iced tea instead of my usual Diet Coke.
  • 7:58 a.m. Arrive at my office in Manhappiness.

And so starts the day.

The rest of the day includes 1 meeting, 1 lunch-run to Target for formula, and my first day of Anatomy & Physiology. I'm working until 5, and class runs from 5:30 to 8:55 p.m. That, too, is in Manhattan, so I'll get home about a quarter 'til 10 tonight.

It's 16 weeks, 32 class sessions.
One at a time.
We can do this.
I can do this.
Inhale.
Exhale.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken picado

Delicious! Easy! And the kids even ate it!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces sour cream
1 diced tomato
5 green onions, chopped
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, melt 1/2 stick butter. Add to that, milk, salt, pepper, garlic, and sour cream. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add cornstarch/water mixture and juice from diced tomato to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile in a skillet, melt 2 T butter. Cook the chicken and green onions, until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Pour chicken into a pie plate.
  6. Pour sauce over chicken.
  7. Sprinkle diced tomato and green onion over chicken.
  8. Sprinkle cheese over chicken mixture.
  9. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Serve with warm tortillas.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One month and one day

We went one month and one glorious day illness free! Hurray!!! Even now, L&N are just battling runny noses and low-grade fevers. Lainie says she is "so cold" and "jus' hurt". I'll admit, I'm wondering if this is more than coincidental that she got sick 2 days after her classmates got the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. (Even CDC contradicted themselves on whether it would cause transmission of the virus or not.) No matter the cause, we're grateful it's a 3-day weekend and she can have that extra day to recover.

This is a big week ahead. Wednesday starts my night class in Manhattan, therego it also starts Jay's single-parent-nights. On Monday's he'll be responsible getting the girls to and from dance classes; on Wednesday's, he'll need to get K&M to religion education. I already feel apologetic, asking him to do this. But he reassures me that it's fine, it's his turn, that we're supporting each other's dreams.

Knowing I get less girl-time means I am appreciating these last few days even more. Today, I took K&M out for lunch, just the three of us, to celebrate their good report cards. This afternoon, I laid on the floor with Natalie and let her crawl all over me, aka "attack the face." And, Lainie and I played some Connect Four, read some books, snuggled after bath, and she colored next to me while I'll read my textbook. Add to that a morning filled with cleaning two bathrooms, vacuuming the carpet, cleaning the kitchen, and folding laundry -- makes today quite productive!

I'm happy. I'm enjoying the reading and learning and working toward a goal. I'm still scared that I won't have what it takes; not the school part -- that's easy for me -- but the hands-on. But I'm happy. And that happiness is rolling over to the rest of the family. We've had very little whining or fighting this week, and have had many fun, stressless evenings. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, because as everyone know:

If mama ain't happy, then no one's happy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Humbling

Some days the "schtuff" we deal with on a daily basis seems insurmountable. It seems rough, stressful. Some of it even seems like a crisis. But, it helps to always remember how good we've got it.

I read a lot of blogs, partly because I love to read and partly because my heart gets attached quickly. My prayer list grows daily because of these blogs. Blogs like www.prayforkate.com, whose 6-year-old daughter is fighting a cancerous brain tumor yet they organized a toy-and-bible drive for area hospitals. Blogs like NieNie, who was burnt in a fatal airplane crash over a year ago yet still finds peace in the painful new reality she is facing. Blogs like the Macs, who lost their infant daughter to cancer a few weeks before her first birthday, and who just welcomed their new son. Blogs like Breezy Acres who is praying for their daughter, born so early, and trying to find balance, or Ellie, who came through prematurity like a champ! Blogs like Julia, who after 13 pregnancies now has 3 healthy kids, and blogs like Losing the Babywait, who is still waiting for a little girl to become theirs.

These bloggers have or are going through a real crisis, a real test of faith. Some stumble, some fall, some shine like the morning sun. Some will have happy endings, some may not. All are testament to God's love, in good times and in bad times. And all remind me to be grateful, thankful, praise-filled for the blessings we have been given. I hear their voices, when I have frustrated-mom moments; I hear them saying, "You are so lucky to have four (mostly) healthy children! Enjoy them! You are so lucky to be able to do normal Mom things! Enjoy it! Take nothing for granted."

It's a nice reminder to have; I just wish there was a less painful way to receive it, and I wish everyone could hear it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sigh of relief!

A blog that I read brought this verse to my attention:

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Philippians 4:6-7

It's hard to remember that when you are in the midst of a crisis, or mini-event, or even a hard day. It's hard to remember to keep your chin up, put it in God's hands, and have faith. It's a lot easier to believe, to believe in, when you are on the sunshine-side of the dark clouds.

I'm feeling the sun rays now. And, no, that has nothing to do with our weather. For goodness sake, it's -4 degrees right now. It feels like things are finally turning around for us...especially health-wise.

None of us have been sick for nearly a month. I don't care if I jinx us; it's worth celebrating. This little accomplishment is especially pertinent, because the hypothesis is that Lainie's seizures aren't caused by one particularly difficult illness, but rather the wear-and-tear on her little body of repeated illnesses. Her seizures in 2008 and 2009 occurred after two months of repeated illnesses. She'd get sick the end of November/first of December; she'd get antibiotic and would feel better for about 10 days. She'd get sick again, another round of antibiotic. Ten days later, she'd get sick again. Repeat ad nauseam, until BAM - clonic-tonic seizure, lasting at least 5 minutes. Set backs. physically, verbally, emotionally.

But not this year! She got sick in early December, high fever, shaking, decidedly a virus. They gave her antibiotic before we realized it was most likely a virus, so we went ahead and finished the antibiotic, in hopes that it would at least ward off any other infections she'd be exposed to. That was December 14. She hasn't been sick since. She's eating strong, maybe even gaining weight. She's happy, she's sleeping well, she'd going great!

Do I think this will last, this illness-free household? No way. In fact, just this morning Lainie woke with a deep cough that only lasted a few minutes but sounded like croup or another infection in her larynx. I expect it'll get worse in the next couple days, despite the oranges snack and vitamin and extra water today. But if and when she gets sick, her body has had time to rest, has had a break from the drain of repeated illnesses, and maybe, just maybe, she won't have one of those terrible seizures again.

I guess a little credit needs to go to the anti-seizure medicine...or maybe a lot of credit. When she has gotten sick, she's gotten really shaky, confused, twitching eyes, jarbled. But, seemingly like a fire extinguisher would put out a fire when it's just starting to smolder, the medicine seems to let the electric storm in her brain smoke but not engulf. The pre-seizure symptoms are there, but not the full-blown seizure.

And that gives me hope, restores my faith, energizes my spirit, makes me smile.

I am still afraid. I'm afraid of what Natalie's going to do for her special trick. Will it be asthma? Pneumonia? Allergies? Heart murmur? Epilepsy? Or some other crazy thing? For no specific reason, I'm especially nervous about February and May. In June, maybe I'll relax completely.

And lest you think I am insane or neurotic, here's a brief list of the major negative events that Jay and I have dealt with in that always-interesting decade starting in 2000:

  • pneumonia in a 4-month-old (2001)
  • a car wreck, partial placental abruption, 2 months bed rest (2003)
  • seizure and (benign) heart murmur in a 2-year-old (2005)
  • appendectomy while 8 weeks pregnant ("If the baby survives the anesthesia, you'll be in the clear") (2005)
  • tornado hits house, removes part of roof (2006)
  • repair on roof results in major water damage to 2 rooms and 5 months of negotiating repairs (also 2006)
  • mystery illness of mine that put me down-and-out for 4 months (2007)
  • tornado flips and totals truck parked at work (2008)
  • seizure (status elipticus), pneumonia, collapsed lung, induced coma in a 20-month-old (2008)
  • my nodule removal and partial thyroidectomy(2009)
It's going to be better. I joke that this is the year of the tornado for us, since we saw them or got hit by them at home in 2004, 2006, and 2008. But, if I've learned anything from everything we've been through, it's that things always have a good ending, often better than it was before the crises. We can always find the good in the bad. We still have our beautiful children with us, safe and sound; that's the only thing we really need.

Even if 2010 brings another major hospitalization or house repair or car replacement, we can handle it. We will pray on it, put it in God's hands, and hope that He doesn't think we should be dealt any more...quite yet.


Nacho Soup

Nacho Soup, in honor of our N-day. I plan to make extra taco meat on Wednesday's M-day and use it in Thursday's soup, for an extra easy meal night.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 can condensed nacho cheese soup (10 3/4 oz.)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (10 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • shredded Cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream

  1. Brown ground beef in a medium saucepan. Drain. -OR- Reheat leftover taco meat in a saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir in remaining ingredients except shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
  3. Cook 8 to 12 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with cheddar cheese, chips, and sour cream.

Italian Meatballs

We tried goat meat for the first time this month. In my meal-prep-research, I read that goat meat does well with lots of strong spice. I wanted to make something the girls would eat, and I know they like meatballs. So, goat meatballs it was!

1 pound ground goat meat, thawed
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1-2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 can pizza sauce (I use Best Choice brand)

Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce. Form into 1-inch meatballs and place in a 9x9 microwave safe dish. Pour pizza sauce over meatballs. Place dish in microwave; cover with wax paper. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir to flip meatballs. Microwave 5 more minutes.

I served this egg noodles cooked with a little butter, parsley, and mozzarella cheese, and toasted french bread.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Busy busy!

Just a quick note to say, I'm busy!

We're having a fabulous time on Christmas break. The girls have played some Wii...Jay and I, too. They've also played kids charades, the LIFE game, lots of Barbies, dress-up, and very little outdoor play. We've had days in which we never changed out of our pajamas. And we haven't left Clay Center, since Jay's birthday. yay!

I also got the menu made for the year. It was easy to do, since I kept all my monthly menus from last year. I don't know how well I'll follow them, but at least we have a plan written. For the month of January, we're playing the Alphabet game. Apple Pie Jam for the 1st, Breakfast lunch for the 2nd, Cheese pizza for the 3rd, etc. Have any great suggestions or if you want the list for yourself, click over to my recipe blog (aka the only way I can keep track of the recipes I like) at kscook.blogspot.com.

I am on chapter 12 of my Human Growth and Development class, and need to get take a midterm after Chapter 13. I'm hoping to take it next Tuesday (a week from tomorrow) since I have to go to Concordia to take the mid-term, and I'm already going to Concordia that day to take the NET. So, I'll wrap this up and go read chapter 12, "The school years: Cognitive Development" aka what is Katie learning now. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Alphabet January

A little creativity makes building a monthly menu a lot easier, and gives the kids an incentive to eat whatever is put in front of them. So, for this month, we're going to eat a letter each day. New Years Day was pretty basic, since I had no motivation to do much of anything: Apple Pie Jam toast. Today, it's Breakfast Lunch: bacon and cheese omelets. I'm only planning out one meal for each of the days, since we'll have plenty of leftovers for lunches. Do you have any better suggestions, especially for the difficult V, U, and X days? If so, please share them!


January 2010

1
Apple Pie Jam & toast

2
Breakfast lunch

3
Cereal
Cheese Pizza
Chinese food

4
Deviled eggs
Dijon (honey) stir fry

5
Eggs, scrambled

6
Fettuccine and French bread

7
Goat meat pockets

8
Ham and cheesy potatoes

9
Italian meatballs

10
Jam-glazed pork chops

11
Kid-kebobs

12
Lime-marinated fajita

13
Mexican food: tacos

14
Nachos, super-style

15
Oven-baked fries and nuggets

16
Pork chops

17
Quiche Lorraine

18
Roast (beef, that is)

19
Spaghetti and spinach salad

20
Tomato-basil soup

21
Upside down pizza

22
Vegetable Soup

23
White chili
Wontons soup

24
X-tra Cheesy Potatoes

25
Yellow squash

26
Zucchini Stir-fry

27
Cheesy tacos and steamed veggies

28
Homemade pizza

29
Breadsticks and Spaghettis

30
Shrimp creole

31
Fried rice and egg rolls