Saturday, April 26, 2008

We Got Chicks!

friends of ours who live just across the road from us now recently received approval to raise chickens. they told us we could keep a few at their house if we wanted. and then, this morning our friends called and told us that the local feed store had some chicks that were just hatched yesterday. so, this afternoon our kids went up and picked out one chick each. the older two settled on white ones and the youngest picked a brown. so we now have chickie, cluck cluck and darth vader (that's what happens when a 4yo boy names a chicken) residing at our friends house.

I'm Lovin' Mayberry

ok, we really don't live in mayberry but when you move from the city to out here, it seems like it. we are loving the quiet, the gentle breezes, the farmland views and the quaint downtown that has so many amazing shops. last night we attended the fourth friday celebrations downtown. they had a scavenger hunt where you got about 20 questions and you had to walk to most of the businesses downtown and find out little facts about them. this was a great time for us to find out about the town we now call home and it was also a terrific walk! thank you to God for all His blessings! we are so blessed to be here in this home and this area.

Family Menu...Well, Last Weeks

i was going to post this on monday, but something came up. and i was going to post this on tuesday, and something came up. insert the same for wednesday, thursday and friday. so, here we are on saturday and aren't you so thrilled to know what we ate this past week. actually, it was a rather choice culinary week.

sunday - we had a delicious cheeseburger pie at a friend's house. i'm not sure how she made it, but i'm planning on asking for the recipe. it was a lovely day spent getting reacquainted with old friends. praise God for His goodness!

monday - brisket n' bean burritos - this had to be the best dinner of the week. it was a new recipe and this one is going to be added to the regular rotation. basically you take about 2 pounds of meat (it said brisket, i couldn't find the right thing, i bought a beef roast, things were just peachy) and put it in the slow cooker on low. then you add two slices of raw diced bacon and a small can of tomato sauce (with a bit of salt and pepper) to the top, pop on the lid and cook for about 4 hours. while this is cooking (as if 4 hours doesn't give you enough time) you mix up a can of refried beans and a half cup of salsa and heat it in the microwave for two to three minutes. when the meat is finished cooking, shred it and put it on top of some of the bean/salsa mixture in a flour tortilla. add some lettuce, spinach, tomato and shredded cheese and mmmmmmmm!

tuesday - baked chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries - i just cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts, dip them in milk and then dip them in some sort of coating. i've used seasoned bread crumbs, crushed sour cream and onion chips and crushed tortilla chips with season salt and they've produced equally good results. this is a really popular meal at our house so today i purchased 5 pounds of chicken tenders that were on sale and i'm going to cut, coat, bake, flash freeze and bag them so it's a much quicker process for this meal.

wednesday - wagon wheel pasta - this one's easy but tasty. ground beef, wagon wheel pasta, tomato soup, frozen corn, spaghetti sauce mix and shredded cheese.

thursday - grilled chicken salads - yes, this is a favorite around here. to answer beth's comment, there's not really a recipe. we grill some boneless skinless chicken breasts either on the foreman grill or the outside grill and slice them into thin strips. then get out all the salad fixins you have. my favorites are spinach, romaine, leaf lettuce, matchstick carrots, hard boiled egg, bacon, tomato, shredded cheese and multigrain croutons.

friday - quickie spaghetti - just as unglamorous as it sounds

saturday - we cheated and went to the pizza buffet while running errands. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sleeping Positions, Thrifty Dinners and Deep Discussions

yes, yippee, here we go. another of my random things tucked together into a blog entry. but hey, it's my blog, so buckle up. first, take a look at these pictures.

this is my littlest one. i was just amazed at the totally random ways she slept, so i thought i would document it all. fascinating? probably not. cute? yes. :)

next, a totally thrifty...and oh so tasty dinner. take a look at this baby.a roughly 2 pound porterhouse. and then take a look at this...
yep, you read that right. 4 cents, for meaty deliciousness. there is something at the local grocery that friends of ours refer to as "the green meat bin." it's not actually green, it's just the meat that is nearing the expiration and so they deeply discount it to get rid of it. and they do have really good meat. anyway, this was mismarked of course, but when it's marked that way, they sell it to you that way, so i just got really lucky to find it. with this tasty steak we other discount steak (that wasn't quite as cheap), corn, au gratin potatoes and whole wheat garlic cheese biscuits. i am very happy to report that upon tallying up all the cost of dinner...for a family of five...this meal (which seemed exquisite) totalled a whopping $5.00. that's just one buck per person. all i could say was wow, and thank you God.

now the next topic isn't quite so cool or funny in many ways. today to celebrate vocations awareness we watched a really awesome vocations movie after mass. you can watch it for yourself here by clicking on the Fishers of Men dvd at the right. anyway, there's a scene in the movie where they are talking about how hard it is to see the truth in our culture of today and they show small clips to represent some of the problems our society face. one of these shows baby's in test tubes. well today after mass in the car my seven year old daughter said, "why were those babies in those test tubes mom? i just didn't quite get it." well, not wanting to go into in vitro and all that stuff for obvious reasons, i went the route of testing unborn children and using tissue for medical things, etc. we talked for a few minutes about how this is the same thing that unfortunately people think when they support abortion, that unborn people aren't real people. we also talked about people make bad decisions and make things like movies or whatever that don't uphold the things that God would want us to do. she was quiet for a little while. about five minutes later she piped up with, "you know mom, i've been thinking. thinking that's it's really sad that God gave scientists some much knowledge and that they choose to do bad things with it. they're supposed to help people, not hurt them right?" at that moment i was so proud of my little girl. and so convinced that by the grace of God, my husband and i must be doing something right. i was also left with the same question that i have when my two year old looks at a sonogram and says "baby." if the children can see it...why can't we?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Just a Little Humor...

did they really think this was a good name for something that is supposed to change the "effects" food has on

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Little Taste of Spring and Other Musings

yesterday it was absolutely beautiful here. my husband tells me that it was 72. the kids were outside most of the day, we took a walk looking for birds with our binoculars and drew a house on the driveway that must have been about 30 floors high and had about 800 windows. i purchased these beautiful flowers about a week ago at a roadside stand that was having a $12 per box sale on their "Easter flowers." they had been in the garage since then because it had been windy, rainy and cold and i was afraid to put them in the ground because we have still been having some mornings with frost. well, i brought them out of the garage yesterday to let them have some sunlight on the driveway and right before our eyes they opened up full and beautiful. the kids thought it was the coolest thing to actually see the flowers move. i have to admit i have never seen anything open that quickly either. the tree out front is also starting to bloom. it will be a mystery what type of tree it is until we see some leaves. the "mystery bushes" that are planted in various places around the house are also budding so we should be able to tell what they are soon too. of course today it's back to a little chilly and windy.

alright, now for the random sidetracks. today i started using something which i have a feeling will make my life alot easier and save me some money too. it's called Library Elf and was recommended in "For the Love of Literature" by Maureen Wittmann. (which is a spectacular book by the way) so here's how the elf works for you. it doesn't come in the night while you are sleeping and make shoes for you but i'm thinking this is better. the site asks you what library system you use (they are linked up to tons all over the country) and then you enter your library card number. it then is able to show you all the items you have checked out, those you have on hold and here's the e-mails you to remind you of their due dates. i'm predicting that alone could save us about five bucks a week. with as many books as we have out from the library at one time, some times i just completely lose track. it's actually those darn videos that get us. a dollar a day per video when they are late. so with one video each for the three kids and sometimes an educational topic or something for my husband and i, it can add up quickly. we'll see how it goes, but i'm predicting this is going to be good.

second, i think i'm going to give the old blog a little structure for awhile. why? because i need structure. i'm a creature of habit and any little arena that i can control a bit more is right up my alley. check out the personality test from the other day. i'm a freak. i me. anyway, i'm going to try and post about a certain topic on a certain day of the week. of course, in my randomness, if i choose to deviate from the outlined day...well, that's just my choice. i find it hard to believe that something of that nature would cause a riot among my three or four readers. so let's just say, "trying something new, work with me here." i still haven't figured out exactly what all of the days will be (because of course they all have to involve some catchy play on words or something) but i have picked out "menu monday." on monday i will post our menu plan for the week. this is not because i think anybody cares, but because if i feel as if i have to put the menu on here...i'll actually do it more than ten minutes prior to dinnertime. ;) and since it's wednesday, and i always make so much is the first installment of menu monday.

monday - turkey tacos and mac n' cheese (we had company, this was a quickie decision)

tuesday - burgers on the foreman and whatever anybody else pulled out of the fridge and/or cabinets

wednesday - homemade chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries (both in the oven) and

thursday - grilled chicken salads (yummy, yummy, yummy!)

friday - scrambled eggs and potatoes

saturday - homemade pizza (you'll notice a theme there. saturday is always homemade pizza around here. that's something we instituted about a year ago to help preserve sanity.)

sunday - lasagna (with the tastiest homemade, homegrown tomato sauce), honey and dill carrots, salad and bread.

so that's what's cookin' at the cafeteria for us this week. if you have a hankering to post your menu let me know. i would love to get some fresh new recipes. :)