Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blood, Sweat, and Tears.. and dead things

You know the time when you decide to say yes more often, and be a better mom?  The time when the kids say "Can we ride bikes to school?" And you say "SURE!" and you just know it's going to be great! You'll get some exercise! The kids will be happy! And some of the excess energy (ha! I just typed injury by accident - foreshadowing perhaps..) out of the crazy boys.  Win for everyone, right?

Well let's examine the reality. The reality involves one child falling off the scooter multiple times.  One time he was pretty badly scraped up, and guess who didn't have any band aids.  Yep - this one... right here.  All told, the ride to school wasn't too terrible aside from the bleeding. The real fun was on the way home.

It started out with me helping Ben with his helmet. I knelt down on the grass and got attacked by ants.  They were all over my feet so now I'm itchy and welty.  Fun! Then, Zack fell again.  This time, I was smart and had band aids. Alas, I only shoved TWO band aids in my pockets and this job clearly required 3 or 4. By this time, my bigger boys had given up on us and ridden home with some friends.

Along the way, Ben saw a possum ( I think, maybe a raccoon?) lying at the side of the road.  He asked me about it and I explained that it had died and he bursted into tears. After I talked to him for a bit, he brightened up and said "Maybe we just need to take him to the hospital? Is there a hospital for animals?"  To which I tried to explain that the animal was dead and there was nothing that could be done without be completely morbid with my 5 year old.  He was OK.  He decided as we left that maybe it could come back to life.  SIGH. I didn't correct him.

Then it rained.

Fine, it was just a sprinkle. A more dramatic end would be that it poured and we all got soaking wet, but reality is it just sprinkled. We've snacked and neosporined, and now everyone is playing outside and hopefully will remain uninjured.

I think tomorrow we will drive.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Funny Stuff

So today was McDonald's night for the kids school.  You know, where part of the proceeds go to the kids' school and they get to see their teachers at McDonald's.  For my boys this is the single most exciting thing EVER.  Because seeing teachers outside of school is just so exciting and different! (Because they don't quite yet realize that teachers have their own kids and families and lives and stuff. It's a cute thing to see how giddy they are.  If we run into a teacher at Publix forget about it!  Teachers need groceries??? Who knew?)

Anyway.  We saw all the teachers, except one. Ben's teacher wasn't there during the same time we were, and it didn't occur to me it would even be an issue.  It was totally an issue. Even though he saw his math teacher, and other teachers that work with him it was simply NOT okay that he didn't see his Language Arts teacher.  As we walked out the door, he burst into tears in a most dramatic way. I was feeling pretty good, after a good day, and then getting to talk with some of the most awesome human beings (teachers are AMAZING people, by the way. My boys are blessed with good ones - the best!) So, I was trying to think of a way to deal with ridiculousness without getting grumpy or ruining everyone's day.  So completely without thinking about it, and after trying many different rational ways to help my boy feel better, I said "Okay Ben, here's the deal. I get it that you are sad Mrs. B wasn't there. But it's time to be done with the crying. So, I'm going to count to three and you are going to let out your very loudest cry, and then you are going to move on."  We were still in our parking place, so I was watching his reaction in the rear view. He had to fight soooooo very hard not to crack a smile.  I braced for the very loudest cry, but it never came.  He was simply fine after that.

I think sometimes, if we can just confuse them to the very limit, it works to our advantage.

 I'm still laughing that it worked. It probably WON'T work next time... but at least the crying stopped.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kindergarten Tales

A few minutes ago, Ben announced to me that his clip got moved to yellow.  Obviously, I asked why. He said for chatting. I told him he shouldn't talk while his teacher is talking.  He told me his teacher was testing kids outside and Ms. M came into class.  I asked what Ms. M looked like and he said she had an afro.  Hmmm.  I couldn't think of any subs with afros.  I asked if she was old or young and he didn't know, but when I asked if it was dark hair or blond hair he said it was pink and purple.  This makes me wonder about the validity of the whole story, because I know a lot of teachers at the school, and I have NEVER seen a sub with a pink and purple afro.

What will I do with him?

Monday, September 3, 2012


We went to the beach today. It amazes me still, that in a day  we can pack up, hit the beach, and make it home by dinner.  Every time I drive to Kevin's office over the Howard Frankland I am amazed that I really live here.  Anyway, after a perfect day at the beach, on the way home I realized Eric's glasses were missing.  After some sleuthing of the 4 adults in the car we pieced it together that they were probably sitting in the spot where we were loading stuff out of the boat, and back in the van.  The absolutely amazing miracle part of it all, is that when Kevin and Eric went back to check if they were salvageable, they were sitting untouched and unscathed.  Amazing! 

I am grateful!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I am in.a.mood. 

My basic demeanor lends me toward being happy. I get stressed and anxious, sure. I worry about stuff that I can't control and I think I might be a little on the hyper side. For the most part I identify myself as a happy person. I let things roll off my back.  I go with the flow.  And sometimes... rude people really piss me off.

So I went to Wal-Mart.  This goes against my rule of "Never go to Wal-Mart on the weekend because all the crazies are there and Rebecca, you are simply going to get irritated."  I really should just FOLLOW my rules and life would be good.  But I had already been to Publix today, and another of my crazy character traits is I get all weird about going to the same store twice in one day.  I don't know why I care. It doesn't even matter.  Anyway, needed a couple of things I had forgotten and went on to the store. 

The situation that occurred had nothing to do with Wal-Mart. It had to do with some crazy lady who was determined to get a parking space.   My philosophy on parking is I'd rather walk than stalk a spot and wait for someone to unload their stuff.  Walking is HEALTHY.  Waiting is kind of a waste of time. And time is precious because due to my inability to organize and remember what I need to buy on a given day I seem to never have enough.

So here's what happened.  I am driving in the parking lot looking for a space.  Not necessarily a close space just a space.  I rounded the corner and there was a car pulling out.  There was also a car that had fully passed the car pulling out just sitting there.  In the way, so the guy couldn't even pull out.  I sat there and waited for the lady to pull on up and go for the next space, but she didn't. I guess in her mind she got their first.  In my mind she needed to move on because she was past the point of no return. Right? Am I wrong?  So I sat there and felt my blood pressure rise because I don't do confrontation but I felt this very strong urge to stand my ground.  She waved me to go around her and I smiled and waved that she should go on.  She glared at me. I sat there. Then she started backing up all the while glaring at me as if to bully me to move.  I continued to stand my ground and then she did something I couldn't believe.  Maybe it's just because I couldn't pull this particular backing up maneuver.. or maybe that I would never, ever have the audacity to do this... she swerved around me and continued backing. There wasn't room for her there.  I was scared the crazy lady was going to hit me at this point and ended up honking my horn and moving on. You should have seen the look on her face when I honked. As if I was the unreasonable one here.

My analysis of this situation (because oh my goodness, I am the Queen of rehashing and over analysis) is as follows:

1. She was crazy.  Or maybe not. Maybe she just really wanted that parking space.  She was thin, so I doubt she was lazy. Perhaps it was because she had gotten there first.  Yet, the rule I follow is if I am past the space when I see the person is leaving and someone is behind me I figure it's my loss and the next guy gets the space.

2. The poor guy who was trapped in the parking space was probably doubly annoyed at our little standoff.  And rightly so.

3.  I completely overreacted. 

I was so embarrassed that I didn't even go into Wal-Mart. I ran into CVS on the way home since I really only needed a couple of things.

I am slightly irritated that I ended up bailing out.  But clearly this other lady wasn't backing down. She's probably celebrating her victory right now. The funny thing is I didn't even care about the parking space (really!)  I just was so appalled at her bossy, rude behavior.  In the end, none of it matters. I'm laughing now at how upset I became over something so silly.  But it seems like politeness is becoming a lost art.  That's what disturbs me the most.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Time Wrap Up

So this summer has been absolutely nothing like I envisioned. It  hasn't been bad, just as often happens the reality is different from the expectation.

We were going to spend lots of afternoons at the pool.  Instead, a lot of times by the time we got our chores done it was raining, so we've had to find inside stuff to do.

I had a whole schedule lined out. We were going to  have reading time every day and handwriting practice and a host of other scheduled items.  I never actually got around to any of it.  The boys did read most days because they are avid readers.

I devoted more time than I anticipated to getting paperwork ready for nursing school. Which the boys patiently endured. (Thank you boys!)

My patience has at times worn beyond thin. Then I've recovered and moved on.

The boys have fought way more than I expected. But they are learning to work these things out on their own (now to get them to work it out without smacking each other!)

The really funny thing is, that seems to happen to me often, is that we are kind of in a good groove now.  Wake up, chores, relax, go play. In the groove just in time to start back to school. I'm not ready. I think they might be though.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


So when people used to tell me having a puppy was like having a baby and I'd scoff because babies are PEOPLE and puppies are DOGS.  I still see that distinction, but I can now also totally see the parallels.  Let's explore:
Babies get you up at night. They need to eat and be changed.  You sleepily feed them and change them and if you are reallllllly lucky you can sleep for a few hours before waking up again.  I still remember this phase and it is very very hard, and completely harder than puppydom, so if you are in the middle of the newborn phase please don't take this the wrong way.  Puppies get you up at night.  They have to pee.  You have to get up, get shoes, meander outdoors and stand there while you wait for them to do their business, and then if you are lucky, they fall asleep and you can do the same.

Actually, I never ever thought I'd be so in tune with the bathroom habits of an animal. It's all consuming.  I was never actually good at potty training.  It eventually got done.  Right now we do pretty well, as long as I am very nearly OCD about what the dog is doing.  We spend a LOT of time outside.  Figuring out how to get her to "ask out" is eluding me.  I have several doggie training books on hold at the library. If books can't fix it I don't know what can!  It's not bad but I am a very type B personality, and if I have to obsess about stuff for too long it takes a toll on me. 

The rest of living with a baby dog is more like having a two year old than a newborn.  They like to chew, they love to get into stuff. Just when you thought you had everything picked up, you find them chewing on something that you missed (this may be exacerbated by the 4 boy factor.) And the energy! She runs like lightning. Then two seconds later she's out like a light. Yep, much like a little 2 year old.

But despite it all she's CUTE! And we are all a little smitten with the new little creature in our family.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Time. Day 3

We are on day 3 of summer time and thank goodness it looks like it might stay dry long enough for us to get to the pool! 

Yesterday, we had some friends over because our very close friends are moving to Texas. I've known it for a while, but what I hadn't realized was that the kids were leaving yesterday to visit their dad (in Texas) and wouldn't be returning to Florida.  The kids had a great time all together, and had sandwiches, played wii, and had a water balloon fight in the rain.  (It was just a sprinkle, and they realllllly wanted to. I'm trying to be less rigid on these things and just let them do stuff. I'm glad we were able to have some fun with them before they moved away.

Today, I am sleep deprived.   When we got our cute little puppy, I forgot about the part where they have to go pee in the night. I figured, it wouldn't be a big deal though, I made it through 4 newborns after all!  I think the difference is that I could feed and diaper my babies while still half asleep. Little Clover (Cloe) has to go outside and in the process I become fully awake and it's proving difficult to go back to sleep.  Hopefully this will all resolve.  At least it's summer and we don't have to be anywhere early in the morning.  Also, she is the cutest puppy EVER so this makes it all worthwhile!

I'm not quite where I want us to be as far as summer schedule goes. I want to get up, work hard, and then play just as hard.  We are doing some work, and we've played but it's not very smooth just yet.  Hopefully we'll get there before time to go back to school.  If not, flying by the seat of my pants usually works out ok.

My goals for the early weeks of summer are:
Getting the kids to sleep past 7.
Getting certain ones of them to listen and do as they are told the first time.
Getting certain other ones to stop pestering their brothers.

I have a few other goals, but I need to get past these 3 first and then the others will (hopefully) fall into place.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

School's Out. Day 1

The first day of summer we  have - played with our new puppy, made spy cars out of boxes, made chore charts and gone over expectations, made a "boredom jar," had lunch, and drawn the first stick out of the boredom jar. This sent Eric and Mark on a quest to draw a map of the neighborhood and hide some item for me and the little kids to find (and mark it on the map.) 

Now this little quest took some letting go on my part.  I have issues letting them out of my sight.  I did send a phone with them, so we can keep in contact.  And they just walked in so I am breathing a sigh of relief as I type. The first time they went out, Ben followed them.  I called them to see if he was with them, just as they arrived to bring him back home.  Out they went again, and then they called me to say it was raining and ask what they should do. I left it up to them, if the rain is bothersome come home, otherwise stay out. A few minutes later it was pouring and I was gathering up Zack and Ben and our tiny puppy to go pick them up.  Right that minute they walked in the door.  They put on hoodies and headed back out again.  So, now they are once again home and just handed me the map. I'm off to hunt for treasure!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The TEAS Test

I walked out of the testing center with my hands shaking and feeling a little disoriented. Thank goodness for instantaneous results or I would have been even more shaken. Throughout the test, I had to quiet the voice. You know the one... the nagging doubt. The wondering if I should even keep going. I really did not feel like I was doing well in spite of the hours of preparation I had put in. Yet, the slip of paper said I passed, and with a fairly good score. It was tough... but I did it! I scored an 84%. I submitted my application to the nursing program and now all that is left is to wait. I should hear something by the end of June. Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jumping back in

Well, it seems like it's been awhile.  I can't believe my last post was in January.  That's about the time school started back and I had a lot of studying to do.  I pulled through the semester with As in A &P and Nutrition.  Now, for the big, bad, ugly TEAS test. I guess I'll take it Thursday.  Then all that's left is applying to the nursing program. This terrifies me! Not the actual program, but the possibility of NOT getting in, then the figuring out what to do with the boys before and after school. It's a bit overwhelming, but I really feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now, so all the details will work themselves out.

ANYWAY, I'm never very good at catching up, but I'm going to jump back in here because I really do enjoy the process of blogging and telling stories, and having such a great way to look back on things. I'll tell some of the stories I missed if they come to me.

Right now, it's time to gear up for the last 3 weeks of the boys' school. Then it's summer which is both thrilling and terrifying!  I'm in an online summer class (Lifespan Development) that started last Monday (the 7th.)  Funny thing, I ordered my book on Amazon because it was super cheap. The seller shipped it on April 20th and it's lost in the mail. SO for this already fast paced class I am behind.  We are in the process of the post office tracking it down, and since I have NO faith in that happening, I ordered another book that should be here tomorrow. Then I get to play catchup, and hopefully actually learn something in the process. Thankfully, even  having to buy 2 books, the cost was less than buying it used anywhere else.  And I can probably sell the extra book back for what I paid for it. I just can't help thinking how funny it is that of all the things we order off of Amazon, the book that I need for a 6 week course ends up getting lost.  Darn post office!

The boys are doing well. We are working on issues because I came to realize that if we don't tweak some behaviors I am going to lose my mind this summer...So operation get the naughtiness under control has commenced.  And they are good boys, so hopefully it will go well. (I am optimistic to a fault!)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Freezer Meal Update

So, Friday morning Ben and I went to Sams to procure all of the makings for my freezer meals.  That part of the mission was definitely accomplished.  I went to lunch with some amazing friends, and then did some school work Friday afternoon. So, I finally started working on actual cooking about 4 PM. Here's how it went down.

I had found some potatoes in the pantry, so I washed them up and stuck them in the oven to bake.

I chopped onions and carrots, and threw them in with a whole chicken I had in my freezer. I boiled the chicken, ending up with a cooked chicken to shred for meals, and also quite a bit of stock.
I started a huge pot of rice (8 cups water, 4 cups rice -- thanks Shanna for the advice and words of wisdome regarding freezing rice! That will come in handy!)

Scrambled 18 eggs.

Cooked 2 lbs of sausage (in crumbles)  while the eggs were cooking.

Once the eggs and ssg were done, I rolled about 16 breakfast burritos, and then bagged up the rest of the sausage crumbles for other recipes.

Then I bagged up the rice into 3  side dish portions, and 2 main dish portions. I didn't end up doing the fried rice recipe, however I don't think it will take much time to heat and "fry" the rice on that night's dinner.

I bagged up the cooked chicken that had been cooling. I'll probably regret not shredding it, but I just stuck it in a bag whole.

It was at this point that my Food Saver decided to stop sucking the air out of bags. Wahhhhh!

Then, I strained and put the stock in containers to freeze. I absolutely love having homemade stock to use for recipes. 

Next I made the "Asian" marinade for the salmon, and made 2 dinners worth of asian salmon. I had a little salmon left over. It wasn't enough for a meal, but Kevin through it on the smoker today while he was smoking the pork shoulder. It was delicious and he made a salmon dip this afternoon that was AMAZING!!

I used the same Asian marinade (I tripled it) and bagged up some chicken (2 meals) and pork chops (1 meal) in that. Then, I made the sweet and sour sauce. I coated chopped up chicken breasts in corn starch, and bagged the sauce separately. I will finish the chicken on the sweet and sour chicken night and serve it with fried rice.  I also just threw the leftover sauce to marinade some pork chops for a different dinner. 

I pretty much was exhausted at this point and decided to finish Saturday.

On Saturday morning I started some black beans, fully intending to finish my cooking spree. However, I opted instead to spend a fun day with my family.  Sunday, I ended up doing a decorating project, but I did manage to separate and freeze the rest of the meat.  I kept balking at the dishes that involved bread crumbs. Something just keeps telling me that is better done on the same day it is eaten. I could be completely wrong, as I am no freezer meal expert.  But, between being exhausted and just completely ADD, I made that choice.

I do feel good that I have a good amount of dinners that just need to be pulled out and cooked.  I also feel good that I have a good stock of meat in the freezer, which will cut down on the amount of days where I have to run to Publix to get stuff for dinner.  This will be a huge time saver, and less face it save money too!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Which I Depend Upon the Kindness of Strangers

If I've learned anything in life, it's that if you can't laugh at yourself, you will be miserable, and if you happen to have a fiasco, it's all OK if you think of it in terms of having a good story to tell.

I had this idea.  Well, I can't take the credit for all of the idea, because I first saw it on Pinterest.  The thought was to take giant foam panels (designed for insulation, purchased at Home Depot) and cover them in fabric, and affix them to the wall for decoration.  We've been looking for something to go towards the top of our walls in the Family Room. It has 20 foot ceilings, with a ledge dividing it about  10 feet up. So, we have some stuff up there, but recently we painted below the ledge red on just that wall, and it's been seeming like it needs something. Additionally, since we put wood floors in, our house is quite echo-y. And we have 4 boys, so echo-y plus loud = crazy town.  As much as I try to let them be, there are times when the noise is just too much. SO. I thought this project would be awesome to 1. look good 2. be cheap (ish) and 3. maybe, just maybe soak up some sound. 

So, today I headed off to Home Depot to buy supplies. Somewhere along the way, Kevin and I decided instead of fabric, we'd use textured paint.  I had ideas of doing some abstract kind of craziness, but he reeled me in and we decided to keep it a little more simple. So to the Depot I went to acquire foam board and paint. I got there, and immediately got nervous. I obsessed over colors, hoping to choose the right one. I ended up getting all of the things and paid for and headed out the door.  The cashier said "Do you need someone to help you out with this? (Hello 98 x 46 sheets of foam?) "Nope," I said, I think I have it." In retrospect I totally should have let them help me.  So here is the picture.  I had a flatbed cart, with the foam on top. I'm walking to my car, when suddenly, a gust of wind lifts up the top piece of foam and propels it toward my head. I panic and try to keep it from blowing away, when I hear a crack and KNOW the one on the bottom has broken in two. I recover pieces, and two people (customers) run to my aid. A lovely gentleman helped me get to my car, with only a little more drama (another piece broke.) He helped me load the things which suddenly seemed very much larger, into my car (someone remind me to put the seats back where they go tomorrow before I have to get kiddos from school!)  So, finally I drive home with absolutely no vision behind me because there was styrofoam obscuring my rear view. I am so thankful to that nice man for helping me.  Otherwise, I'd have been chasing styrofoam all over the Home Depot parking lot for an hour, only to realize I couldn't get the one remaining piece in my van.

So, my vision of three large panels up there was dashed, and I quickly tried to revamp my plan. When I got home Kevin helped with the measuring and all that math stuff, and then we got down to the painting. They are drying in the front room tonight, and tomorrow we will figure out how to hang them.  I'm actually pretty excited about how it all turned out, fiasco notwithstanding.

I'll post pictures once we get it all on the wall.  There are some work in progress photos on Facebook if you want to check it out.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Big Ideas

I think it's clear that my kids are creative and smart. It's clear to me anyway. Maybe I'm just biased. Who knows! Sometimes these huge ideas they have make me nervous. I don't want to steer them away from being creative, but when they want to build things in the garage using real tools and stuff, I tend to get skittish. We do let them do stuff like this under supervision.

Sometimes they forego the asking for permission part (asking for forgiveness is easier?) and delve right into something. Like the day I walked out of the shower and Mark was making pancakes batter. He had a bowl of sausage crumbles, the syrup and some peanut butter out and informed me that they were going to make pancakes infused with these things instead of boring old toppings.  So, I ended up helping, but it worked out pretty well.

I do have to chuckle at my 8 year old  using the term infused.  I think - okay I know- we watch too much Food Network around here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Grocery List

My grocery list is surprisingly simple because I already have a lot of the seasonings/ bread crumbs/ condiment items on hand.  As much as I'd love to sit down and make a comprehensive grocery list, I simply do not have time right now. I will try to save my instructions (that I make up as I go) and maybe a few pictures. We'll see how the actual cooking goes though. As much as I want to do this I am nervous. Because it will be a lot of work. But, it will also be a lot of saved time later on, which will come in quite handy on those days I have to run off to school, or really need to study.  I will buy as much as possible from Sams Club since buying in bulk works best there.  So, here is my shopping list.

2 bags boneless skinless ckn breasts
2 pounds shrimp

2-3 pounds of salmon
Turkey cutlets 2 pounds
4 pounds hamburger meat
18 eggs
peppers and onions
4 packs of tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese
OJ concentrate (buy extra for drinking)
white wine or ckn broth
white rice
chopped carrots
soy sauce

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Menu - based on other people's freezer meals


Breakfast Burritos - You can adapt these to your taste and the ingredients you have on hand, but breakfast burritos are a favorite in this house. How easy to have some in the freezer for the rushed mornings - you know you have them too!

Lunch -

Chicken Nuggets - Do you know how many times I ask Ben what he wants for lunch and he says chicken nuggets?  And I pop some Tyson frozen nuggets on a plate and microwave them?  This has GOT to be better! Both healthier and cheaper... I love the idea of making my own "convenience" foods.

Bean Burritos - Cook up some beans in the crock pot, and mash; fill up a tortilla and top with cheese.  Wrap in foil and freeze. Another yummy lunch for Ben and I, and a few of my kids would even take this to school for lunch.

Dinners -

Asian Salmon - I'm trying to get more fish on the menu, so this will hopefully be a hit!
Teriyaki Salmon - With some random teriyaki sauce recipe.
Chicken Kiev - We do get tired of chicken in this house (ok, we = Kevin) but hopefully this Alton Brown recipe, adapted for the freezer won't fail!

Schnitzel - I will say here that any time eggs are called for in a recipe I use a substitute due to Ben's egg allergy. He isn't severely allergic, but when he eats eggs his eczema flares up and he gets very, very itchy. The substitute I use most often is Ener G Egg Replacer and it works quite well in most recipes that don't call for more than 2 eggs. In a dish like this, you'll never miss the egg!

Have Kevin smoke  a pork shoulder - Alright fine, my husband probably won't come to your house to smoke a big chunk of pork. However, if  you can cook one in your crock pot, or oven. OR have your hubby (or hey, if you aren't as inept at charcoal as I am, you maybe could do it yourself.) The point is you can cook up enough meat for 3-5 meals in one slow cooked cut and use it in bbq sandwiches, tacos, or just eat the pulled meat with some veggies. A great source for tips on how to smoke things is Deejay's Smoke Pit .

Homemade pizza dough - freeze the dough, and on pizza night thaw and add your toppings and bake! Easy and way cheaper than calling for delivery or even buying the pre made crusts....

Turkey Cutlets - Turkey is a great way to incorporate lean white meat without over doing the chicken! 

Shrimp & Orzo - I'm not totally sold on seafood  in a freezer meal. Or orzo for that matter.  However, I will try it because the recipe sounds yum, and then report back on how it went.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice -  Again, we'll see how the rice holds up to being frozen.  But it's worth the experiment to me.

Sides -

Do you love bread? Me too, a bit too much so I usually pass, but this recipe  is a-mazing.  It's from the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day book. It couldn't be easier, and is delicious! I just need to try out the whole grain version that I've been too nervous to try (due to previous failures trying to make a wheat bread that isn't a brick.)

So, basically if I use this as a basis, I am going to say this is a good start. It won't be a month's worth of meals but if I double up I can have 2 salmon, 2 chicken kiev, 2 schnitzel, 4 meals with smoked pork (2 tacos, 2 bbq sandwiches,) 2 pizza nights, 2 turkey cutlets, and 2 shrimp &orzo, 2 sweet & sour chicken with fried rice. So, if my math adds up correctly, that is 18 dinners where all I have to do is thaw and heat, and throw some veggies on to steam as a side.  Plus, the few lunches and the breakfast burritos.  I think it will work.

Next up, a grocery list for all of this madness!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A book

Mark told me the other day he wants to write a book.  I told him I would also like to write a book someday. We talked about it and decided we could write a children's book together. I told him an idea I had several years ago, and just never acted on. We've brainstormed it together and have some good ideas brewing! I think it is so fun that he is creative and interested in this little project. It's something for us to do together and that motivates me to make it happen even if it is just something for the two of us to share.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Planning Phase

So far 2012 has brought us an amazing vacation, 4 cases of strep (boys), one case of hives (Eric) and one case of pneumonia (Kevin.)  Please, don't let the illness negate the wonderful nature of the vacation. It was awesome and pictures are on face book.  I will attempt to add them here in a later post. 

I'm also very busy with 7 hours this semester. A & P (and lab) and Nutrition. So far things are going well, but I'm studying a lot, and very nervous at the prospect of transition into a full time school load in August (assuming I get into the RN program.) LALALALALALA. I'm trying to take it one step at a time and not think about future stress. Today is enough.

I've become so far behind on blogging that it doesn't even bear attempting to catch up, so I'm jumping right in with what's on my mind right now. And that's freezer meals. I've done this in the past when I've had babies and such and it is a lifesaver!

There are some draw backs for the traditional freezer meals for our family.

1. Kevin is fairly picky, and has some big food NOs on his list. I can't blame him (much -ha ha!) because I suspect these are more like intolerances than just picky-isms. For instance certain textures are on his NO list.  Potatoes, beans, pasta if it's not very al dente. I just can't blame the guy for having texture issues, especially when I notice at least 2 of my kids have the very same issues. Heredity?  Probably.  Also, he gets severe heartburn and/ or acid reflux if he eats a lot of tomato based stuff.  So, spaghetti, lasagna, and any thing else that has a tomato based sauce is out out out. (SOB! I love Italian food. So, the boys and I eat spaghetti every time he's out of town on business!)

2. My time is limited, but I guess that's why I'm revisiting this concept in the first place. Tuesday nights I like to go to Zumba at 6 PM.  Well, that doesn't leave much time to get the kids home and homeworked AND get dinner on the table. Simply reheating or finishing a pre-prepared dinner would make this so much easier. Wednesday nights are a rush as well, with me leaving for A & P lab at 6:15 and not getting home until after 9. While Tuesday night is optional, Wednesday night is a must until the end of April. So, preparation is key. I guess this is less a hindrance to my freezer meal idea, and more of an argument to just go ahead and do it.

3. I am trying to count calories and lose some more weight, but after some googling I feel like this isn't as much of a set back as I had once thought.
So, since many of the pre arranged lists and menus are out for us (see items one and three) I need to sort through it, add it what we already eat (Hello Friday Taco Night!) and get my act together on a menu plan and perhaps THIS weekend get some meals together. It may not be a whole month's worth, but even if I can get a week ahead that's a start.

So this is the planning phase. I will do my best to link the sites I have found that are helpful, and list any recipes.

Maybe this will be a new start to revamp my sad, lonely blog as well.

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