Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Once a month grocery shopping

I recently discovered Our Tribe of Many on youtube and really enjoy learning how to manage a large homeschooling household from her channel.  Something that really interested me was grocery shopping only once a month with a mid-month grocery run for milk and fresh produce.  So at the end of December, I made a huge grocery list and Andrew, Esther, and I went grocery shopping for about 5 hours straight and managed to buy enough groceries for most of the month.  Here are a few pictures of our haul:

Our first stop was Costco where I picked up a bunch of eggs thinking it would be cheaper than Aldi, but I ended up paying twice what Aldi was charging for eggs that week.  I enjoy wandering through Costco on occasion, but I'm not sure how much money I actually save there.  The shredded cheese and chunks of cheese are cheaper, but I have to make special trip to go there.  

More cheese from Costco.  I bought 10 lbs of shredded cheddar, 5 lbs of shredded mozzarella, 4 lbs of chunk cheese, and a package of string cheese.  Maybe we like our cheese a bit much??

Our 2nd stop was Aldi where we spent most of our money.  I picked up tons of staples like oatmeal, tortillas, canned goods, butter, etc.  

We also stopped at Meijer and Daily Deals.  Meijer was mostly just a few things I couldn't get at Aldi and some produce.  I got yogurt, chicken, lunch meat, and Italian sausage at Daily Deals.

I plan on doing this again next week for the month of February.  I will probably be at just above $600 for over 5 weeks of meals for our family.  But we also had some meat in our freezer that we used and I was able to get a lot of ground beef at the seminary's food pantry.  

Now, I still ended up going to Meijer every week.  There were a few things on my list that I needed to get at Meijer and they were not on sale when I went and I was not going to pay full price when I knew they would go on sale soon.  So I did go a few times and stocked up on some of our family's essentials like whole grain pasta, spaghetti sauce, salsa, and coffee creamer.  Hopefully I got enough to last a couple of months.  Even though I still ended up going to Meijer every week, I still was not in the grocery store as much as normal because alot of weeks I would end up going to Meijer twice or Meijer and Aldi so I think I still saved money.  

For February, I am not going to go to Costco, but I will probably go to Sam's club.  I found an offer online where I could get the membership for free and I think they are a bit cheaper than Costco.  I doubled a few meals this month so I have a couple in the freezer for next month.  I also picked up a few things to make really easy meals when I don't feel like cooking, like hamburgers or chicken patties.  

Menu plan

Wow, I usually have a few blog post ideas running thru my head but they rarely make it to the computer.  Hard to believe its been almost a year since my last post!  Maybe I can post more in 2019.  :-)

Menu plan for the rest of this very snowy, cold week:
Tues~Kids are having pancakes and bacon while Chris and I go out for dinner for my 36th birthday. 
Wed~ Honey lime chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, black beans, guacamole.  We are planning on having a new seminary student and his wife over for dinner, but we shall see what the weather is like tomorrow.
Thurs~Roast beef, mashed potatoes, red cabbage, and green beans.  Perhaps I will try to make mashed potatoes with my new Instapot!
Friday~Pizza, veggies and dip with Uncle Ty and Aunt Ang
Saturday~Sloppy joes, roasted potatoes, veggies and dip
Sunday~Crockpot chicken and dumplings
Monday~Chili with bacon, cornbread
Tuesday~Lasagna, garlic bread, broccoli

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge 2018

We had a great time going to Great Wolf Lodge for the first time last week!  We were able to save some money with Groupon and had a nice big room with 3 queen beds and a pull-out couch to sleep all eight of us.  The room had a fridge and a microwave so I brought stuff for breakfast and lunch and we went out for dinner.  The kids had Pizza Hut (They ate 2 large pizzas by themselves!) and Chris and I had Qdoba.  We haven't been to a hotel since before Mabel was born and the kids had a great time.  

Lots of bear and wolf decor.  

My stair steps!  Another one coming soon.  :-)

I mostly sat around watching Luke and Mabel go down the kiddie water slides a million times with the occasional turn down the lazy river.  Oh, and taking Mabel to the bathroom every 20 minutes!  Chris liked to take the kids under the huge bucket that dumped about every 5 minutes.  He had the littles stand underneath him so he took the brunt of the force.  The older kids, including Aaron, enjoyed the water slides.  They also really liked the pool with the floating snake, but that unfortunately got shut down on our last visit to the pool area.

Joel wants blue grandpa to go with next time so he has someone to go down the scary slides with!

On our way out of Traverse City, we drove down the Mission peninsula to see the bay and the lighthouse at the end.  It was a bit chilly so we didn't last long.

Unwilling posers.  They wanted to get back in the warm car!

Everyone was a bit tired on the way home!  And I thought I had brought way too many snacks, but they ate most of them!

Some Great Wolf Lodge tips for families:

*There are lots of places to eat inside the lodge, including a pizza place, grill, and Dunkin' Donuts, but they are really pricey.  Bring your own food if you don't want to spend a lot on eating out.  Each room has a good sized fridge and microwave.  I made breakfast sandwiches and we warmed them up in the microwave in the morning and ate them with yogurt and fruit. 

*Bring a few extra blankets or good pajamas for the kids.  It was warm in the loft area where Chris and I slept, but the main level seemed a bit chilly and we had trouble using the thermostat.

*If possible, bring 2 sets of bathing suits for each person or you will be putting on cold, wet suits when you want to go back to the water park.  Ask us how we know.  :-)

*My kids don't like to stay for hours and hours in the water park so try find things to do to break up the time.  You can stay at the water park until closing on the day you check out.  We left around noon, but if we could have broken it up a bit, we probably would have stayed longer. 

*Bring flip flops and crocs to wear in the pool area.

*The pool area is busy so if you have little ones, don't expect to be able to sit on a chair and read a book while they play.  I'm glad our older kids had each other so they could go off to the slides together while we watched the younger ones. 

*Great Wolf had puddle jumpers and life jackets that you can use for free.

*You aren't supposed to bring any outside food and drink into the pool area, but I did bring some water bottles in.  Try to get to the pool area early to claim a table or they will get snatched up.  

Monday, March 05, 2018

And for the third time...gestational diabetes

(I realize I have not posted in a looong time.  If you didn't know, we are expecting another baby in 9 short weeks.)

During each pregnancy, a woman is tested for diabetes at about 28 weeks.  I had diabetes with Noah and Mabel so I wasn't too surprised to have it again with this pregnancy.  The worst part of the diabetes testing is drinking the super sugary, lovely tasting orange drink.  The woman drawing my blood told me there was 100 grams of sugar in that drink!  That is the equivalent to eating half of a chocolate cake with frosting or eating about 90 gummi worms.  Who does that??  Anyway, my body's blood sugar doesn't come down quite quick enough after consuming that much sugar, so I now have to follow the gestational diabetic diet plan.  Since I've done this twice before, I think I am getting pretty good at it so I thought I'd share what I eat since alot of what I've read online suggests that you will starve on this diet (so not true).  I am getting my glucose meter tomorrow so we will see how well I am doing.  Anyhow, here is what I am eating today and some tips and tricks:

Breakfast (supposed to be eaten within 1/2 hour of getting out of bed):
1 piece of whole grain toast, 1 carb (15 grams)
2 scrambled eggs
Coffee with a touch of creamer

Snack (about 2 hrs later)
An oikos greek yogurt, 1 carb (19 grams)

2/3 of a cup of rice with a serving of that popular eggroll in a bowl, some green beans, and 15 grapes.  The rice is equivalent to 2 carbs (30 grams) and the grapes are 1 carb (about 15 grams).

1 string cheese, 6 black pepper triscuits (1 carb)

Sweet potato, 1 cup is about 2 carbs
Barbecue chicken

An apple, 2 carbs
Popcorn, 1 carb

*Try to pair protein with most of your meals and snacks.

*Hungry?  Don't be.  Most veggies are extremely low carb so load up on veggies.  Avoid carrots, peas, and corn.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cousins~Growing up together

My sis-in-law sent me these super cute pictures of our two boys sleeping in the same tent 5 years apart!



Joel absolutely loves playing with Jayden (I hope Jayden feels the same way!).  In fact, a couple weeks ago when he knew we were going to stop by Jayden's house, he packed clothes JUST IN CASE Aunt Andrea said he could stay overnight.  :-)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Chicken Broccoli Casserole and a Christmas card

(Yes, long time no see!)

Just had to share this recipe.  Chris has never raved so much about a dinner than the one I served tonight and it was so easy because I had all the ingredients precooked and just pulled them out of the freezer.  Try this Chicken Broccoli Casserole.

Kids' review?  Oldest 3 ate it reluctantly, Aaron was not feeling well so didn't eat dinner, Mabel ate a few bites, but Luke loved it.  He kept saying, "Yay, I found a broccwi!"  Broccoli is his favorite veggie.  :-)

And just for fun, here's our 2016 Christmas card:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Aaron and Luke

My parents were in TN this week and Aaron couldn't really wrap his head around where they were.  He says to Luke, "Luke, do you know what TN is?  It's a mistake, that's what Andrew told me."
Took me a minute to figure out he meant state, not mistake!

Luke's been skipping his naps about half the time lately, or putting himself to bed around 4 and sleeping through dinner.  Lack of sleep makes Luke a crabby boy.  Today he was fighting with Aaron about a rake that we had just bought at Meijer.  The rake was green and since green is Luke's favorite color, anything green is his (Do not try to give him a blue or yellow plate.  He needs green!).  I told him he would have to take his nap as soon as we got home instead of raking leaves.  He says to me, "Why, am I cwabby?"  Yes, son, you are very "cwabby"!

Yesterday while I was baking, Luke asked me for a drink.  I was in the middle of something so I told him to be patient.  Like a typical 3 year old, he says, "You be patient!"  Yup, I get a lot of time to practice patience with him around!  He keeps us on our toes.  :-)

Friday, October 07, 2016

Artprize 2016

We went to Artpize with our friends, the Venlets, who also have 6 kids.  Have to admit, didn't really go for the art, we went for the food trucks at Rosa Parks Circle.  Had some phenomenal hand cut fresh fries with pulled pork and cheese sauce.  Our friend got a pulled pork sandwich off a truck with its own smoker on the back.  The kids had a great time walking around downtown with their friends, but it did make me feel a bit frazzled keeping track of 12 kids!