Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aldi deals

I just came home from the Knapp's corner Aldi and here are the deals I found:

Milk~$1.69 each (only at Knapp's corner)
Pineapple~$1.59 each
White button mushrooms~69 cents for 8 oz
Celery~69 cents
Baby carrots~59 cents
Bananas~43 cents/lb

A rare homeschooling moment

One of the biggest challenges with homeschooling is keeping all the kids on task at the same time, especially when you have little ones who aren't really schooling yet, or younger ones who need/want all your time and attention. Disclaimer: This is a very rare moment in our household. And it didn't last long, but it sure was nice for the brief moment it did last!

Noah doing some Domino Parking.  Really easy activity to prep and he seemed to enjoy it.  You can find the worksheet here, as well as other domino activities (free).

Andrew doing Ray's Arithmetic (free).  He also does Xtra math every day too (free).

Joel was doing some fine motor skills development with some wooden beads I got at a garage sale today.  He likes to do school with his big brothers.

Oh, and Aaron was in the pack n play.  :-)

What's Cookin'

Last night we had meatballs subs, garlic fries and salad.  The fries were really good.  I would just cut down on the cornstarch next time I make them.

Thurs~Spaghetti and meatballs, General Tso chicken, green beans (Weird menu, right?)
Fri~Chicken tacos, chips n salsa, salad, fruit, Aaron's birthday cake
Sat~Pizza, cold veggies
Sun~Meatball soup, artisan bread
Tues~Pork roast, wild rice, broccoli

Manager's Special = Great deals

I went to Ric's Food Center in Rockford with my mom yesterday and found some great deals on meat.  Ric's is a small, kind of upscale grocery store right on the corner of Belding and Myers Lake Rd.  I found 4 one lb packages of ground sausage for $1 each and 2 two lb packages of meatloaf mixture for $2 each.  $1/lb for ground meat is not too shabby!  I never find such good prices on marked down meat at Meijer.  Leave a comment if you can share any suggestions on how to get good priced meat.  

Memorial Day 2012

We do pretty much the same thing every Memorial day.  The kids know what to expect and they always have loads of fun.  At noon, we always hit the Walker parade, then a potluck right down the street with Chris's family and then we go to my parent's house for dinner.  And this year, to sit in the air conditioning!  :-)

 Joel and Noah waiting for the parade to start.  Noah's a cool dude in his shades.

 Cousin Corinna, the boys' favorite babysitter!

 Aunt Ang (heehee)

 Cousin Cass

 Before the parade started, these planes flew up and down the street a few times.

 All ready with candy bags.  

 Connie and Cady

 Still waiting...

 Frog loves parades!

 And Aaron loves the parade candy.  :-)

Some of Chris's relatives drove their company van in the parade and when the got to our spot, loads of candy was dumped out in front of us!  I think the kids on the other side of the street were a bit stunned.

3 cheers for garage sales!

The boys and I found a few garage sales on the way to the library today. They weren't too impressed since I didn't find any toys or books for them, but I've found that I find the best things when I'm not even planning on going to garage sales. Today did not disappoint.

$5 for this shelf.  I plan on painting it white, replacing the knobs with silver hardware, and hanging it in the downstairs bathroom.  I think I'll be able to store wash cloths and hand towels in the compartment.

 Best find in my opinion, $2 for this lounge chair.  I've been wanting one since I've been spending a lot of time sitting outside so Aaron can play.

These vases were $8 each, which I thought was a bit much until I saw the price tag underneath...

(Excuse the upside down pic)
Originally $39 at Pottery Barn!  I put these on top of my kitchen cabinets.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Gleanings: Thinking of our nation

To us Thy mercy now afford
And show us Thy salvation Lord;
Yea, Thou wilt answer us in peace,
If from our folly we will cease.

The Lord's salvation will appear
To men of faith and godly fear,
And glory in our land shall dwell
When we shall heed God's precepts well.

The Lord will send His blessing down,
And harvests all our land shall crown;
Before Him righteousness abides,
And in His steps our feet He guides.

Psalter 230, vs 4, 5, and 7

Monday, May 21, 2012

What's Cookin'

Mon~Oriental cabbage salad, grilled chicken
Tues~Waffles, bacon, fruit
Wed~San francisco pork chops, mashed potatoes, carrots
Thurs~Chicken Tacos, refried beans, salad
Fri~Meatball subs, cold veggies
Sat~Sub sandwiches, chips, picnic food at the beach
Sun~Corn, bacon and potato chowder, bread

Mon~Memorial Day feast-Mini fruit pizzas and ham and cheese sliders

Friday, May 18, 2012

Random pics found on the camera

And I notice they are all of Aaron.  :-)

 Mmm, mmm, mac and cheese.  He eats all the hot dogs first, then the noodles.

 So a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to do some school with Noah but Aaron kept interrupting us.  So I stuck him in his bedroom and shut the door.  I was so impressed with how nicely it sounded like he was playing in there by himself.  Until I opened the door.  Somehow he got the baby powder off the changing table and discovered it was open and was throwing it up and watching the powder puff out as it hit the floor.  All over the place.  At least it was easily cleaned up and it freshened up his room.

 Who, me?

 Watching the birds outside the window.

And snacking.  He likes to snack.  Oh, and notice what he always has with him, his 'boppi' or paci (in his hand) and his 'ganki' (tucked next to him).

 Hmm, what's this, snacking again!

Farmer boy.  He looks like he's thinking about getting in to something.

Eats this week

My favorite meal that my mom made while I was growing up was roast beef and gravy, carrots, and potatoes.  It was actually a very scientific meal.  First, I mashed up my potatoes and carrots and mixed them together.  Then I chopped up some roast beef and forked in on top and smothered the whole mess with gravy.  And usually had seconds.  And my brother added ketchup to his mess.  Quite often my folks would be done eating before my brother and I even made a dent in our plates.

Roast beef was on sale this week at Meijer for $3.49/lb.  Kind of expensive for meat, but we hadn't had any roast beef in awhile and the $12 roast I bought will make at least 3 meals, if not 4.  I tried a recipe similar to this one and my husband immediately detected the 3/4 cup of cola in it (he doesn't like sweet in his savory dishes).  So next time I will just use beef broth.  I like this recipe because it makes an abundance of gravy and I made the whole meal in the crockpot.  I mixed the soups and gravy mix all together in the crockpot and then added carrots and potatoes with the roast layered on top.  It cooked on low for about 5-6 hrs and on high for 2-3 (it was a very large roast).  Delicious and reminiscent of my childhood.

Tonight we had this delicious recipe for spaghetti and meatballs, except I made mine in the crockpot and omitted the water.  I doubled the recipe for the sauce and  quickly realized that I would not be able to fit the meatballs in later, so I simmered the sauce on high for about 5 hours and removed half of it to freezer containers.  I then added half of the meatballs I had made (and froze the other half) and dropped them into the sauce and simmered on high for about 2 1/2 more hours.  The result was delicious, tender meatballs.  I also have a bunch of leftovers, sauce for our pizza tomorrow, and 3 more meals which will likely result in more leftovers.  Love it when that happens!

We noticed at dinner that Andrew really enjoyed his spaghetti.  I wonder what our first clue was??  (He wasn't thrilled to get his pic taken.)

In honor of Chris' 37th birthday, I made a Boston cream poke cake.  Quite decadent-tasting and quite simple.

A very late post, but...Happy 5th birhtday, Noah!

Noah turned 5 on April 11.

Noah's favorite toy:  a matchbox car/truck.  He loves them!  Every nap time he brings a hoard of them to bed with him and sometimes puts them under his pillow while he sleeps.

Blue Grandpa and Grandma got him a bike for his birthday.  Its a little large (my fault), but he'll grow in to it and he can ride it with a little bit of help already.

Noah's cake~My attempt to give him a fun cake with minimal effort.  I think he was fairly pleased.  :-)

Daddy had a little addition to the cake when Mommy wasn't looking...

Noah was my smallest baby, only 7 lbs 4 oz when he was born, and he is still the most petite of all the boys.  He's also the quietest, probably because his older brother and his younger brother both jabber constantly, and his baby brother has some rather strong vocal cords also.  Noah is much different than Andrew, something I'm discovering more and more as I begin teaching him how to read.  He's not as easy to teach and has more disciplinary issues than Andrew, but he can also be very sweet.  He's been helping me a lot more around the home lately and he always wants to be around me, even asks me to sit outside while he plays.  He loves to have his back scratched and his favorite foods are cheese and sausage.  He's not a big sweets eater, he even declines candy on occasion!  We love seeing his personality change and develop as he gets older.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's Cookin'

We had Belgian waffles for dinner last night with my new waffle iron that Chris and the boys got me for Mother's Day.  Tonight we had dinner at Chris's folks.

Wed~Steak, twice baked potatoes, roasted carrots
Thurs~Crockpot cola roast beef with gravy, potatoes, carrots and celery
Fri~Spaghetti and meatballs, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, salad (The brussel sprouts are in honor of Chris's birthday.  He can have them all!)
Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Sat~Pizza, cold veggies
Sun~Meatball soup and sandwiches

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to make a panini without a press

Last Friday night we tried go to Arnie's because Chris was itching for a panini and hey, we had a coupon! Unfortunately, the Arnie's on Leonard isn't reopening until June. So we got subs and Chinese and ate dinner by at Riverside park and walked on the blue bridge, which was a much better option for the boys anyway. It was so fun, we plan on doing it again.

Anyway, when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.

Chicken and Bacon Panini with Spicy Chipotle Mayo

For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo:
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (If you don't care for spice, use the sauce, not the pepper, or skip altogether.)
1/2 cup mayo
juice of 1 lime (I forgot this, but it was still delish.)
1/2 tsp. adobo seasoning (I skipped this.)

For the Panini:
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast (I used chopped grilled chicken from the freezer)
4 slices of cooked bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced into 4 slices
2 tsp. olive oil
4 slices of bread (I used Italian)


For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo
~Mix mayo ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth  (I used my blender.  A food processor would probably work better, but use whatever you have.)

For the Panini
~The original recipe called for roasting the tomatoes in the oven, but I skipped this step.
~Heat your grill pan to medium heat.  I brushed it with a little olive oil.  (I found this cast iron grill pan for 6 bucks at Goodwill!)

~Butter one side of each piece of bread and place bottom slice in the pan.
~Pile on the toppings!  I did it in this order:  chicken, tomatoes, bacon cheese, mayo.

I had another cast iron pan I was going to put on top, but the bottom is nasty so I just used this skillet and pressed down.  Seemed to work pretty well.

~Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and you get some nice grill marks.  I flipped and then used my skillet to press down on the sandwiches.

My husband said this was the best panini he has ever had.  High praise from a man who has quite the discerning palate.  :-)

Oh, and I didn't make these for the boys, they had grilled cheese and were as happy as hogs in mud.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What's Cookin'

I made this yesterday.  So delicious.  Definitely the best Chinese meal I have ever made at home.  I'm going to remember this way to cook the chicken to make with other Asian favorites, like sesame and orange chicken.  It was a bit spicy so I'll reduce the chili paste next time.

Wed~Chicken and gravy with biscuits, green beans
Thurs~Chicken and Bacon Panini with spicy chipotle mayo, cucumber salad

Fri~PRTS graduation, hot dogs for boys
Sat~Pizza, cold veggies
Sun~Chicken noodle soup, artisan bread

Pleasure and Sorrow

I walked a mile with pleasure;
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
for all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne'er a word said she;
But,oh, the things I learned from her
when sorrows walked with me.

Robert Browning Hamilton "Along the Road"

I found this poem here.  This blog tells the story of Ian and Larissa.  Check out this post to hear their moving story.