Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Meal Planning Basics

What's for dinner tonight...???...!!! This seriously used to be my most dreaded question. I would sit at my desk and try to think what in the world am I going to fix for supper, I wouldn't have meat out so that would lead to having to run to the store multiple times per week to grab fresh meat which would also always lead to buying more than I actually needed which also lead to so much waste in my life. Waste in the form of not using what I already had in my freezer to waste of buying things we didn't really need all of which lead to a GIANT waste of money.

In February of 2016 I started seriously monthly meal planning and I stuck with it so well for quite some time. But then late this fall I found myself back in that same rut of cooking the same things over and over again and making frequent trips to the grocery store mid week. I knew I had to get back at the meal plan. Come the first week of  January I quickly got organized and quickly got back into my meal plans and I can't tell you how much stress they remove from my life. If you'd like to give it a try I am going to outline my process and give you a few tips that I have found help my planning. So basically keep reading.

First and foremost look at your weekly schedule and see what types of meals will fit into that schedule. For us we don't get home until later on Tuesday and Thursday evenings due to gymnastics so this is reflected on my meal plans with crock pot meals or super quick meals that I can do the bulk of the prep for the night before. I will point out that I only meal plan Monday through Friday nights basically because, I do my weekly grocery shopping on Saturday's so this is the evening I typically try out new recipes, plus we go out on Saturday night some. Then Sunday's are kind of a simple supper, leftovers kind of nights.

Second you need to decide if you are going to do weekly or monthly plans. I do monthly mainly because then I only have to think about it once per month. I lay out my calendar mark out any special dates I have planned, for instance Charlot's birthday dinner out. I then break it down by the week on a piece of notebook paper and write out what the meal will be. I have found this helps with not having chicken 4 nights of the week. I try for one night of each meat product, beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, turkey. Now there are some repeats but this allow for variety in our meals. Get some help with this step ask your kiddos to plan a night of what they want, asks the hubs for ideas (mine actually is pretty helpful in this area if I ask plenty in advance).

Next once your plan is laid out it is critical to make a very detailed grocery list, typically I just go through the meal plan and write everything I am going to need for the entire month, including totals like 4 cans of green beans. Once this list is complete I take an inventory of what I already have at home and cross of the list what I can. Now this might be the crazy part for me but it helps I swear. I rewrite this list by department, produce, meat, frozen, dairy, canned goods, dry goods.

From the list it is time to hit the store, now since I do monthly meal plans I do one big shop day for all that I can for the month, then each week I only have to shop for the fresh produce. I shop as much as possible at Aldi I just save a ton of money there, then I head to Walmart and my local grocery store for the rest.

Once it is all at home and unpacked (the worst part), it's time to start taking that plan into action. Stick the plan on your fridge so it is easily reference. I typically get two nights worth of meat out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge so it is ready to go when I am ready to cook.

This plan has made such a difference in our lives I seriously am a better Momma because of it!

Please let me know if this helps you and any suggestions you have or what works for you! I will take a picture of my actual meal plan and post it when I get home.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A reminder of the importance of blogging...

So I have been a terrible blogger lately I'll be the first to admit it. I want to be better I really do and sometimes it just takes a kick in the rump to do just that. Today I was checkout another ladies blog and I saw all the pictures of her kids from over the years and instantly I knew I had just gotten my kick.

You see I started this whole blog as a way to scrapbook our life that our family and friends could see. As to start off I want to catch you to a little bit of speed in our life. We enjoyed an amazing little Christmas break I was able to be home with the kiddos from the 15th of December until January 3rd. It could not have been more amazing, thinking of Christmas break home with my kids is what gets me through the hot long summer hours of my job.
We enjoyed sleeping in late, going on lunch dates, making Christmas ornaments, playing board games and pretty much just being together. These pictures are a small look at the fun we had.

The Christmas tree and the baby met became friend and nearly came face to face as he nearly pulled it over.

A little snow occurred which called for snow you think she possibly needs new snow pants???

RaRa came home that's a happy pair right there.

And she brought Christopher, Conrad is finding him to be a ok.

Snuggle time reading the night before Christmas. Please don't mind the Hubs creepy facial hair.

Christmas morning joy.

I got many wonderful gifts this year at Christmas more than I deserved but this one was my favorite. Hand selected and made by my sweet daughter. She knows me so well, inside that wrapping paper...a peanut butter cup, that's the way to momma's heart.

This year was the best, I'm pretty sure I say that every year but each and every year I feel more and more blessed to lead the life I do. Thanks for sticking with us and continuing to read.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven Months

I warned all of you that this would more than likely my next post so no my baby didn't age a month a in a week. He just happens to have a momma who slacks a bit in blogging. 

So yes Mr. Conrad is seven, crying a bit, seven months old. He decided to kick his seventh month off with a bang...oh yes he had influenza A. A little scary for momma and daddy but with in a few days he was feeling much better and back to our smiley baby again. This little guy is so much fun, he loves eating especially peas, has four teeth, weighs 15 pounds and is so so so close to crawling. As you can tell by his sweater he is still teething slobber is the norm.

Conrad loves to laugh and squeal and be heard. We kind of refer to it as his dolphin call we hear it all the time.

The previous picture and this one were taken about five minutes apart. I had taken off his clothes which he loves being naked and apparently wanted to stay naked for night because these pj's seriously ticked him off.

This little guys is such a blessing in our life and he is so so loved. My heart is so full when I see the two of them together. Their love for one another is like no other. 

Happy seventh month Conrad we sure are glad you are apart of us!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Six Months

Conrad is six months old!!! Well actually he is getting closer to seven months because I did a terrible job of getting these pictures posted in a timely manner. Let's get realistic I have pretty much been a terrible blogger the last few months! I will do better! Anyway I did take these pictures right when he reached this milestone so at minimum I have the photos dated correctly! Please don't judge when next week I post his seven month pictures, again I will do better!

As you can see I thought a photo shoot in front of the tree would be a great idea. It did make for a few really cute shots but it also made for fists full of fake tree branches. As you can see in the above picture he was pretty great at grabbing ornaments. I was pretty ok with it his sister on the other had nearly had a stroke each time he would take one off. I would have to reminder her that we just have to watch him and take them away.

I think this is his well mother as you can see this ornament was no challenge for me pose and it will promptly be going into my mouth.

At six months this little guy continues to bring so much joy to our lives, he is the happiest baby. I know that everyone has their own opinion but seriously if you have spent much time with this kid you would agree he is happy happy happy. His laugh is so infectious I can't help but laugh right along with him He has one tooth and another nearly through, loves to eat especially peas, and rice cereal with peanut butter. Conrad is also very close to sitting up on his own and would love to crawl but can get just about anywhere with scooting and rolling. 

Conrad you are so loved and adored, Momma, Daddy and Sister Sue wouldn't know what to do with out you! Thanks for joining our crazy and loving to be apart of it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The things she says part 1000 I think...

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I haven't included one of these posts in quite sometime and I have probably missed some hum dingers but I have a few of the Things Charlot says for you today! Oh and there a few from the Hubs included so that there is proof that I am not the cause of all the crazy in our home!
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I fixed cheeseburger sliders for supper one evening...granted I am aware that Charlot isn't a huge fan of burger in general I am trying to expand her horizons! She actually ate the burger without a ton of fuss so I thought I was getting somewhere. Until I heard this...

"Conrad your sister almost had a heart attack eating that!"

Well thank you very much I am so glad my meals provide bodily harm.

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We are heading out one morning for school and we discuss many things on our drive. This particular morning Conrad was on her mind.

"Momma Conrad is the cutest thing ever...well besides baby pigs"

I laugh really loud

"What they are really cute"

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One morning we are getting ready to head to school as I am helping her get out of truck to walk into the school I see her with her hand completely down her pants.

"Charlot what are you doing"

"WHAT I was just checking if I have underware on...felt like I didn't...but I did!"

Thank you Jesus and off to the bathroom we went to wash her hands

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My so amazing husband came in the kitchen one night after supper I'm assuming to give me a kiss and say thanks for dinner so as I am leaning over to accept my praise he says...

"This burp is going to be bad"

Me "Oh yea"

"Yea I just drank a beer than ate milk and cookies with's going to be BAD"

Me "Lovely"

"I knew you'd love that"

Yes I have managed to remain married to this man...
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So even though she isn't a burger lover if you hand her some garlic bread to go with spaghetti sauce she is all in. This occured one evening as I was trying to fill my plate.

"Shoo Shoo!!!"

What are you doing? As I see her waving her arms over her plate.

"I'm shooing this heat away from my spaghetti!"

I said nothing else and asked no more.
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This came from the hubs via a text message one night.

"Apparently our child likes pigs better than cows because of their poop"

Oh yea?

"She just said pig poop is more like my poop and cow poop well yuck it's like SLAW on PIZZA"

Say what?

"I'm just telling you what she said"

I can't look at those two foods the same again!
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Here's another hubs moment...

Sitting on the couch one night after the fall festival I pretty sure I was going to ask him something very thought provoking but then this happened.

Hubs...Do you ever... (before I could even finish my sentence)

"Envy the life of a Carnie Man...Yes all the time."

And we were done at that point.

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This last one tugs at my heart and makes me laugh all at the sametime.

Charlot and I were discussing Christmas last night and she was telling me all the people who were watching you to make sure you were being good.

"Well God, and Jesus, and Santa plus All those people up there" She points up...

Me-The people in heaven?

"Yes of course"

Me- Oh ok, so do you know anyone in heaven?

"Yea Papa Jones"

Me- Yes that true

"I wish he knew Conrad, I wish he could have held him"

Me- Me too sweetie me too

"I really liked papa Jones he was silly and he gave me Kisses at church" (the chocolate kind) "You know sometimes grandma Linda does that still"

Me- Yes she does

"But she hasn't lately...I'm going to need to check on that...what did the store run out of kisses!"

I just laughed and laughed

Just a little sliver of my everyday life. I love these memories and pray that other parents will still let my kid hang out with theirs.