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Showing posts from January, 2016

Books that I read for fun in January 2016

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Over the last year and a half, I started documenting the books that I read for fun (and not just for review purposes).  I have decided that I need to continue that as reading is important part of how I relax. Books that I read for fun are books that I have not been asked to review and that I have chosen to read, well because I like to read. In 2015, I read a total of 49 books! This year, 2016, I am aiming to read 52 books. 

So how did I do in January: 

Well, I did AWESOME!!!! Sickness, dealing with lice, a snow day, and loss of work days meant more days at home and time to escape reality. I read a TON this month. I don't expect to continue this amount all year, but this is a great start! 

FICTION:::

I picked up a couple of Susan Mallery books at the library and let me say that I am hooked. I read her Lone Star Sisters series over the course of a couple days (Under Her Skin, Lip Service, Straight from the Hip, and Hot on her Heels). Let me tell you, I could not put the series down! I…

Stomach flu x4

You read that right. 4 of us in our house have been battling the stomach flu.

It started on Sunday, when Benjamin threw up in the morning and then had a little bit of diarhea. By Monday though he seemed to be fine, so we thought maybe it was something he ate....

Monday afternoon, after Rebecca got home, she said her stomach was hurting after lunch. Then she threw up all over the couch.....

Then about half an hour later, Bill started throwing up....

Okay, so I have one sick kid and a sick husband, I can deal with this....

THEN, about 8:30, I started throwing up....

Bill and I were up almost all night Monday night into Tuesday. Thank goodness we have 2 bathrooms. Rebecca thankfully, did not throw up once she went to sleep.

Tuesday morning, Benjamin woke up with diarhea. Only Jacob was unfazed. Sent him to school with a note to teacher to keep an eye on him.

Yesterday, as the day went on Bill started feeling much better. I was very weak and achy and had a fever. Rebecca was also achy. Be…

Crockpot Lasagna Soup...more casserole like....

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One of my many unwritten goals this year is to try more new recipes. I feel like we have gotten into a rut with our menu and the kids wanting to eat the same things over and over and over again. So I decided to try and make a new recipe at least 2 times a month. I would ideally like to make a new recipe each week, but I am also a realist and know that that may not happen.
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Well yesterday for dinner I made new recipe #2 for the year:  Crockpot Lasagna Soup. (I originally saw the recipe on Facebook, but the link will take you to the Family Fresh Meals blog that features the recipe.)


This was pretty easy to make and most of the work was done in the Crockpot. I did brown the ground beef before I put it in the Crockpot, although the original recipe said that you did not have too. I am anal about my ground beef being done though, so I had to have it browned before and that way …

What are we eating this week?

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One of the things that I want to do in 2016 is to plan our dinner menus weekly and post them here for accountability.Breakfasts are usually yogurt and fruit or cereal and fruit for the kids and Bill and I find whatever we are in the mood for. Lunch is usually something quick for Benjamin (chicken nuggets, corn dog, PB and J) with fruit and leftovers for Bill and I. During the school year, Rebecca and Jacob get free lunch at their school. That leaves dinner for the family....

I started menu planning at the beginning of the year and I will say that with a few exceptions, it has worked!





HOW DID WE DO LAST WEEK???
MONDAY::: Turkey, stuffing, green beans, yams, gravy---YES

TUESDAY::: Taco boats, mexican rice, corn--YES

WEDNESDAY::: Lasagna soup (new recipe) and garlic toast--NOPE-- BUT we ended up moving the Thursday meal to this day, so we had the grilled chicken, chicken rice and peas.

THURSDAY::: grilled chicken, chicken rice, peas--We had this on Wednesday night, I moved Saturdays m…

Just not feeling it

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Yeah that is me! LOL I just have been feeling off all week and just kind of meh. Not really sure what is going on. I'm not really depressed. I'm not really consciously anxious about anything. Just feeling meh! There are a lot of things that I need to be doing...laundry, organizing, working on my part-time job, etc. But I just ain't feeling it. I know, I know. I just need to get off my butt and do something but I don't have the motivation. It is cold (thankfully no snow here) and I just don't want to do anything.

Do you ever those kinds of week?  What do you do to get out of the meh mood?

Love the Skin You're In Lock-in

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Saturday night and Sunday morning, Rebecca and I attended her American Heritage Girls troop lock-in. The theme was "Love the Skin You're In." It goes along with the theme that everyone is created beautiful in God's eyes and we need to love who we are because of that. Rebecca had a lot of fun. We had 17 girls from her troop attend and it was a pretty fun evening.

There was team building games....


"I Am...." poetry writing.....


Craft time making an " I Am...." box with affirmations about things they like about themselves....


Team relay racing....


And free time where apparently Rebecca has become an alien! LOL


Overall, Rebecca had a blast. I didn't get very much sleep but that is how it is with lock-ins. We got home around 11:30 on Sunday morning. The boys had had fun at home. They watched football and had man's night. I did end up taking a 3 hour nap on Sunday; I must have needed it. I am glad that Rebecca had a fun time and am glad that I …

What are we eating this week?

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One of the things that I want to do in 2016 is to plan our dinner menus weekly and post them here for accountability.Breakfasts are usually yogurt and fruit or cereal and fruit for the kids and Bill and I find whatever we are in the mood for. Lunch is usually something quick for Benjamin (chicken nuggets, corn dog, PB and J) with fruit and leftovers for Bill and I. During the school year, Rebecca and Jacob get free lunch at their school. That leaves dinner for the family....

I started menu planning at the beginning of the year and I will say that with a few exceptions, it worked!





HOW DID WE DO LAST WEEK???
MONDAY::: Meatloaf, green beans, augratin potatoes-- YEP

TUESDAY::: Waffles, sausage, and fruit---YEP

WEDNESDAY::: Crockpot orange chicken (new recipe) and rice and green beans-- YEP (This new recipe was a keeper!)

THURSDAY::: Cheese quesadillas, corn, carrots-- YEP

FRIDAY::: Pizza rolls and fruit-- YEP

SATURDAY::: Chicken patties/chicken wings ??? (Bill is home with the boys, as I …

Tried a new recipe: Crockpot Orange Chicken

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One of my many unwritten goals this year is to try more new recipes. I feel like we have gotten into a rut with our menu and the kids wanting to eat the same things over and over and over again. So I decided to try and make a new recipe at least 2 times a month. I would ideally like to make a new recipe each week, but I am also a realist and know that that may not happen.

Well yesterday for dinner I made new recipe #1 for the year: Crockpot Orange Chicken.


I first saw the recipe on facebook, and the original recipe that I followed can be found at The Frugal Girls.com. I loved that it was only 4 ingredients. The only thing I had to buy was the marmalade.

Overall, I thought it was really good. I served it over rice and with green beans on the side. Bill had 2 helpings and said I need to add it to our repertoire of recipes. I also liked how simple it was to make.

I will definitely be making this again!

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Fun in the snow yesterday

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Yesterday the kids had a snow day off from school....so after Bill came home from work, we bundled everybody up and headed outside to enjoy the snow.


It was so cold, with wind chills in the single digits. The wind was fiercely cold, so we were only out about half an hour or so. The kids had a blast throwing snowballs and making snow angels.




Rebecca tried to make a snow fort but Benjamin kept taking all her snow.


I didn't get a picture of it, but Benjamin kept trying to make a snow angel, but instead of having his legs and arms on the ground, he would put them up in the air. Silly boy! When all was said and done, we came in and I made hot chocolate, with marshmallows, for everyone. It was a fun distraction for a bit!

Do you have snow where you are?  What is your favorite "snow" activity?

Snow day today and lice

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Last night I went to bed with the knowledge that they were calling for snow overnight and that I might have  tricky commute to get Ben to school this morning. Well I woke up around 3 and didn't see much snow on the ground so I thought maybe they were wrong. Around 5:30 I was awoken by my cell phone going off with a message that the schools were on a 2 hour delay. Okay so I reset my alarm and went back to sleep. Around 7am, just as Bill was getting ready to leave for work, I got another message saying that schools were closed for the day. Which means a SNOW DAY today! (Figures absolutely no snow and warm temperatures over Christmas and now we get freezing weather and snow!).


I will admit that the snow is pretty to look at. We got several inches and it is still snowing off and on as I type this up. The temperature is supposed to drop later today so am not sure if the kids will be able to go out and play or not.


The birds on the porch are happy that I refilled the bird feeder yester…

What are we eating this week?

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One of the things that I want to do in 2016 is to plan our dinner menus weekly and post them here for accountability.Breakfasts are usually yogurt and fruit or cereal and fruit for the kids and Bill and I find whatever we are in the mood for. Lunch is usually something quick for Benjamin (chicken nuggets, corn dog, PB and J) with fruit and leftovers for Bill and I. During the school year, Rebecca and Jacob get free lunch at their school. That leaves dinner for the family....

I started menu planning last week and I will say that with a few exceptions, it worked!

Here is how we did last week:

MONDAY:::  Chili and grilled cheese sandwiches-- We ended up having the fish, rice and broccoli, that was planned for Tuesday, this night as I had to tutor late.

TUESDAY::: Fish, rice and broccoli-- We had the chili and grilled cheese from Monday. I wasn't feeling all that well, but hubby helped make the grilled cheese.

WEDNESDAY::: Hot dogs on buns with chili sauce and baked beans-- YEP (minu…

Thankful Sunday

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Today is Sunday and I have decided that today is the day that I will be taking advantage of being present with my family and not being online. (I am writing this on Saturday night to be posted on Sunday morning.) With that being said, I would like to also take this opportunity to be thankful for all the blessings in my life.

I am thankful that my husband stepped up to the plate this week and helped out a lot when I wasn't feeling good. He made dinner a couple nights and cleaned up late Friday night for me. 

I am thankful that my kids get a kick out of watching birds on my bird feeder that they painted for me last Mother's Day. There are times we have 25+ birds on our front porch. 

I am thankful that we have a working washer and dryer and hot water.

I am thankful for my dad. He gave Bill and I a gift this week that we were totally not expecting. 

So on this Sunday, I have so much to be thankful for and have many blessings in my life. So I am going to go and enjoy those blessings a…

I need to get stuff done

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The last few days I have not felt well--coughing, low energy, Aunt Flo showed up for the week, etc. I have gotten the necessities done (with Bill's help!), but things are starting to pile up and annoy me. Today is the day I NEED to get stuff done...if only for my sanity.

These are the things that I want to get done:
Laundry--- We have at least 4 loads to do, probably more. Clean up mud room/ pantry-- need to figure out new system for coats, gloves, etc. Straighten up kitchen-- put dishes away, sweep, wipe down countersEmpty all trash from upstairs and downstairs bathroomsGo through newspapers and pull extras aside for MomFinish putting away Christmas decorations-- need to pack up kids' trees from their bedrooms I am sure there are more things to do, but this will at least keep me busy for a while.... Now if I could just find the energy to get started :)

What do you have on your to-do list today?

I really need to expand my travels

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Earlier today I was on facebook and I saw that several of my friends had posted maps of all the states in the USA that they had visited. I have one friend who only needs to visit 4 states to have visited them all. I know that I am in the minority in that I have not visited very many states at all. Growing up we never really went on vacations until I was a teenager. Then we could only go places where we could drive, as my mother refuses to fly in an airplane.

So after seeing where others have been, I decided to see what my map looked like.....



Create Your Own Visited States Map

My map is definitely a lot smaller than others. But that is okay. I do hope to expand my travel area in the future; I have several places that I would like to visit on my bucket list that would add states to my map. These include the Baseball Hall of Fame (New York), the Georgia Aquarium (Georgia), the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Lambeau Field (Wisconsin), whale watching in Alaska, among other places. This year we ar…

Day of rest update, chest cold, tutoring update and CT results

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On Sundays I have decided to take a day of rest from social media (for the most part). This includes facebook, blogs, pinterest, etc. I might check my email once Sunday night due to my tutoring business, but I will do so from my phone so there is no temptation to hop on facebook or other sites.

Sunday was the first one of the new year and let me say, I think I am addicted way more than I thought!

Sunday morning, I took the kids to their PSR class (Religion class at our church) and after I dropped them off, I decided to check facebook. I know that I said that I wouldn't at all, but the goal is to be more present with my family and friends, and the kids were in class and no one that I knew was in the gym where I was sitting and waiting. Well I was on there for about 10 minutes or so and a friend showed up. So I turned my phone off and we sat and chatted for the rest of the time. After we came home, there were several many times during the day that I was like I should check facebook…

What are we going to eat this week?

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In the past, I have tried to follow different menu planning themes only to lose interest in following their format after a couple of weeks. Well, this past year, I have menu planned off and on. The weeks that I menu planned, our lives seemed to run much smoother. The weeks that I didn't menu plan, we ate out more, spent more money and I felt discombobulated. So one of the things that I want to do in 2016 is to plan our menus weekly and post them here for accountability.

Breakfasts are usually yogurt and fruit or cereal and fruit for the kids and Bill and I find whatever we are in the mood for. Lunch is usually something quick for Benjamin (chicken nuggets, corn dog, PB and J) with fruit and leftovers for Bill and I. That leaves dinner....

So the question is: What's for dinner this coming week??

MONDAY:::  Chili and grilled cheese sandwiches

TUESDAY::: Fish, rice and broccoli

WEDNESDAY::: Hot dogs on buns with chili sauce and baked beans

THURSDAY::: Hamburger helper and peas

FRIDAY…