Monday, March 29, 2010

My kitchen helper

Here is one thing I know for sure, whenever I go into the kitchen I have an assistant. She immediately gets her stool and joins me. She is helping whether you want it or not. She really is interested in learning how to crack eggs, measure and mix. And with a face like this who can say no!

Craig's List

I posted two items on Craig's List this weekend. One of our 2 toddler beds (Kids #2 and #3 have moved into a regular bed) and a wooden rocking horse. As of today, I have sold them both...with no fuss! I made $80. In addition, hubby has rotated his own tires (he longs to be alone in the garage) saving us $20 bucks. My last big shopping trip brought us a savings of $30 in coupons. My total savings is $130.

I have purchased sandals for kid #3 on sale ($15) and 4 pairs of shorts for kid #2 on sale and using GAP rewards ($17).

Here is my updated totals:
Savings for the year: $1843.93
Left for summer clothes: $173.00

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Last week was my hubby's birthday. He is 24 days older than me! The kids and I made him this super cute sunflower cake. I found it on my friend's blog She is REALLY talented. This was something in my skill set. The kids had tons of fun.

PS This is also my attempt with pictures. I promise they will get better!

Meal Planning This Week

Here is the plan:

Monday: Chili cheese fries
Tuesday: Pork roast and risotto
Wednesday: Soup and Sandwich night (or leftover chili)
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Kid #2 birthday choice (my guess, her favorite mac and cheese)
Saturday: Dinner with family
Sunday: Easter Dinner with Papa and Nana

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

Monday: Round Steak and Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday: Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese
Wednesday: Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday: Chicken and Rice
Friday: Fish and Fries
Saturday: Chili
Sunday: BBQ Pork

My kids are really enjoying knowing what's for breakfast. Kid# 1 is even able to help with prep as a result. There are no arguments, no I really want ____! There is some wiggle room in the menu like bagels or toast, pancakes or french toast, hot or cold cereal. The fruit and beverage changes too based on what came in the co-op share or what juice or milk I have available. More on meal prep in another post.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And 1 more makes 6!

I have recently announced to family and friends that I am expecting a baby due this August. My children are thrilled. I get everything from the "Are you crazy?" to "Congratulations". Truth is, I have wanted to have at least 4 children my whole life. If I would have married younger and had children sooner it might have been more. My hubby and and I have had no trouble getting pregnant (Sorry for those of you that find that TMI!), but being pregnant has not always been easy for me. This is my sixth pregnancy. My first ended in miscarriage. It was horribly sad and lonely. That sadness was muted by the second pregnancy that resulted in kid #1. Although I had horrible morning sickness, I was never so happy to be vomiting (Again with the TMI!) About a year later we were pregnant for a third time. It was a perfect pregnancy and a lovely delivery. However, at four months old we learned of the prenatal birth defects kid #2 had suffered and pregnancy #4 was filled with high risk specialists and late nights worrying. And then we waited. I had been pregnant 4 times in 3 and a half years and we had one miscarriage, a child with Celiac Disease (kid #1), one with significant medical issues (kid #2) and a newborn. Finally, I knew I wanted "just one more" and I also knew I wasn't "getting any younger" so hubby and I began to discuss baby #4. Last summer we found out that baby #4 was on the way and due in February. We were all thrilled. My kids were so excited. At dinner we would talk about were that baby would sit, sleep, be called. We had all the prenatal tests. I had seen 3-4 ultrasounds. Then on a routine movement...I was devastated. We all were. After 11 of the longest hours of my life I delivered a small, but perfectly developed baby girl. We named her Mary Grace. Because I prayed Hail Mary, full of Grace...for 11 hours!

And now we are pregnant again. It feels different, I feel movement. We have past the time in the pregnancy where I lost Mary Grace, so I was finally ready to tell. And now pregnancy #6, our sixth try to make of family of six. And a tiny guardian angel watching over all of us. God planned it perfectly if you ask me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Meal Planning This Week

My dinner planning went so well last week that I am at it again...who knew how much easier dinner prep would be went the decision is already made!

Monday: Pasta Alfredo
Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner
Wednesday: Irish Flag Stew From Simple Kids (
Thursday: Taco Pizzas
Friday: Homemade Mac and Cheese
Saturday: Dinner at church
Sunday: Pork Roast

Also, I am setting a breakfast menu. I think it will be easier for the kids to know what they can expect what's for breakfast and easier for me to get things started in the morning.

Here's the plan:

Monday: Waffles or Pancakes
Tuesday: Cereal
Wednesday: Eggs
Thursday: Fruit, Yogurt and granola
Friday: Toast or bagels
Rotation on the weekend depending on plans
Baked Goods or Big Breakfast

Tuesdays and Thursday are the mornings all the kids need to get to school, so faster breakfasts on those days will be great.

I am on my way to getting things organized!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Purging in Phases

Well, I have slowly, but surely started to get rid of stuff. Today I did our coat closet and the books in the kids rooms. I was shocked...well no too shocked, at the amount of coats I have. I got rid of 4 of my own coats and at least that many hat, scarf, mitten combos. I limited all of us to one winter coat (and snow pants for the kids), one "spring" jacket (also suitable for fall!), one rain coat and a dress coat for hubby and I. That is 17 coats right there!!! And I got rid of some. I had 2 denim jackets, 2 rain coats, 3 winter coats, and the shawl that Martha Stewart wore when she was released from prison (a copy!). I need my hubby to go through his coats. His collection includes more coats for his many outdoorsy pursuits: hunting clothes, rain gear, and the always handy Carhartt collection. I want to send those down to his workshop, but I have too much of my own stuff filling that space. It will all happen by the end of the purge. Once I get it all upstairs to be loaded into the car for the trip to the Salvation Army, I will take a picture and you can marvel at my progress! (or be disgusted by the excess!)

Next, I explained to my children that they were to clean out their bookshelves and that each of them would be able to save 20 books each. (For a house total of 60) I did not count books for sentimental value, like those given at baptisms or by grandparents, because those are keepers for sure. Kid # 1 cleared out his entire bookshelves and began with the keep pile, the give away for sure pile and the "Do I have to get rid of this?" pile. (Do you think he has watched an episode or 2 of Clean House?) We have filled 2 Sam's Club sized Pampers boxes with books for the local library's book sale. Kid # 1 emptied an entire shelf and has room for his invention box, chemistry set and microscope all on the other shelf. He was so proud of himself! My daughters have had a harder time, but luck out when they both agree on a book. That means there is one extra they get to keep. At 4 and 5 years old, it is a bit harder to part with things, but they are getting it.

I feel great about involving my kids in this process. My first inclination was to do it without them, but it is so much easier for them to get rid of the stuff when it is up to them. My goal for this week is to get the first round of stuff out of here and post the larger items on Craig's List. I also have a few large items to take to the children's resale shop. I am feeling lighter already.

Monday, March 8, 2010

This week's meal plan

So I have been following lots of blogs where moms plan their meals for the week. It saves time, money, and effort during the week. I have always thought it was a good idea. I have even tried it a few weeks, but never anything consistent. So, in an effort to make dinner time more enjoyable for me I have decided to plan the meals for the week and every week!

Here is what's for dinner this week:
Mon: Breakfast (eggs, sausage, toast and fruit)
Tues: Chicken Caesar salads (I got beautiful Romaine lettuce at the co-op this week)
Wed: Soup and Sandwiches (We have religious education until 6)
Thurs: Roast in the Crock pot and roasted vegetables
Fri: Baked Potato Bar!!!(No meat=Lent)
Sun: Roasted whole chicken and rice

I will also be packing the leftovers in lunches (for hubby too) in an effort to save more $ by buying lunches less.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lands End Rocks!

I love Lands' End!! They have super stuff. It is durable, wears well, and hands down nicely. The Sears department store in my area carries the brand. Their clearance items ROCK! Last year I got kid #1 his winter clothes for this year. It was a $129 coat and $40 snow pants and I got it for $39.99. He will be able to wear it next year (unless he grows a ton!!)

But the reason I and writing to sing the praises of Land's End is because of a broken shoe. My son LOVES the Lands' End Weatherly Shoes. He has had 3 pairs of them! They are waterproof suede and zip. (Yes, he is 7, but hates to tie his shoes and I refuse to do it!) The pair we bought this fall just broke! The zipper on the left shoe broke. I emailed them to see if there were anymore in stock. Unfortunately they didn't, but they sent me a prepaid label to return them for a credit!!!! That means kid #1's sandals will be from Lands' End. It is their policy to replace (or credit) if the product is defective. A friend of mine had the same experience with the zipper on a winter coat for her kid!

Thanks Lands' End!!

Resale recap

So, I sold the outgrown clothes of my three children last weekend and made $200! I took the items that didn't sell to the resale shop and sold a few pieces to a friend and made another $50. As I posted before, I am using the $ to buy the kids their summer stuff. Here is the girls are 21 months apart and nearly the same size. They have also grown a bit, so there was some handing down and a bit of repurposing. I sorted through my son's T-shirts and realized...he is all set.

I went to the resale shop and purchased a few things when I traded in the unsold mom to mom sale stuff. I spent $45.00. I got some summer separates for Kid #s 2 and 3 and a cool Michigan jersey and shorts for Kid #1.

Here is a list of what we need:

Kid #1: Needs sandals, a bathing suit and a few pairs of cotton shorts
Kid #2: Needs sandals and a few pairs of cotton shorts
Kid #3: Needs sandals and a few pairs of cotton shorts

I have a plan for kid #1's sandals (another post). So, as of right now I have $205.00 left of the $. I'll let you know how it goes. I am going to check the website for more shopping opportunities.