Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 1/19/15

Happy MLK day!  The kids are off of school so things are little more chaotic at our house today than they usually are.

We are trying to finish some projects today.  Science Fair needs wrapped up.  So does a religion venn diagram and some AR reading.  Can I just vent here for a minute?

What is with all the major projects at school?  All of these things require constant parent help and supervision.  I went to school.  I'm good in that department.  But I feel like I'm back in school all over again.  The work load has been overwhelming.  Some days I feel like the teacher and perhaps I should have just home schooled.  I feel like I'm home schooling as it is.

**  end of vent.  Thank you.  I feel better now ;)

Not much is going on here.  I'm planning Older Boys birthday party.  I've set up a Game Truck to come to the house.  Now I'm just waiting for all the RSVP's to come in so I can finalize the food arrangements.  It's hard to come up with an activity that is 1.  Cost effective  2.  Pleasing to 13 year old boys.  I hope they like the Game Truck.  My boys love video games so I'm thinking it should be ok.

I'm also in the process of signing the Little Monkey for preschool next year.  How can it be time for him to go to preschool?  Wasn't he JUST born?  Oh time, please slow down.
He'll go to the 3 year old class and it's a couple days a week just for a half day.  He won't be three until August.  I hope he's ready.  I remember when Middle Man went to preschool he cried for the first 3 months.  If the Little Monkey does that we'll just stop and try again after the holidays.  I'm not going to push it.  Secretly, I'd like to just keep him home with me every day next year, but I do think school will be good for him.  So I'll sign him up and weep a little every day that I drop him off.

Menu Plan

Friday:  Baked tilapia, salad, steamed veggie

Saturday:  Pizza night - was supposed to be family night but both Older Boy and Middle Man ended up sleeping a friends house.

Sunday:  Whole roasted chicken, Brussels sprouts, brown rice, rolls (I baked 2 whole chickens:  one for dinner and one to use on salads or make chicken salad with later in the week)

Monday:  Buffalo chicken tater tot casserole - I hope they like this.  I've never made it before.  I'm thinking of only putting blue cheese on half of it, just in case.  I'm pretty sure Middle Man isn't a fan of blue cheese.

Tuesday:  Chicken salad sandwiches, vegetable

Wednesday:  Red Beans and Rice

Thursday:  Clean up day/ or breakfast for dinner

Lunch:  sandwiches, salads, or Potato Soup

Breakfast:  Toast, sausage, yogurt, smoothies and fruit

Have a blessed week ahead!!

For more MPM, visit Laura

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's 6 F degrees here this morning.  Oh my, it's a bit chilly.  This is totally normal for Northeast Ohio, but I hate it.  I'm not a fan of winter to begin with, but when it's overly cold, I'm ready to  move.  Last week the boys were off of school Wednesday - Friday due to cold temps.  The wind chills had gotten down to -20 F.  It's just too cold for kids who have to wait for buses (and too cold for winter-hating moms who have to drive kids to school too).

But since Ohio State won the National Championship last night, it makes living in this freezing state a little more tolerable.  I didn't go to Ohio State (I went to Edinboro University which is more of a wrestling school than a football school), but I adopt Ohio State as my favorite college team.  So yes, I did stay up to watch the game last night and am loading up on coffee this morning.  What a great game!  It's nice that a team from Ohio has done so well (clearly our professional teams don't give us much to cheer about).

Other than that, not much is going on around here.  In a few weeks, Older Boy will turn 13.  I can't believe I'll have a teenager in the house.  I should probably start planning his party.  13 is a special one.  He's already blowing me teenage attitude.  I see good times ahead (she says sarcastically).  Since his birthday is in February, we never know what we are going to get.  A couple of years, his birthday party has been snowed out.  Whatever we do, I'd like to keep it simple.  And I'd like to keep it inexpensive.

I still feel like I'm trying to get caught up from Christmas.  I feel like I'm behind on all my cleaning and I just can't get back on schedule.  I need a house keeper like Mrs. Hughs from Downton Abbey.

I didn't post a meal plan this week, but I did do one.  So far so good.  Eating organic, unprocessed foods is blowing up the grocery budget though, but I've given up trying to get that thing under control.  I'm waving the white flag on that one.

So that's all that's really going on around here.  Nothing exciting and sometimes that's a good thing.

Stay warm!!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 1/05/15

Happy New Year!!  2015 is here.  It's a new year with new promise.  Praying that we all have a happy and healthy 2015.

We spent New Years Eve at home with the boys.  We watched The Karate Kid and played Just Dance 2015 on the Xbox.

We did our usual fondue night and the kids were in bed by 9:30 and Mom and Dad were in bed by 10:00 pm.  In years past, we stayed up until midnight but it really only made everyone exhausted and the kids had a hard time catching up on sleep.

Over the weekend, we took down all our Christmas decorations.  I realize that technically the Epiphany isn't until January 6, but since we celebrated it at mass yesterday, I feel like we're still "legal" in taking down the decorations.  Some people will keep them up until the The Baptism Of Our Lord, but I needed to get this house back into some normalcy.  I got the main level cleaned, but the basement needs done as does the upstairs which is 3 weeks over due on dusting.

This weeks menu got tweaked a bit due to New Year's but so far so good.

Menu Plan for 1/05/15:

Friday:  Tuna melts and oven fries

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, steamed broccoli

Sunday:  Taco Lettuce Wraps (more like cups)

Wednesday:  Orange Sriracha Chicken Legs, veggies and baked potato

Thursday:  Clean Up Day

So that's what we are having this week.  I have some kind of cold/sinus issue/crud so things are subject to change based on the health of the cook.

Have a wonderful and blessed week ahead!

For more MPM, visit Laura at

Monday, December 29, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 12/29/14

I can't believe this is the last menu plan of 2014.  What a great year it's been.  We've been pretty blessed this year.  We did have some friends and family that have or are currently going through some difficult health issues, and we had Middle Man's asthma attack and severe allergic reaction in the hospital, but we are all doing well and are here together at the end of 2014.  And for that I feel truly blessed.

This week starts the New Year and all of the holiday food has been cleaned up.  Thank goodness because I'm ready to get back to normal eating.

Menu Plan for 12/29/14

Friday:  Left over Christmas  food

Saturday:  Left over Christmas food

Sunday:  Oven baked BBQ chicken, rice, baked beans and salad

Monday:  Breakfast for dinner:  Pancakes, home fried potatoes

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Night

Wednesday:  New Years Eve:  Cheese Fondue with apples, broccoli, carrots, gf bread; Chocolate Fondue with strawberries, pears, marshmallows, gf pretzels; Brown Sugar BBQ Drumettes

Thursday:  New Years Day:  Traditional pork dinner at my brother and sister in law's house

Lunch:  Sandwiches, salad, bean and cheese burritos

Breakfast:  Cereal, sausage, pancakes, yogurt

Snacks:  Cheese, yogurt, olives, popcorn, hummus with veggies

On Saturday, I took a few hours to organize my recipes.  I have hundreds on Pinterest and what feels like hundreds of cookbooks.

Follow Janeen Alberts Zumerling's board Dinner Ideas on Pinterest.

I went through and printed out around 2 dozen of our favorites and put those in a folder.  I'm going to try to use those recipes for the base of my menu planning and maybe sprinkle in a few different ones each month.  My January menu plan is already completed and I just have to grocery shop for these items each week.  I'm hoping this simplifies the process.  Only time will tell.

I'm also making a concerted effort to buy less and less processed foods.  I'd like to cut out anything with more than 5 ingredients and buy mostly whole foods.  So far so good for this week.

So happy New Year Interents!  Wishing you a happy and blessed new year!

For more MPM, visit Laura at

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

I tried to put this up yesterday, but the computer died.  It took me forever to make a slide show of all our Christmas Morning pictures and the battery just went out.  I'm going to put it up here, but be warned, I think there are over 70 pictures.  I made it for some family members that weren't able to be with us due to health issues, so it's probably not as interesting for you as I hope it was for them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day (or Hanukkah depending on what you celebrate)!  We had a great day.  The kids had a great time and enjoyed their time with family as much as they did all their presents.

Middle Man didn't really go to sleep on Christmas Eve.  He was pretty much all night and kept coming in our room to ask "If it was time yet?".  That means we didn't get any sleep either and it also means he was totally cranky and exhibiting bad behavior yesterday.  He was lucky it was Christmas... It's hard to ground your kid on Christmas Day.

It's been rather warm here and I'm not sure if it's a cold or allergies but his asthma hasn't been the best either.  We started him on neb treatments and I need to keep an eye on it to make sure it's not escalating.  The lack of sleep does not help his asthma so I need to get him back on track with that too.

Food:  I'll do a "holiday" menu plan at some point.  We ate and ate and ate and ate.  I've been eating like a hog since Thanksgiving and added 7 pounds to the amount of weight I had already needed to lose.  Now is the time to stop and get things back on track there too.  Even though New Years Eve is usually our fondue fat fest, I'm going to start eating better now.  No point in waiting until New Years to get that ball rolling.  And we are ALL going to eat better.  I fear some of us may not be too happy about that.

So happy Day After Christmas!!  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Season (yes, Advent is now over and Christmas has begun).


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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

6 Days Ago...

I started this post with the title "Six Days Until Christmas".  Then I never came back to finish it because I got lost in a vortex of Christmas prep.

So now, we are so close.  And I am so close to being done.

Gifts are bought and wrapped and hidden in the basement where they are under lock and key.  I happen to be the keeper of the key, in case you were wondering.

All cards have been sent.

Grocery shopping done.

And I'm currently cooking and doing food prep.  I made the gluten free, egg free lasagna for Christmas Eve last week and luckily remembered to take it out of the freezer today.

These Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrowns are in the slow cooker for Christmas morning.  I did a whole bunch of subbing of ingredients here because I used what I had on hand.  Obviously I subbed gluten free flour for the regular flour.  And I also subbed frozen home fries for the frozen hash browns and cheddar cheese for the colby cheese.  I had to use what I already had. I also cooked up a tube of breakfast sausage and added that in because obviously all that butter and cheese isn't enough fat (just kidding here!).

I also  have these Weight Watchers Au Gratin Potatoes in the oven.  But I Un-Weight Watchered them by using the full fat versions of the milk and cheese.  Again, it's what I already had on hand.  These will be reheated for Christmas dinner.

There will be ham, green beans with bacon and more.

Maybe all this cheese explains the 7 pounds I've gained...

So I have much to do, but I wanted to stop in to wish everyone a very Merry and Allergy Safe Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

MPM 12/15/14

Christmas is getting close!  I'm not ready.  I'm behind this year.  I do not have my cards out.  I have baked no cookies.  Nothing is wrapped.  I still have gifts to buy.  But I'm trying not to sweat it.  Trying...

Hubs' company Christmas was at our house over the weekend.  Everything has since been cleaned up and I'm now ready to concentrate on finishing up my Christmas to do list.  Deep Breath In, Deep Breath Out...

Menu Plan:

Friday:  Left overs, Shrimp and grocery store sushi (we cooked and cleaned 15 pounds of shrimp that day for the party.  There was NO WAY I was cooking dinner too).

Saturday:  Christmas Party Food

Sunday:  Left Over Christmas Party Food

Monday:  Teriyaki Chicken (slow cooker)

Tuesday:  GF, EF Lasagna, salad, rolls (and regular Lasagna to take to a sick friend) [or possibly just pasta with sauce for us...]

Wednesday:  Fried Cabbage and Sausage

Thursday:  Clean up day or Chicken Tortilla Soup (slow cooker)

Older boy was home from school sick from Tuesday - Thursday last week.  I'm hoping that everyone can stay healthy until we get through the holiday.  We don't have too great a track record on that.

So this week is cards, wrapping and buying.  I also need to get my Christmas menu plan in place.  Which now that I type this out, may just change my Tuesday Lasagna day since I usually make stuffed shells or lasagna for Christmas.  I'll have to think about that...

Have a blessed week ahead!!