Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Wrap Up

Jennifer @ Getting Ahead http://getting-ahead.blogspot.com/2009/01/weekly-wrap-up_30.html (I can't seem to get the hyperlink to work and I don't have time to mess with it, dinners almost done!) is doing a new series on her blog called Weekly Wrap Up. I've been meaning to do it since she started, but haven't found the time (or had anything frugal to talk about ) This week I have the time (I'm a little late, but it's still Friday!) and something to share.
Just today I took Max and Jake to the local hair college and got their hair cut for $4.99 + $1 tip each. Normally we buzz them, but I didn't want to do the buzz this time. Plus, Max has 2 spinner cowliks on the top of his head and his hair is finally long enough that it half way lays down!! Taking them to the hair college is a savings of about $6 a piece. I'm gonna take Jordyn in next week. Si is getting pretty shaggy, too, but he want to grow his out, so I might let him wait awhile.

Most of you (if not all, lol) know I work nights, so in order to save money (Rob only likes to make easy, convenience foods) I try to make dinner before I head to work. Thursday that was just not possible, so I went to Albertsons and got 2 Culinary Circle frozen pizzas and 2 2 liters of Dr Pepper for $5.48. The pizzas are very comparable to DiGiorgno. The Dr Pepper was free with the pizzas, we don't normally drink Dr Pepper, but I guess we will this week, since it's free!

Last night while I was at work I made my grocery lists and pulled all my coupons together and stopped by Smiths on my way home from work, to save me a trip, since Smiths is across town, but fairly close to my work. I spent a total of $25.04 and saved $22.74 a total savings of 48%! I love it!

This afternoon I hit Albertsons and did 2 transactions. On the first one I spent $26.97 and saved a total of $37.97!! Even better! Then next trip I spent a little more, but I bought 15 lbs of hamburger at $1.99 a lb and got 5 packages of skinless chicken breasts for $1.77. Oh, I also got 2 80 oz things of Laundry Soap for $2.49 each! I also had a catalina for a free gallon of milk that I used as well. The second trip I spent $57.72 and saved a total of $63.36. Woohoo! Gotta love it. Can you tell I'm excited? All in all I spent $109.73 out of pocket and saved a total of $124.07. This weeks shopping trips were a little more than I will normally be doing, but I couldn't pass on the great sale on the hamburger because I was down to my last 3 packages. I have been saving coupon money for just that purpose.

I also hit the bread store on the way home from an appointment (it was not out of the way at all) and bought 4 loaves of Grandma Sycamore (my family's favorite) bread and one package of bagels for about $6.

I thought I'd also explain my weekly grocery budget real quick. Well, I'll TRY to be quick about it! I've decided (for now) to budget $100 a week for my family of 6. I am splitting it in half $50/$50 and putting each weeks money in seperate envelopes (I'm doing the envelope/cash only method for groceries and it's working so far) marked current weeks groceries (CWG) and couponing (C). I plan on doing this until I get a nice sized stockpile, then I will lower the grocery budget. Each week I look at the sales flyers and put together my stockpile/C lists. Stuff I know we'll use in the future and I can buy in bulk because it's free or dirt cheap. The CWG list is stuff we need for meals that week and household items. I still need to do that shopping trip, I need to sit down and make my menu for the week before I make my list. Any leftover money at the end of the week from the C or CWG's envie gets put into the C envie for future coupon shopping. That's how I had extra money to really stockpile on the hamburger and I also bought extra crackers and cereal. I hope that all made sense!

Oh and this week Rob put new brakes/rotors and an oil change on my van all at home. I have no clue how much money that saved us, but I'm sure it's alot!! He is also helping a friend who is restoring a car and made $100.

This post turned out way longer than I anticipated, sorry!

Here are some pics of Max and Jake's new 'dos.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dentist appointment

Wednesday all 4 kids had a dentist appointment. We went to a new dentist and I was very impressed by him and his staff. I was really NOT looking forward to taking all 4 of my kids in for an appointment at the same time, but I was even more hesitant about going in 4 different times, or even 2 different times, so we went with the one appointment for all! All 4 kids were EXTREMELY well behaved and I was so proud of all of them! Our appointment was at 1:00 and we were out of there by 2:30. NICE!!

Their waiting room was very impressive. It was set up to look like an Old West Town. They had cute little buildings for the kids to play in and next to the big door where they take you back to the exam rooms was a small kid-sized door! They loved that. The assistant took each kid back individually and did x-rays, then when they were all done with that we went into a large room with 4 beds and dental techs went to town cleaning teeth! Max and Jake were very excited about the tvs in the ceiling with headphones so they could watch a movie while they were being worked on. It was great!

I was very surprised that they all walked away with NO cavities. Yay! Si and Jordyn have to go back to get some teeth sealed, but that won't be a problem. At the end of the exam each kid got a balloon and they got to pick a book. They REALLY liked that.

I was very impressed how the staff handled the kids, they made them feel really at ease and welcome. Max and Jordyn were pretty nervous, but the staff really helped make them feel better. Max was very interested in all that was going on. He got to see the xrays of his teeth and thought it was so cool. Jordyn was the last one to get checked out by the dr and Max noticed and was right next to him, checking out what the dr was doing. I had to pull him out of the way!

Also, Max was cracking his nurse up the whole time she was cleaning his teeth. I'm totally not surpised. She was putting her mask on and he asked her why she was wearing it. She told him it's so you don't have to smell our stinky breath. He (very matter of factly) said Oh, don't you brush your teeth? She just laughed and looked at me then said, yes, we brush our teeth. I actually just brushed mine. He then said, well, I guess sometimes people get stinky breath just because! That kid!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here is another week of menus, plus recipes.
For more Menu Plan Mondays, check out Org Junkie!

Monday: Pronto Beef and Rice from $5 Dinners

Tuesday: Beef Enchiladas

1 lb hamburger
1 C cottage cheese
1 can chopped olives
2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 flour tortillas

SAUCE:
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 can tomato sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
2 tsp chili powder
1 C shredded cheese

In a skillet, brown the hamburger. Drain. Combine with cottage, cheese, olives, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place about 1/3 C filling on each tortilla; roll up. Place tortillas, seam side down, in an ungreased baking dish.

For sauce, saute the onion and green pepper in oil until tender. Add tomato sauce, green chilies, chili powder, sugar and garlic powder. Pour over toritllas. Cover and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Srinkle with cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Wednesday: Easy Chicken Parmesan

1 jar of spaghetti sauce
6 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, divided
6 chicken breasts
1 1/2 C grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Pour suace into baking dish.
Carefully stire in 4 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese. Add chicken; turn over to evenly coat both sides with sauce. Cover with foil.
Bake 30 minutes, uncover.
Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining 3 Tbsp of Parm; continue baking 5 minutes or until chicekn is cooked through.
Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Thursday: German Pizza

1 lb hamburger
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
6 medium potatoes peeled and finely shredded
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 C milk
2 C shredded cheddar cheese

Brown hamburger, onion, green pepper, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Remove meat mixture from skille tand drain fat. Reduce heat to low. Melt butter; spread potatoes over butter and sprinkle with remaining salt. Top with beef mixture. Combine eggs and milk, pour over all. Cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Top with chesse; cover and heat until cheese is melted.

Friday: I leave Friday open, Rob cooks dinner

Saturday: Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/3 C water
3/4 C uncooked rice
2 C fresh or frozen veggies
1 tsp onion powder
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C shredded cheese

Stir the soup, water, rice, veggies and onion powder in a baking dish.
Tope with chicken. season cicken as desired. Cover.
Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until done. Top with cheese.

Sunday: Crock Pot Beef N Noodles

1 rump roast
1 pkg dry onion soup
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg wide egg noodles

Put roast in crock pot in the morning. sprinkle dry oinon soup over top. Dump in soup. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 6 hours.

That evening, boil noodles according to pkg instructions. Break apart the roast. Stir the meat well in the sauce . When the noodles are done, dump them in and stir!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pictures by Grandma

A few weeks ago Rob and I had to make a short trip to Las Vegas, so Grandma watched the kids for us for the day. Thanks again, Jan! She took them on a hike on the Red Hill, with the help of my sil, Jana. Here are some pictures she took of that day.



Jake (in his makeshift leash) and Aunt Jana



Si holding a piece of ice that looks like lace.


Max

Jordyn posing

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

Ok, here is my menu for this week, including recipes!

Monday: Smother Chicken & Green Bean Skillet (Kraft Food & Family Magazine)
Homemade Bread

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups frozen green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Cup shredded cheese

Heat large skillet. Add chicken; cover. Cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet.

Add beans, soup, 1/2 C water and thyme to skillet; cover. Cook 6 minutes, stirring often.

Return chicken to skillet; cook 1 minute or until hot. Top with cheese.

***With meals that call for whole pieces of chicken I usually just dice the chicken and cook it that way. It helps to make the chicken go a little farther with my large family. I also usually use canned green beans, just because I don't really like frozen green beans. I don't know why! I like any other veggie frozen!

Tuesday: Taco Supper Skillet (I'm not sure where I got this recipe)

1/2 lb hamburger
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 1/4 C water
1 1/2 C uncooked wagon wheel pasta
1 1/2 C frozen corn
1 can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 C sour cream
1 C cheese
1 Tbsp chives

1. Cook hamburger

2. Stir in seasoning mix, water, pasta, corn, beans and tomato into hamburger. Heat to boiling, stir. Reduce heat. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes.

3. Stir in sour cream. Remove from heat. Sprinkl with cheese ad chies. Cover and let stand 2-3 minutes for cheese to melt.

Wednesday: Mac & Cheese Lasagne

1 lbe hamburger
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1 pkg Mac & cheese family style dinner
1 C spaghetti sauce
1 C shredded cheese
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Brown meat with garlic powder in large skillet. Meanwhile, prepare dinner as directed. Stir spaghetti sauce into meat mixture. Add dinner; mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese and Parmesan. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook until mixture is heated through and cheese is melted.

Thursday: Sweet n Sour Chicken

6 pieces of chicken
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice, drained
1 each med. green and red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 C or 1 jar (9 oz) sweet and sour sauce
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Hot cooked rice

Preheat oven to 450

Arrange chicken, pineapple and peppers in baking dish. Combine sweet and sour sauce, mustard, soy sauce, flour and ginger, spoon over ingredients.

Cover with foil and back for 35 to 40 minutes, serve over hot rice.

Friday: I leave Friday open. Rob is in charge and he makes something simple like frozen pizza, hamburgers or fish sticks.

Saturday: Harvest Hamburger Casserole

1 lb hamburger, browned and drained
1 C minced onion
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes with liquid, cut up
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
2 C sliced potatoes
1/3 C flour
1 pkg frozen corn, thawed
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 1/2 C shredded cheese

In a mixing bowl, combine beef, onion, tomatoes with liquid, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Pat into a greased casserole dish. Layer with potatoes, flour, corn and green pepper. Bake, covered, at 375 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Sunday: Cacciatore Style Chicken in the crockpot
I'm not going to post this recipe because it's got alot of ingredients and it's long!

For more Menu Plan Monday, go vist Laura at The Organizing Junkie.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stop the Insanity!!

I couldn't think of anything better for the title of this post. It seems like I am hardly home anymore. I am writing this Thursday night, at work, but I think I'll set it to auto post for tomorrow, Friday. I have had appointments every day this week, plus work every day, too! Monday was Jake's Speech Therapy, then grocery shopping. Tuesday was Biolife. Wednesday was volunteering in Max's class. Thursday was Biolife again and then another shopping trip and then cake and ice cream at Jan's (my mil) for my sil, Ruth. I try to keep shopping to one time a week, but there were some things on sale at Albertsons that I didn't want to miss and then the new add came out Wednesday so there were some other things I wanted to get from that sale, but didn't want to wait for my normal shopping day because I missed some good things on the last one by waiting until the end of the sale! I guess I need to tweak my schedule so I can get to the store at the beginning of the sale so I only have to do one trip a week! Friday Si has an appointment at 9:30. I has all of that stuff on top of taking Si to school by 7:30 (whoever thought up that start time should be shot. I really mean it!), then Jordyn and Max out the door by 8:40. Max needs to be picked up at 11:45 Mon-Thur and 10:40 on Fridays. Also, Si needs to be picked up at 2:00 every day. Jordyn walks home with friends, I'm so glad I don't have to pick her up!! Then Mon-Friday I work 4 pm to midnight. It has been nice to have Rob home these last few months helping with the pick ups and drop offs if I need it. It'll be an adjustment when he goes back to work. I can't even imagine the craziness that's going to ensue (is that how you spell it?) when my kids start doing extracurriculars. Which will be soon. We got the flyer for soccer for Max and Jordyn and I've been looking at the community pamphlet for a class for Si. Oh, and I need to get ahold of his Scout Leader and find out when that is!

Wow! That was one long run on paragraph! I'm too lazy to go and fix it, though ;)

Wanna win some free scrapbooking stuff?

Go here and play scrapbook bingo! On the right side of the screen there is a Play Scrapbook Bingo box. Click on it and it will take you to the rules page! Have fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Miracle

I haven't mentioned this on my blog, but I found out yesterday that our Uncle Charlie was released from the hospital on January 13th. He had been in there since December 3rd. He went in for surgery and was expected to stay for one week. There were some complications and ended up in a medically induced coma and obviously stayed much longer than anticipated! Our entire family and many others have been praying and fasting for him. He has made such great progress that really has astounded most people, including his doctors.

I am grateful to his immediate family who kept us all updated daily through a blog they set up for that purpose! It was so nice to be able to log in and see how Uncle Charlie was doing that day. Isn't technology great?!

Our family has witnessed a miracle and I just wanted to let everyone know!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He's too smart for his britches

The boys have a tv with cable in their room. I haven't ever blocked any channels because I have just always kept the remote out of their reach and they've never been too interested in changing the channels anyway. When they wanted to watch something else they would come and get me or their dad and we would change the channel for them. Just today I was walking by the room and noticed that Jake was watching Scooby Doo. It took me a sec to realize that that was a channel they don't ever watch. I started to pay closer attention and realized that Jake has figured out how to push the guide button on the cable box and scroll through the guide until he finds the number (channel) that he wants. He likes to watch channel 7 (PBS) and channel 78 (Nick Jr). I was kinda surpised at the time, but when I think about it I'm not surprised that he figured that out. I guess it's time to figure out how to block channels!

He has also figured out how to get on the computer (when it's turned on and not password protected) and open Internet Explorer, then open favorites and find NickJr.com! He can do it even when there are no icons on the desktop. Max hasn't fitured that one out, yet.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Scrappin' Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of some scrapbooking pages I did the other night! Enjoy!

I'm pretty sure this is my 100th post. Yay, me!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cookies with Grandma






Sometime before Christmas my mother in law, Jan, called and said she wanted the kids to come over and decorate cookies with her. I had to work the day she wanted to do it, so I just dropped the kids off at her house on my way to work and they got to it. I saw these pictures on her computer the other day and thought they were so cute, so I transfered them to my computer to show you guys.

Another Max funny

That kids just cracks me up. This actually happened a few weeks ago. Rob called me one night while I was at work and said that Max came up to him (it was about 6 pm) and said, "Um, Dad? Aren't you going to take care of your kids?" Rob was like, "what? what do you mean?" Max replied with "You know, aren't you going to feed us any dinner cuz it's dinner time and we're hungry!" Rob told him not to worry cuz dinner was almost done and they would eat in a minute!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Progress!!

Yay! I was sitting in the recliner in my bedroom and Max and Jake were putting their pajamas on in their room. I saw Max walk to the clothe hamper and put his dirty clothes in it!! I'm doing the happy dance! Can you see me? LOL! I've been harping on them for YEARS to put their dirty clothes in the hamper. It looks like it's finally sinking in. Actually, I think it's because Max is in charge of cleaning his room on his own now and he realizes what a mess all his and Jake's dirty clothes make!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Look what I did tonight




I had a lot of fun putting these pages together. These pictures were taken clear back in 2002. It was Jordyn's first Easter and we had a good time. Si is 5 and Jordyn is about 9 or 10 months old. Enjoy!!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

So I'm 1 day late with my New Year post, what can I say? Actually, that's pretty good, coming from me! I thought it was time to re-do the ole blog background, too. Whaddaya think? Hopefully it won't stay as long as the last background!

My family had a pretty good New Year's Eve. I unexpectedly didn't work that night, so we just made a nice dinner and dessert and hung out at home. Si, Rob and I watched I Am Legend and the younger kids watched Madagascar. I was in bed by 10. Yes, I'm an old fuddy duddy! I think Rob and Jordyn were the only ones who stayed awake til midnight.

One more thing. I also decided at the last minute last night to start a 365 blog. Here is the link, go check it out. Hopefully I'll keep it up!