Monday, April 27, 2015

Potty Training

We are blessed in many ways but I have to say that my family is truly one of my greatest blessings. The last 2 years have been so busy but totally worth it. Yesterday, our 4th child turned 2 months old. On Wednesday, our 3rd child will be turning 2. Then there's our teenage "kids" that are 15 and 17 (Seriously, can not believe I am old enough to have a 17 year old!!!). I am so thankful for how helpful these teenagers are and I do not know what I would do without them and my wonderful hubby around to help me keep my sanity some days.
Anyway, we have been working on potty training our soon to be 2 year old since last Friday. We attempted to potty train her back before the baby was born because we were hoping to cut down on diaper costs (I have been wanting to switch to cloth diapers and will hopefully be embarking on this journey very soon) but she really wasn't ready at all. Now, she has been going to the potty successfully and has even gotten up each morning with a dry diaper ;-)
With our first attempt, we tried pull ups but she really just treated them like a diaper. So, this time, and this was seriously the most awesome thing ever, I found cloth training pants at a local thrift store for, get this, a quarter a piece.... Yes, beyond excited!!! So, we have been using these along with pull ups here and there and it has been working great. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, this lady has already gone through this potty training adventure with her now teenagers so she should be an "expert" by now. Well, that is really not true. Our oldest, a boy, was very difficult to potty train, mostly because we moved 3 times during the time I was trying to potty train him and were not able to be very consistent with him. The way I finally did potty train him was by putting him in big boy underwear or letting him run around naked from the waist down (at home of course) until he started going to the potty successfully. This only took a few days. Now, our second child, a girl, saw the potty chair in the bathroom during the time we were training our son, and decided she would start using it herself. Yes, believe it or not, but this child actually potty trained herself!
So, back to the present, we also have a little chart on the fridge to jeep track of when we potty. Nothing complicated. It is just a piece of construction paper with her name at the top (written pretty of course) and then she just sticks a sticker on it when she goes potty. Yes, I did look at pretty printable charts on pinterest but in the end I just went with a simple, basic piece of paper. We are not quite to the point where I feel comfortable with taking her out in public with trading pants on so when we do go somewhere, we put on a diaper. It helps a lot to be able to stay home as much as possible while potty training so that you can take her to the potty every hour or so, which is why we have pretty much planned to stay home this week. As long as we keep going like we have been the last few days, I expect we will be venturing back out into the world more next week with our big girl undies on ;-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Menu Plan 6/25-7/1

 Since our weekends are always so busy and we rarely ever stick with my original menu plan for Saturday and Sunday, I am just going to do an actual menu plan for the weekdays from now on. We always keep a well stocked freezer and pantry, so it is fairly easy to throw something together quickly for these nights ;-) We are grilling outdoors as much as possible this week in an attempt to keep our house as cool as possible with the 100 plus degree temps we've been having lately.
Monday: Spicy Grilled Lemon Chicken
Tuesday: Grilled Apple Brined Pork Chops
Wednesday: Keilbasa Stir Fry
Thursday: Steamed Mahi Mahi with Vegetables and Garlic Mustard Sauce
Friday: Pizza Night

I am so happy that most of my veggies are now coming from my garden again!!! I love going out every day to find the day's treasures ;-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rice Krispie Treats

 We love Rice Krispie Treats, not only because they are yummy but also because they are so easy and versatile. So you can imagine how excited I was today when I discovered a recipe for Minty Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats!!! I can hardly wait to make these!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Plan

This week, my hubby will be in Denver until Wednesday night and my son is sleeping over at a friend's tonight, so I am not going to be cooking a whole lot of food for two nights at least, so just playing it by ear. Of course, my mouth is salivating thinking about the menu I have planned for the rest of the week ;-)

Monday: Whatever ;-)
Tuesday: Whatever, again ;-)
Wednesday: Chicken Fried Steak
Thursday: Ratatouille (I use the recipe found in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook from the 80's, which in my opinion is the best edition)
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Crockpot Sesame Chicken (I haven't tried this recipe yet, so I am hoping this one will be good. I think I am going to add sesame oil to it even if it isn't listed in the ingredients... just a little, at least ;-)
Sunday: Grilled Steak and twice baked potatoes (Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there!)

Not planning on doing any freezer cooking or canning this week, unless of course I come across some nice berries or other fruit to make jam. Have a great week ;-)

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Curry Chicken and Rice Casserole

Mennonite Girls Can Cook: Curry Chicken and Rice Casserole: I love meals that are all in one dish.  This recipe is easy to make, and loads of flavor if you like curry.  Here is what you will need~ ...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

After a break from blogging, I am finally back! I have definitely missed blogging but have had a lot of other things to deal with and just have not had much time to even touch my computer, let alone type a blog post. Anyway, here is my menu plan for the upcoming week ;-) As with most weeks, especially during the summer months, my crockpot will definitely be getting a lot of use this week!

Monday: Crockpot Chicken Curry
Tuesday: Fish Sticks
Wednesday: Crockpot Meatloaf This is the best crockpot meatloaf recipe I have found!
Thursday: Crockpot Lasagna
Friday: Thai Chicken Pizza Great recipe! I make my own pizza crust using this recipe. I do a double batch in my Cuisinart food processor, then I separate into two equal portions, let rise about 30 mins., and then press into my pizza pans (well, one's a cookie sheet and the other is an actual pizza pan.)
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Steak on the grill

I am also going to work on canning some more beans for the freezer, especially black beans since I have been out for a while now. Not much else going on other than the almost daily loaf of bread I bake for sandwiches and so forth. Have a great week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan 2/13- 2/19/12

This week is a fairly simple week. I am not making any trips to the grocery store (we just bought a half a side of beef this weekend... yay! Fresh beef!!!!) unless I come across some really good sales that I want to take advantage of. I am planning on making a trip to Target tomorrow since my hubby has a dentist appointment out of town, but other than that, I am just planning on working on my goals for the month ;-) I am also working on my garden plan for the year. I am so ready to get fresh veggies from the garden again. Frozen is good but nothing like fresh from the garden. Plus, I can't stand the so called "fresh" tomatoes from the store so I am feeling a bit tomato deprived (even if I do go through a bunch of cans of tomatoes each week, it is just not the same!)... LOL.

Monday: beef stroganoff
Tuesday: crockpot stew beef
Wednesday: lasagna
Thursday: chicken enchiladas
Friday: pizza soup (still haven't gotten to try this!)
Saturday: turkey burgers & sweet potato fries
Sunday: meatloaf

Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crockpot Chicken for the Freezer

A lot of the time when chicken goes on sale, it is sold in the family size packages. Because of this, I like to cook the entire package of chicken instead of just dividing the chicken to put it in the freezer so that I can just grab it and put it in whatever we are having for dinner instead of thawing it and cooking it first. So, because I have a very close relationship with my crockpot, I grab it out, put the whole package of chicken in and add one cup of water. Then I put it on low for 4-6 hours and let it do its thing. If I don't have time to cook the chicken right away, I sometimes freeze the whole package then cook it (from frozen) in the crockpot the same way at a later time. Amazingly, it doesn't take any longer to cook it from frozen than it does from thawed and it tastes the same. I don't season my chicken while cooking this way because I prefer to do so when I am using it for whatever I am using it for. But, if you prefer, feel free to season with salt and pepper before placing in the crockpot. You don't get a lot of chicken stock with this method, but I still end up with a little stock (usually around 2 cups. The cup of water "grows" with the juices from the chicken) for the freezer. When I am in need of more stock, I will take the time out to cook my chicken in a stock pot on the stove instead, but truthfully I save enough here and there that I rarely need to do this.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan 2/6-2/12/12

My hubby had to have all his teeth pulled last Monday, (the unfortunate aftermath of a battle with Type 1 Diabetes last year that God thankfully brought us through!) so we have been eating mostly soup or soft foods for the past week. It will still be a couple of weeks until he is able to get fitted for dentures and so forth so we will be continuing to eat this way for a bit longer. I am actually really excited (okay, not because he had to have his teeth pulled) because this gives me the opportunity to try out about a gazillion soup recipes that I have saved over the years (we love soup!). Here's what I have planned for the week:
Monday: Free Pizza! (Thanks to Papa John's Coin Toss Event!!!)
Tuesday: Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (Very easy and yummy recipe. I don't use Velveeta for this myself, but instead use cheddar cheese)
Wednesday: Shepard's Pie
Thursday: Breakfast for dinner
Friday: Pizza Soup (ok, we did have pizza Monday but I have been wanting to try this recipe for a few weeks)
Saturday: Our Valentine's Day Getaway ;-)
Sunday: Swedish Meatballs

I am going to be making some pancake mix this week for the pantry and I am going to make some of these baked beans as well. I didn't get a chance to get breakfasts done for the freezer this weekend so I am working on this today. I am going to be making some of these breakfast bowls as well as some of the things I posted about last week.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Freezer Cooking: Breakfast

Because mornings can get really hectic, I love having breakfast items that we can grab quickly, heat up, and serve. We do not eat much cereal (I only buy it when there is a really good sale on cereals that I can actually feel good about my kids eating, like Mom's Best. Which, btw, is on sale at King Soopers/City Market for 99 cents when you buy 10 items in the sale. You can sign up for their newsletter and you get a $1 off 2 boxes coupon so that makes it only 50 cents a box). Since I have been working on getting my freezer organized, I have actually found some room for some more breakfast burritos and pancakes, and since February just happens to be "National Hot Breakfast Month" I was totally psyched to find some more freezer friendly breakfast recipes on one of my fave blogs this morning. I am going to work on whipping up a few of these this weekend so that they are ready to go first thing Monday morning ;-) Oh, and on a very happy note, my chickens are finally starting to lay eggs again, somewhat regularly anyway! YAY!!! Just in time for my breakfast mission!
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