Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reading goals for Jan 2012

At first I thought about making a list of reading goals for the year and decided that would be a bit ambitious, and I am not ambitious the week between Christmas and New Years. So instead I have decided to go with monthly goals.

This month I am aiming to read books that fit into the following categories:

A classic
A history
A skill type book
The Bible
and something for just pleasure

So far this month I have picked out:

As my classic for the month

My "Skill" book for the month

My History book

From the bible my goal is Proverbs for this month

As far as a book for pleasure well that you really can't pick out ahead of time, part of the pleasure is looking the the shelves and finding the perfect book for that perfect time.

So what are you reading this month?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Found a great OMAC site

While I was looking on line for some new freezer recipes I found a great new site, and spent way more time then I should have on there.  I will be sharing later some of the recipes I am going to try from the site, but for now here is the link and I hope you find a new meal or two to add to your freezer this month.


They have frezzer meals based on whole foods only, veggie plans, diet plans, and regluar OMAC plans.

So grab a cup of tea, a comfy spot to sit and enjoy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Welcome back

Since it is a new year I have thought about what was I spending my time on line doing and was it good or bad. There was a message board that I was spending a lot of time on and it was a good board but things change and blogging is something that I think I need to spend more time  on. Blogging is a record of our family, my thoughts and goals, much like the household notes and diaries of women in the past. Plus when you post your menu on-line and not a scrap of paper you can find it.

This past year has been a busy one, with many trips including a month long trip to OK City, then a week camping with the extended family in Allegany , then the younger children and I went to my mom's for a week to plan a shower for my brothers wedding. Then it was back to Niagara Falls for the wedding, then this December we took the kids on a NCL Cruise for a week.

In all of that travel we also did field hockey for Kathryn and soccer for the boys, I started a job in October , and our area had a major flood in September. The girls have had scouts, the older boys CAP, the little boy Kids Club and more. I think I need to find time to breathe.

And here is what all the fun this year has been about, family.
My grandparents, parents, brother and sisters, spouses, and children.
One child is missing was at college.

Looking forward to blogging this year and trying some new things.

COCO Beach Dec 2011

Nassau Bahamas Dec 2011

Allegany State Park July 2011

Allegany State Park 2011

Ricky's Wedding Sept 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jr. Ranger Program- National Parks

If you didn't already know your National Park system offers a great free program for kids ages 4 and up. For us our 5yo and 10 yo did the program  at all three places we went this summer.

 The St. Louis Arch, Mammoth Cave National Park, and both the Lincoln Birthplace and Boyhood home at Knob creek( they share a book). Our 13 and 14 yo boys did the program at St. Louis but not the others, I wish they had but they were a bit done with mom's need to see historical sites.

All you need to do is when you arrive at a park is head to the information desk and ask them do they take part in the the Jr. Ranger program if so they will ask you how many books you need.

In the book are many activities and each age level has to complete a different number of activities, during your visit to the site.

Kat and Nolan working on book at St. Louis

 I find that this makes the site more interesting to the kids, they are looking for and understanding things that they might have first passed over.They also learn to ask the rangers for information that they can not find.

After they are done they head back to a ranger who will look at their book, ask them questions about things they wrote in the book and then swear them in as Jr. Rangers, in which they promise to explore, learn, and protect.

Then they receive a small plastic park ranger badge with the park name on it. My 5yo was so very proud to receive these badges at the different parks that he would run up to ranger to tell them he was a Jr.Ranger.

It is a great program to help make your visits to National Parks more meaningful, and it also has the goal of teaching today's children about the importance of exploring, learning, and protecting their past.

So the next time you are at a national park with your children, ask about the Jr. Ranger program.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- Camp Menu

This menu really is for next week when we head out to camp with our family, we do have a propane stove and fridge in the cabin plus a grill and the fire pit. We will be feeding each day between 9-14 kids and 6-9 adults depending on who is at camp that day. Three cabins and lots of family make for a great week.

We made lunch easy as we never know if we will be at the cabin or off having fun at lunch time.

There will be fruit and veggies out all day for the kids to eat, plus lots of cool snacks like marshmallows, smores, trial mix, and so on.


 Breakfast and Lunch at home

Dinner- Hamburgers, corn on the cob, baked beans


Breakfast- Pancakes and sausage, juice

Lunch- sandwiches

Dinner- Grilled  BBQ chicken, salt potatoes, green beans


Breakfast- French Toast

Lunch- sandwiches

Dinner- Taco's - ground beef, lettuce, tomato, taco sauce, hard and soft shells ( ground beef  pre-cooked at home. frozen, warm in crock pot)


Breakfast- Biscuit eggs sandwich, w/ sausage and cheese

Lunch- Sandwich

Dinner- Spaghetti and meatballs, w/ salad and garlic bread ( meatballs and sauce done in crock pots)


Breakfast- Eggs w/ hash browns


Dinner- Chicken and Biscuits , ( chicken in crock pot)


Breakfast- Pancakes

Lunch- sandwich

Dinner- Chicken speides, corn, salt potatoes


Breakfast- Leftovers/ Cereal

Lunch- Sandwhices

Dinner- Spider dogs ( aka Hot dogs), pasta salad, chips


breakfast- cereal

Lunch- Dinner- on the road home

This menu is also posted at Menu Plan Monday

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 7-11- Summer menu Plan

Time to get back in the saddle with meal planning, over the last two weeks we have packed up and returned home from OK City, unpacked at home and have tried to get back to normal life.

I have finished up our three week dinner plan for Summer, for  a winter menu I try to do 4 weeks, but 3 is enough for summer as there are more interruptions to the meal plan . Like this month we are going camping for a week, and I am going to my mom's for a week. This menu is for July, August, and September, switching to a winter menu in October to April. This week we are on week 2.

Week 1

Sunday- Taco's
Monday- Chicken Alfredo
Tuesday- Hamburger Helper or ground beef, egg noodles, brown gravy
Wed- Chicken Spedies, w/ baked potato, and salad ( grill meal, w/ potatoes in crock pot)
Thursday- Bratwurst w/ saurgart, Chicken sausage w/ rice ( grill meal )
Friday- Chicken ( flatted and grilled) served topped with ham and Swiss on a roll w/ lettuce and tomato. Pasta Salad ( grill meal)
Saturday- Beef Strogaff w/ egg noddles ( crock pot meal )

Week 2

Sunday- Taco's
Monday- Tortilli w/white sauce
Tuesday- Sloppy Joes w/ french fries
Wed- Grilled chicken w/ buttered noodles ( grill meal)
Thursday- Polish sausage w/ quiona and corn
Friday- Chicken Sand which ( grilled) w/ mac salad ( grill meal)
Saturday- Cube steak w/ salt potatoes

Week 3

Sunday- taco's
Monday- Ravioli
Tuesday- Hamburgers, chips
Wed- Teriyi chicken w/ rice
Thursday- Italian Sausage ( hot dogs for some), w/ potatoes
Friday- Chicken w/ potatoe salad
Saturday- Steak w/ quiona and corn

Lunch menu for summer when the kids are out of school is a hot meal, unless we are out and about. FM is a meal from the freezer, CP is crock pot

Week one

Sunday- waffle brunch after church
Monday- Grilled Cheese
Tuesday- Mac and Cheese ( CP)
Wed- Potato soup ( FM and CP)
Thursday- french bread pizza (FM)
Friday- Meatballs and pasta ( CP)
Saturday- Leftovers

Week Two

Sunday- waffle brunch
Monday- Grilled tuna
Tuesday- Mac and cheese ( CP)
Wednesday- Chicken Noodle soup ( CP)
Thursday- Calzones w/ dip
Friday- Meatballs and pasta ( CP)
Saturday- Leftovers

Each meal for Lunches and Dinners also has a veggie tray with in season veggies, and a fruit tray with in season fruits.

I also try to do dessert in the summer as the husband likes them and the kids are more active

Sunday- creme pie
Monday- Jello
Tuesday- Ice Cream, Shortcake w/ berries
Wed- Cobber or crisp
Thursday- Brownies, cake
Friday- Fruit smoothie
Saturday- pudding, cookies

This menu plan is linked up at menu-plan-monday

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heading Home

After being here in Oklahoma City for a month, the time has come to head home.

Aidan I have learned is a growing boy, hours spent in the pool each day making friends on his own, and adventures with his sister finding frogs and playing tag. Have shown me that he is no longer my little one but a big boy ready to explore his world with mom looking on but no longer part of his play all the time.


Kathryn I have learned can make friends anywhere. In one month she has become the dog walker for a neighbor and she got paid in Popsicles ,is anything better when you are 10.

Conner I have learned can step up when needed, still loves to pester his younger brothers and sister, and if given the chance will spend way to much time on the computer. But he did enjoy the pool, and eating out more then normal.

Nolan is Nolan, he has enjoyed himself, but looks forward to having his own bed again and not sharing with Conner. He has reminded me this month why we no longer have regular TV at home, I love Netflix when TV shows that can be stopped and watched when mom says you can. He has enjoyed helping out in the kitchen this trip and I hope he still does when we get home.

I have enjoyed the break from normal housework, and look forward to the day when I can have a indoor pet free home :), which with having Kathryn for a daughter is not going to be any day soon. I do hope to simplify our home when I get back, making it easier to keep clean.

 I have enjoyed a less stressed husband this month, well except for the last 3 days, and hope that when he gets back to his regular work that all will go well. And that with our science center pass we will enjoy some day trips this summer.

Tonight we will be in Memphis, before heading to Mammoth Cave National Park on Friday, and then on to Abraham Lincoln Birthplace memorial on Saturday and then on to to Ohio and home on Sunday night.

Looking forward to green grass, and rain.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some Fun Pictures

Where you can find Aidan everyday

A restaurant that serves cotton candy, we are on a trip so sure you can have 5 of them.

It seems no matter where you go there is a Game Spot to be found

Kathryn can find toads were ever we may be, the scary part it is that at that size it still had part of it's tail.

Some clouds for Sarah, not as pretty as the ones at home

It is nice to have a pool that I don't have to clean a short walk from our door

  Mac and cheese on a pizza is a great thing when you are 5. Now only if he could have mac and cheese and meatballs on the same pizza.

Conner having some fun

 Now that is a tree house three stories high, with a pulley system to get things from the bottom to the top, and a launcher on top that you used balls in to hit a target on the floor, and hit a couple of adults standing in the wrong spot.

                Thinking of you Sarah, they had a whole crime seane  laid out for you to solve.

                                              If I only had a pizza as big as this table to eat.

And a picture of Kathryn, yes she is with us but since I am usually with Aidan and I am the one with the camera it's not often I get to catch her in a picture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cooking with Nolan

I really wasn't looking to start working with the kids on cooking skills until we got home and I had all my kitchen toys to work with. But Nolan was watching the Food Channel last night and at 9pm decided he needed to get into the kitchen and start cooking.

Well he started by beating eggs and placing them in a cup with torn up pieces of cheese as this dish was to make a ham and cheese omelet in the morning for dad. Then he diced up a onion with a bit of help as the knife he was using was to small and yes that is a spoon in his mouth.

Some where, at some time, some one told him that if you suck on a metal spoon you will not tear up when you cut onions. Didn't have the heart to tell him that those onions were tear free and cold. Then it was the green pepper and he did ok on that.

When I went back into the kitchen to look, he had cleaned up his mess and had a plate out with a fork and napkin, and in the frying pan he had the cheese, ham, onion, pepper, pan spray, and flipper all laid to cook for dad . He wanted to be woken up at 5am but that wasn't happening, instead dad cooked it himself and called a few hours later when we were awake to tell us that the omelet was great.

 And to my surprise when I went to download the photo's for this blog he had taken a picture of the finished product he knows me so well.

I think cooking with kids should be alot of fun this summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All in a Day - Summer Routine

Routine in the summer is a bit harder to stick with, without a school day to build around. So we build our day around meals and activities. Right now we are away from home so our day looks something like this :

Wake, eat breakfast, pick up the apartment, go swimming, eat , rest, go swimming, eat, play outside, eat, baths, and bedtime. They seem to do alot more eating in the summer but that is because they are doing alot more physical activities. This month we have been pretty lax about times as we don't have all the kids with us, and there really is not much work for us to do, and no driving for me during the day.

Once we get home things will change a bit, the plan is for our days to look something like this :

8am breakfast ( you can sleep in but mom cooks once)

leave for swimming lessons, and take Sarah to work at the same pool we have lessons at. Then Monday- Thursday if she doesn't work after lessons , I will take the younger kids to the library, big playground, etc after their class and we will all head back home together at 12. If she has to work right after lessons then we will head home right after ours. Also in this time we will fit in a 1/2  hour or more of reading under a shady tree someplace.

Lunch- is at 12:30

Then chores need to get done, then we can have fun.

Right now it is looking like :

Mondays- Cole Park - take the kids to the beach
Tuesdays- running around day if needed, otherwise at home
Wednesday-Town Pool
Thursday- at home
Friday- Town Pool, family Friday nights if they have them again this year
Saturday-  dad's choice
Sunday- at home

The days really don't matter as it all depends on rain, Sarah's work schedule and so on, but really we want to go to Cole park 1x a week, and the town pool for open swim 2x a week.

Then it's snack time at 4pm

Afternoon chores

outside play ( back yard pool, kid invented games, and so on)

Dinner 7pm

After dinner chores

Outside play time at least a few times a week ( flash light tag, manhunt, fire flies, campfires etc.)

9pm baths for the younger ones

10pm quite time

So in the summer our days are built around meals, with chores and lots of fun added.

This blog entry is also linked at All in a Day