Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here is our meal list for this week!

1.  (Labor Day Celebration w/ family)  Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Chips
2.  Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, Garlic Toast 
     -I love to make this from scratch but this week Paul Newman's Alfredo was on sale cheapo!  I can't  
      make it for that price.)  Mueller's Pasta was also on sale for 34cents.  We but the broccoli in bulk at   
     Sam's Club because we eat so much of it!
3. Robin's Roast, Brown Rice, Green Beans (Robin's Roast recipe at the end of post)
4. Chicken Pot Pie
5.  Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
     -Yes, we are eating this roast two nights this week without a new spin on it...we love it and there are
     tons of leftovers. 
6. Grilled Venison Tenderloins, Homemade Onion Rings, Steamfresh Veggies
7. Leftover Buffet

Let me tell you about Robin's Roast!  My friend Robin cooks the most delicious roast you will ever feast upon.  I on the other hand have never been about to cook one without it turning into beef jerky.  I know folks, "Don't you just put it in the crockpot?"  I hear this from everyone!  Yes, I do put it in my handy dandy crockpot and it turns out dry as a bone...if not drier!!! 

I begged her to teach me.  I was still pessimistic.  But I was so very tired of hearing that my husband grew up eating roast after church almost EVERY Sunday, and it was delicious, and moist, and EASY!!!  Blah Blah Blah.

This is what Robin told me to do.

-Sear roast on both sides in hot non stick pan.
-Place roast of your choosing in dutch oven or large lidded casserole dish.  
(Wait a minute...roast of your choosing?  I had searched the globe for just the right cut of meat!)
-Pour one can of cream of chicken soup over roast, and sprinkle with onion soup mix.
-Scatter sliced onions around edges of roast.
-Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
-Turn down oven to 250 degrees and bake for another 3+ hours or until ready to serve.

Now, I am no roast connoisseur.  This was, however, the best roast I have ever eaten.  I was amazed with myself, and my hubby fell in love with me all over again.  I had redeemed myself after years of feeding him roast failure!  My Mama even started using this recipe!  THANK YOU ROBIN!!!!!  You are my Roast Hero!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday: Toddler Art Organization

Nan, over at Momstheword, is hosting Make Your Home Sing Monday!  Here she encourages her readers (myself included) to share how we have made our home a more enjoyable place to be each week.  

Have you ever had that feeling?  That feeling of "I know I should be doing _________ because (God commands it,  it makes things easier, my children love it.....).
Well, I have had that feeling for a while now about my 2 year old and his "art time".  

I loved doing art activities with my first grade classes the five years I spent in the classroom.  I had all the supplies I needed at my fingertips.  I was very organized, and I knew what was age appropriate.

I am going to admit it folks.  I am totally learning as I go when it comes to art and a toddler.  I know the basics, crayons, markers, finger paints, watercolors, playdough.  I just don't have my act together.

Part of it is about the clean up, part of it is the supervision, there's a lack of materials, and knowledge of what he should be able to handle and what he shouldn't.  I am going to ask for your help in a minute, so get ready.

This weekend I came across this at a yard sale!!!  It was $3 and I screamed to me..."Take me home.  I can help you with all the homeless art stuff that falls out of the hall closet each time you open it."

A couple hours later,  all of our coloring books, crayons, markers, stickers, finger paints, colored pencils, drawing paper, and misc. other art stuff had a NEW HOME!!!!  You can't see it all but its in there, and it fits so neatly on a shelf in our hall closet (right near where we get our art on).

My attitude about art time had already improved because I had everything in ONE PLACE!!!
We even painted with watercolors and then finger paints...BACK TO toddler was in heaven.

That's where the whole "home singing" thing happened.  Something that cost me very little, and took very little time to do, had already made my life so much easier, and made my toddler so very happy.  I promised him to do art time much more often.  I am not promising every day...but I am going to try.  And I am going to pray about this (whether you think it's silly or not)  because it's a discipline issue, art time, menu planning, quiet time, cleaning, wasting time...the list goes on!

Send me some tips, folks!  That art organizer has a gazillion pockets and lots of room to grow.  
What other materials do I need in there?
What are some age appropriate art activities that won't break the budget or make me pull my hair out?
What advice to you have for clean up?  My boy loves to help, and he is great about following my guidelines, like staying at his table to do playdough...(most days).

I hope seeing our art supplies organized encourages you, and I can't wait to be encouraged with your advice!

Saturday Yard Sale Treasures

Have I mentioned that I love yard sales????

I know that my sales are for a limited time only.

It is going to be a while before I load and unload a toddler and newborn.  Throw in nursing, and you will have me in a panic.  Life has its seasons.

We went to some great sales today.

The girl scoffed at me when I dared to ask her to take less than $5 for these cuties.  Just my luck, she did!  They had never been opened and the sticker price said $22.  Who in their right mind???  I got them for $4.
These books were $1 each and by two of my favorite authors!
These frames go perfectly with this scrapbook paper I already had.  50cents each! (I have a little plan in mind for these.)
This was my favorite find of the day!  This scrapbooking organizer was only $3 and is perfect for all of Wookie's craft supplies!
Wookie picked this out for his baby brother.  I just saw this on the Target toy site the other day and it was $14.99.  We snagged it for $1.

Go Braves!

Our son is spoiled.

Every year, we are attend a Braves game with my husband's company.  Every year I am blown away by the experience.  We are so blessed to attend this event, and it doesn't cost us a dime.

We hang out in one of the suites.  This includes watching the game in the air conditioning, eating "not so normal" ball game food, using an exceptionally clean private restroom, and having a safe place for my son to run around.  This magical Ice Cream Cart comes around too, between the 4th and 5th inning.  They make you a gigantic sundae that puts Marble Slab to shame!

We were convinced there would be massive puking on the way home.

Because we are on a tight budget, and my son is not old enough to really appreciate or sit through a game, we don't usually go to other games during the seasons.  We did go to 2 last year because Wook was still a lap sitter, and we had my parents with us to  help entertain him.

My husband and I joke that when we take him to a "real" game (aka the nose-bleed seats) he will probably scoff at us and ask "Mommy, where is the Ice Cream Cart, the shrimp cocktail and fresh fruit, why is it so hot out here????"

This is not the kind of ball game experience I remember as a kid.

The Braves games I remember went something like this...

Your feet sticking to the concrete.
Using binoculars to find my favorite players,  lemme give a shout out to Darryl Strawberry.
Bringing my glove and praying for a foul.
Sweating...but it not bothering me one bit.
Bringing our own hot dogs, wrapped in foil so they were nice and gooey!
Passing the chips all the way down the row.
Being carried on my Daddy's shoulders back to the car.
Waving at the mascot, a Native American in a full headdress...not some baseball with arms and legs.
Not caring if they lost (cause they usually did back then)


When my son is a little older, these are the kind of games he is going to remember, too!

His favorite part was running the "bases" on the roof of the stadium.  He's big stuff!