Friday, April 11, 2008

Glimpse into a Hectic Spring Break!

This week has been a hectic week! It was looking so hectic on last Sunday that I decide that we were going to be part of the crowd that was on spring break! So here is what we have done for spring break....
  • Dentist appointment for hubby on Monday. Glad it was him and not me! I don't like going to the dentist! However, it probably would be good if I got in for a cleaning soon. :)
  • Monday night in preparation for bedrooms and living room getting carpet cleaned, hubby along with a neighbor friend took our 12 year old beat up couch and put in our finished basement that the kids use as a playroom.
  • Tuesday we had our carpets cleaned. They look alot better!! We need to have it done more often! I think the last time we had them done was shortly after we moved in our house 5 years ago!
  • Tuesday I also had a new washer delivered! This was not something I was planning on doing this year!! My 10 year old Maytag Neptune washer decided that after several repairs and heavy use it wasn't going to work any more without "popping" the fuse in the breaker box. So now I have a nice Frigidaire Affinity front loader washer. I have already put the washer thru the paces! Monday night and all day Tuesday, I worked on catching up the laundry and did 12 loads of laundry. Needless to say that after several days of no working washer it is nice to have one again!
  • Tuesday was also my errand day for the week. I try to do my errands at the beginning of the week so that I can catch all the good deals and just cruise thru the week.
  • Wednesday we had our new matching couch, chair, and ottoman delivered! We purchased this at a local furniture store who had lost their lease on their warehouse. So we ended up getting a very good deal on the pieces. This is were part of our tax refund went! :)
  • Thursday was a quiet day relatively speaking! However, it rained ALL day so the kids were not able to enjoy any outdoor play so I guess it was a rather noisy inside day! I also was able to get some cleaning done.
  • Hubby decided to take Friday off from work. It is nice having him home but sometimes he has creates his own agenda that conflicts with what I have planned for the day. It can make for a very busy day trying to help him with his agenda and getting what I need to get done. He cleaned all the house windows today. We also are decluttering and taking things to the electronics recycling place and to Goodwill.
  • Friday afternoon thru Sunday morning we have hubby's dad and his wife coming to town for a visit. It should be fun! They haven't seen our house yet! Actually the last time they came to see us was back when my now 11yo was a 2 1/2yo!!!

So much for a relaxing spring break!! I still need to get school schedule and menu plan done for next week! Gotta find time with guests here to get it done! :)

I say all this to let you know that with having a hectic week I haven't been blogging as much as usual. So stay tuned! I'll be back next week! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Morning Snack--Mom's Banana Bread

One of our favorite snacks is my Mom's recipe for Banana Bread. I make this quick bread more than any other quick bread! With the kids and having to fix hubby's lunch daily, I find that taking the time to make the quick bread into muffins makes for easier, faster grabs for snacks than doing the bread up into loaves.

Here is the recipe....

Banana Bread/Muffins

2 sticks margarine
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
5 to 6 bananas, mashed
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 cups flour (I usually do 3 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat)
1/4 cup wheat germ or All Bran, optional
1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional

Cream together margarine and sugar; add eggs. In a separate bowl mix together flours, salt and baking soda and wheat germ or All Bran if desired. Add to creamed mixture. Mix. add bananas. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into paper lined muffin pans. (if no paper liners, grease the pans). Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until done. Makes 24-28 muffins

Baking Notes:
~~~I find that adding the bananas towards the end of the mixing process leaves little bits of banana in the dough and it also makes the muffins full of banana flavor rather than the bananas getting "lost" in the dough.

~~~I don't like nuts but I have family members that do so I make the batter up and make up some plain muffins and then add nuts to the remaining dough. To know which ones have nuts in them, I take a whole half piece of a walnut and stick it on the top of the muffin before baking.

~~~I have tried this recipe by using 2 cups white flour and 2 cups wheat flour. It works well and is not dried out tasting! If I put any more wheat flour in it then I am will need to add more bananas/liquid into the batter.

~~~I found that I can get 500 paper liners at Gordon Food Service for under $4.00!!! They are just plain white ones but they work just fine. If I need special occasion type liners than I watch clearance sales after the holidays and pick up paper liners.

You can find the recipes to other quick breads that we enjoy here and here and here and here!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Do you ever imagine living in a different era? An era where washers, dishwashers, and fridges were not even in existence? An era where convenience was having the well pump next door so you didn't have to walk too far to get water to wash your clothes or do your dishes or even get a drink?! An era where building a fire was the norm in order to have hot food for a meal?!

After this week, I am so glad that I live in the era that I do!! The inventions of the major appliances has been such a blessing to me!

I am blessed that I have a fridge in my home that keeps the food cold!

I am blessed to have a stove and oven that work that heat my food so that I can have hot food for meal.

I am blessed to have a dishwasher where I can load it up and let it run while I spend time with my family. I know that this particular appliance is not in every household but I am glad that it is in mine! I run it on average every other day!

I am blessed to have a washer that washes my clothes clean! Last week, I found my washer not working! It decided that after 10 years of heavy use that it wasn't going to work anymore. It wanted to "pop" the fuse in the middle of cycle! So hubby and I decided to buy a new one. Well that meant that I had to FOUR days without a washer. This is a big thing when I do laundry at least every other day! Anyway, it was delivered yesterday and found that the drain in the house would not handle the amount of water that was being pumped out of the washer! So I had water all over in my laundry room. Thanks to my hubby, he was able to figure out a way to extend the drain pipe! So now my new washer is functional and not spilling water all over.

I am blessed to have a hubby who can be ingenius and figure out how to make things work!

Don't get me wrong...I admire those that lived in the time before me! I admire their hard work, inventiveness, and love for life! I am very grateful for the lessons of life that I have learned from those that lived before me

However, having the modern conveniences and appliances is what works in my life today! What modern convenience or appliance works for you?

Want to find what works for others that just might work for you?? Check it out over Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Walgreens Shopping Trip!

I looked through the ad inserts this week and there wasn't that much that was jumping off the page yelling "buy me!". So I just picked up a few groceries, WIC, and stopped into Walgreens to use my $4 Register Rewards before it expired at the end of the week. Here is what I purchased...

  • 2 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars $4.00 minus $1.00/2 coupon = $3.00
  • 3 tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste $6.00 minus 2-$1.00 off coupons from 4/6 paper inserts and $2.00/1 coupon =$2.00 or 67 cents/tube! There is also an April EasySaver Rebate for one tube of the Aquafresh toothpaste sooooo I got THREE tubes for FREE with overage after rebate!
  • 3 packs of Extra Gum $3.57 minus $1.57 (7 day coupon 3/$2.00) and 99 cents(Easy Saver coupon 3/99cents), I paid $1.01 for 3 packs! Thanks to Bethany for listing the deals!

Total before coupons and tax = $13.57
Total OOP with tax and AFTER coupons(including $4 Register Rewards) = $2.37 This doesn't include the EasySaver rebate amount so I actually will only have an OOP total of 37 cents!!!! Not bad for some healthy snacks and toothpaste! :)

Total savings(coupons and sales)for the trip = $18.03

For more deals head over to MoneySavingMom or BeCentsAble

Menu Plan Monday 4/6 - 4/12

**Another week is upon us so that means it is time for another menu plan! This is just a plan and it could change on a moment’s notice! Just take a glimpse into my week: Tuesday, the carpets on my main floor (living room and 3 bedrooms) are being cleaned, and my new Frigidaire Affinity washer is being delivered. Wednesday, my new matching couch, chair and ottoman are being delivered. Friday, my FIL and his wife are coming for a 3 day visit! So somewhere in all that chaos this week, I have to cook meals and get my house ready for guests!

Last week, I ended up not using 3 of the meals that I had planned. I planned to make a new recipe for us, Marlboro Man's Sandwiches, well I realized that I forgot to pick up more Worcestershire sauce at the store so those didn’t get made! I am going to aim for those this week! Also my Roasted Chicken dinner did not get done so I have that as well to use this week! I also did not do homemade pizza and breadsticks, so to make my kids happy that is on the menu for this week or bust! With guests coming on Friday afternoon, I am leaving Friday dinner open just in case we decide on take out for either Friday or Saturday.

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Hubby usually will take dinner leftovers each day.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus, go check other delicious meal plans that have been linked at her site! **

Sunday (4-6)
Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, Canadian bacon, and jiffy muffins
Lunch: Pizza Rolls
Dinner: Shredded BBQ beef sandwiches/sloppy joes, fries, and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Monday (4-7)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwiches and chips
Dinner: creamy chicken (#1), rice and peas
Snack: banana muffins

Tuesday (4-8)
Breakfast: French toast and sausage links
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Roasted Chicken(in crockpot & using chicken breasts rather than whole chicken), mashed taters & gravy, corn, and biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (4-9)
Breakfast: bagels, yogurt, eggs
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: homemade pizza and breadsticks
Snack: snack basket

Thursday (4-10)
Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: pizza
Dinner: Marlboro Man's Sandwiches, homemade fries and corn
Snack: snack basket

Friday (4-11)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: sandwiches and chips
Dinner: *out of town guests here*
Snack: homemade chocolate shakes

Saturday (4-12)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ?????(it’s the weekend anything goes!)
Dinner: chicken club sandwiches(#6), seasoned potatoes(use fresh rather than canned), corn
Snack: popcorn or snack basket

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Singing Sunday

We sang this song in church this morning! However, just putting the words doesn't do it justice! Watch the video today! :)