Friday, October 10, 2008

All about "C"

This week, my daughter's favorite activity was taking M&M candies to do counting and sorting by colors. (because I let her eat them when we were done!)

Other things we did this week was read the book Circle City and then did up our own circle book with pictures of tires, faces, and donuts.

We made a C mini book, and instead of writing the whole word on the lines in the book. She is just writing a big "C" and a little "c".

We did lots of counting and coloring this week! Along with reading books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, C is for Clown, Chrysanthemum, The Little Cookie, If You Give A Mouse a Cookie, and a couple about Clifford.

I made little C word flashcards using C word book from abcteach. I changed my printer to resize the pages so that all 6 pages were on 1 page! Then I printed the page on white card stock and cut them out for her to color and use and also made a little pocket for them in her "C Lapbook".

Our Bible story this week was about Moses and the 10 Commandments.

We ate cake, cookies, carrots and candy for snacks. I know not very healthy in the snack department!

Weekly Shopping Trip~~Savings $51.30

After my shopping trips last week, I didn't need to do any major shopping! There was good deals this week, however, I decided to just pick up a few stockpile items along with getting the needed items for the week.

I needed to use the rest of my WIC benefits up for the month so I went to Family Fare and got milk, eggs, cheese, and juice. I also had a bag of pop cans to return so I netted $5.30 to use towards any of my deal purchasing! Family Fare was having their "Spartan brand sale" this week and they had their canned veggies on sale 4/$1(limit 12 each variety) so I picked up a case of green peas and a case of green beans.

Total: $6.00 minus the $5.30 bottle refund equals 70 cents out of pocket!!!!
Savings Total: $18.74(includes the bottle refund)

Next stop, Meijer...(pic above is my non-freezer items!)
  • 2 bottles Meijer Kids Complete vitamins $16.94
  • 3 cans pears $3.00
  • 4 jars applesauce $4.00
  • 1 bag froz. mixed veggies $1.00
  • 1 bag froz. peas & carrots $1.00
  • 1 bag froz. peas $1.00
  • 3 cans peaches $2.00 (11th item free!)
  • 2 containers sour cream $2.00
  • 2 lbs. bacon $4.00
  • 1 container cottage cheese $2.00
  • 2 bags Tater tots $4.00
  • 2 -32 oz containers Dannon plain yogurt $2.68 (these were on 50% markdown)

Total: $43.62
Savings Total:$32.56

GRAND TOTAL SAVINGS: $51.30(including bottle refund)

I used no coupons this week and still walked away with a great savings for the amount I purchased!

For more savings stories head over to MoneySavingMom's Super Saturday Savings and Becentsable's Centsable Saving Stories.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Parenting Series--ABCs Christian Parenting--Part 3

Did you do any building or affirming this week with your child? In my parenting series, I am taking the time to work thru the alphabet--sharing the letter and some thoughts on parenting. This week we take the time to think about "C" and Communication!

COMMUNICATE with your child in a way that glorifies Christ, always asking "would I say this to a friend?"

Pretend with me that "the friend" is Jesus! Would you be more of a Martha or Mary? Would you find that it was more important to sit and listen OR to stand and work in a different room?

Would you say things like "dumb"; "stupid"; "lazy" or "you just won't amount to anything!" to Jesus? Those kinds of words to your child can be hurtful to their self-esteem and can stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Would you tell them that you don't have time to listen carefully and politely to what they are saying?

Children thrive on positive attention. They want to feel loved and appreciated and as a parent you are the best person for giving them that loving attention and appreciation!

Take the time to listen to your child.

Take the time to give your child the attention they crave on a daily basis.

If you get angry over something your child has done take the time to walk away from the situation to calm down. Then approach your child calmly and talk to them about the situation. It does nothing for you and your child's relationship if you are constantly yelling every bit of communication to them. (This is something that I struggle with daily!)

Communicate in love rather than anger by saying words like "Please", "Thank you", "I love you!" "You did great!", "You are beautiful", You are handsome!" "I'm pleased with you doing _____!" can go a long way with your relationship with your child. Showing your love thru hugs, time, and one-on-one attention also helps build your communication relationship with your child.
Take time this week to communicate with your child. Let them know they are appreciated, loved, and worthy of your time.

"Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way." (Colossians 3:17 The Message)

"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (1Peter 4:11-NIV)

One final note:

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with recognition, he learns it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live to love and be loved. (Anonymous)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday--Menu Planning & Master Meal Lists

I have a menu planning system that works well in my house. It is multi-faceted and some times seems complex but it works well when everyone in my family participates! I have made up my own Master Grocery List in MS Word and I print it off each month and put it on my fridge. Then when we are low or out of something that I normally buy the item gets circled or highlighted by the person who is using the last of it or says they are taking the last one. This way, I know I need to get it from the store the next time I do my shopping.

I have also made up a MS Word document for my weekly meals. I take the time to plan out all of our meals and snacks for the week. If I didn't do this, my kids would eat the same snack item til it is gone! My kids would continue their incessant question("What's for ________?") before each meal! And I would be doing the 5'oclock rush/stress to figure out dinner and find that I forgot to pull meat out of the freezer so it will take til about 7'oclock or later before we are sitting down to the table for dinner or I just give up and order out. Ordering out though would not be good or healthy for us, esp. for dh who struggles with high cholesterol.

What I do while I am menu planning: I look at my calendar, if I am having a busy day then I make sure that lunch is something quick and the kids can get themselves, and dinner is not an elaborate meal. I look in my freezer and pantry to see what meals I can make from them. I look at the grocery ads for the week to see if there is any good sales or loss leaders that I need to purchase to complete my meals. I am one that likes to have a stocked freezer to choose meals from so that if there is a week that doesn't have good sales at any of the stores, I can just use my freezer and pantry.

The one last thing that I have done is taken the time to make Master Menu Lists, or as I call them "Menu Suggestion Lists". I wrote down every main dish, side dishes, lunches, and snacks that my family likes and will eat on a regular basis. Then I just plug in the items on different days to make up breakfast, lunch and dinner meals and snacks. Having these lists makes menu planning work for me because it doesn't take much more than 1/2 hour to get two weeks worth of meals and snacks planned for my family. Just recently, I took the time to update my lists because certain foods are no longer being made or bought, or new meals have been added to our repertoire.

Menu planning and Menu Suggestion Lists work for me because it helps my "dinner time stress" and time management!

To find out what works for others, head over to Shannon's blog today!

Weblink Wednesday

Do your kids love reading? Do you ever wonder if what they are reading they are also comprehending? Does your child need help with reading comprehension? Do you like to do unit studies using "library books"?

Here is a site that I have used with my boys. It has a list of books that are "kid friendly", enjoyable books. Each of the books has a link that takes you to a lesson plan around that book or there is comprehension questions, vocabulary, and activities to go along with each book.

For other weblinks, head over to Homeschooling with Encouragement!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Master Breakfast List

Breakfasts served with bacon, sausage or steak along with in season fruit.


Cold Cereal


Cream of Wheat


French Toast

Mom's McBiscuit/McMuffin Sandwich


Toast with peanut butter or cinnamon sugar



Scrambled Eggs

Cheese Omelets

Cinnamon rolls

Toaster Strudel


Homemade Donuts(yeast) or Apple Cider Donuts

Master Snack List

What I keep in my snack baskets. I keep a "snack basket" in my cupboard and I use veggie drawers in my fridge for those snacks that need to keep cool!

I plan my snacks for each day that way it is easier to keep track of what is being consumed and I know what types of things I need to replenish on my baking days. When I do up my homemade goodies, I take the time to individually wrap them so they are ready for an easy grab.

  1. Chewy Granola Bars
  2. Pudding
  3. Cake (like Chocolate Chip Cake or Surprise Cupcakes or Jello Cake)
  4. Popcorn
  5. Toast with PB
  6. Cinnamon Toast(toast a slice of bread, butter it, sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on it)
  7. Homemade Trail Mix
  8. Mini Sandwiches(PB, tuna, cheese, chicken) sometimes I make dinner rolls or get some brown and serve rolls from the store and then slice them for them to grab to make a quick snack sandwich.
  9. Homemade "Almost Nutri-Grain" Bars(in Miserly Meals)
  10. Bananas
  11. Popsicles
  12. Peanuts
  13. Yogurt
  14. Homemade Soft Pretzels
  15. Cheese and Crackers(use a variety of snack crackers and cheese)
  16. Graham crackers (variety of flavors)
  17. Homemade Donuts
  18. Cheese Crackers(like goldfish or cheez its)
  19. Crackers with PB(either using Ritz or Saltines)
  20. Cookies(PB, Oatmeal, Monster, Snickerdoodles, Sugar, Banana, Chocolate Crinkles, Chocolate chip, Oatmeal Scotchies, M&M,)
  21. Brownie Bites(done in mini muffin pan)
  22. Coffee cakes (Jewish Coffee Cake)
  23. Cinnamon rolls
  24. Pizza Sticks(homemade pizza cut into strips)
  25. Muffins (banana, pumpkin, pumpkin-oat, cinnamon, oatmeal, chocolate, zucchini, apple cider, orange juice, choc. chip, bran, blueberry, strawberry, pumpkin choc. chip) instead of always doing loaves of quick bread I take my quick bread recipe and put it into muffins sometimes regular muffins, or sometimes mini muffins
  26. Cheese sticks(I usually slice a chunk of cheese into approx. 1/2"-3/4" thick slices and then cut into strips)
  27. Carrot sticks with ranch dressing
  28. Nilla Wafers (plain, or with frosting for homemade sandwich cookies)
  29. Fruit snacks
  30. Meat/cheese rolls(deli sliced meat with a cheese stick rolled inside)
  31. "In Season" fruit (like apples, pears, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, watermelon, raspberries) sometimes I take a combination of fruit and make a fruit salad
  32. Banana pops
  33. Ice cream
  34. Homemade Icecream Shake
  35. Berry smoothies
  36. Chex Muddy Buddies
  37. Chips and Spicy Cheese Dip

Master Lunch List

Hot Dogs

Leftover Dinners/Makeovers

Bagel Bites/Pizza rolls

Deli Meat Sandwiches

Lunchables (homemade)

PB&J Sandwiches

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Nuggets/Tenders

Mini homemade pizzas

Egg salad sandwiches(mom only)

Chicken/Tuna salad sandwiches

Salad with grilled chicken

Macaroni & Cheese (spice it up with leftover chili or taco meat)

Nachos (leftover taco or chili meat w/toppings)

Salad with a bit of chicken chunks and boiled eggs

French Toast and fruit

Veggie Chicken noodle soup(leftover chicken and veggies with pasta and broth)

Bean and cheese burritos

Egg burritos

Cheese quesadillas

Chicken quesadillas

Baked potatoes with leftover chili or taco meat

Homemade Hot Pockets

Homemade pita bread stuffed with any number of things

Homemade tortillas throw in some chili

Meatball Subs --Make up a bunch of Meatballs and freeze. Take out of freezer along with hoagie buns and spaghetti sauce.

Master Side Dishes List

**here is a list of the side dishes that I choose from each week to make up my menus. I really need to find some new ones!

Potato/Rice Based:

Baked Potato

Boiled Potato

Mashed Potato

Potato Pockets

Hash Browns

Cheddar Browns

Crashed Potatoes

Seasoned Pan Fries(with seasoned salt, garlic and onion powder)

French Fries


Noodle Based:

Buttered Noodles

Mac & Cheese

Parmesan Noodles

Ramen Noodles

Bread Based:

Honey Oatmeal (rolls or bread)

Pumpernickel bread


Crescent Rolls

French Bread/Garlic Bread

Brown N Serve Rolls


Corn Muffins

Veggie Based:


Green Beans



Carrots (cooked or raw)

Broccoli(mom only)

Spinach(mom only)

Fruit Based:

Apple Slices


Cantaloupe Slices

Peach halves

Pears halves


Master Main Dish List

  • Pizza
  • Fresh Fish
  • Breaded Fish
  • Breaded Fish Sandwiches(quick)


Fall Into Cooking--October Challenge

For the last few months, my friends over at Happy To Be At Home have been hosting monthly challenges to end 2008 Great! Each month, they have been tackling a theme for the month and challenging others to tackle it as well. This month's challenge is Fall into Cooking! According to their site here is what they will be focusing on for the month...

ways we can organize our kitchens and meal planning,
find courage to try new recipes,
streamline meal prep and kitchen work,
and encouraging each other with tips on cooking for a crowd.

I am going to be joining the challenge this month! This week they are challenging everyone to put together a master menu plan or grocery list. Then we are to post about it on our blog. I have a master menu plan and a grocery list already done, however, it needs some updating! I am planning on updating it and posting at least the master menu plan to hopefully help give you some new ideas to serve your family.

In the meantime, here is what I did yesterday in my kitchen!

My kitchen was bustling yesterday!! I made TWO Jewish Coffee Cake and a batch of Chocolate Nut Bread(without the nuts!) which made two loaves(7 3/8"x3 5/8"x 2 1/4") and 4 muffins. Just in case you are wondering, it isn't frosting on the top of the bread but I reserved a 1/2 cup of the bag chocolate chips that I used in the bread to melt and spread on top of each cooled loaf and the 4 muffins. Hubby had requested at least the Jewish Coffee Cake for taking into work this morning to share with co-workers but I was able to squeak out some bread as well! So that platter above is what he took into work to share, while the other loaf of bread got sliced into to sample!

Stay tuned to get a look at my master menu plan!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

Ever find yourself out of something right in the middle of a recipe OR you want to do a recipe and realize you are out of ingredient and do not want to run to the store? Well the following list might help when you are in that kind of pinch!

Emergency Substitutions:

For: 1 Tbsp. fresh herb
Use: 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. dried herb (of the same kind)

For: 1 clove garlic
Use: 1/8 tsp. garlic powder

For: 1 egg in baking
Use: 1 tsp. cornstarch plus 1/4 cup water

For: 1 whole egg
Use: 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbsp. water

For: 1 cup whole fresh milk
Use: 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1/3 cup dry milk plus 1 cup water

For: 1 cup buttermilk
Use: 1 cup plain yogurt or 1 cup sour milk (4 tsp. White vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make 1 cup -- let it sit for five minutes before using)

For: 1 cup sour cream (in baking)
Use: 7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 Tbsp. of butter

For: 1 cup sour cream (in salad dressings, casseroles)
Use: 1 cup plain yogurt or 3/4 cup sour milk plus 1/3 cup butter

For: 1 cup cream
Use: 1/3 cup butter plus 3/4 cup milk

For: 1 cup corn syrup
Use: 2/3 cup granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water

For: 1 cup brown sugar
Use: 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp. molasses

For: 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
Use: 1 cup granulated sugar, packed

For: 1 cup margarine or butter (in baking or cooking)
Use: 1 cup hard shortening or 7/8 cup vegetable oil

For: 1 square unsweetened chocolate
Use: 3 Tbsp. cocoa plus 1 Tbsp. oil

For: 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
Use: 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 4 tsp. sugar

For: 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
Use: 1 cup bread crumbs

For: 1 cup cake flour, sifted
Use: 7/8 cup all purpose flour, sifted (1 cup minus 2 Tbsp.)

For: 1 tsp. baking powder
Use: 1/3 tsp. baking soda plus 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter, or 1/4 tsp. baking soda plus 1/3 cup sour milk

For: 1 Tbsp. cornstarch for thickening
Use: 2 Tbsp. flour

For: 1 Tbsp. flour for thickening
Use: 1 1/2 tsp. corn flour, arrowroot, potato flour, or rice
flour; or 2 tsp. tapioca

For: 2 Tbsp. tapioca for thickening
Use: 3 Tbsp. flour

For more great kitchen tips and recipes from others; head over to Tammy's Recipes!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 10/5-10/11

**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 the cook’s whim!

Last week's menu had a couple of meals that were switched around but other than that meals were eaten as scheduled.

I ended up being able to get enough food with this week's shopping trip that I won’t have to do any shopping for two weeks! I am trying to get where I only need to do major grocery shopping every two weeks and on the off weeks just get perishable items like milk, eggs, fresh fruit and veggies.

Several weeks ago for Menu Plan Monday, Laura did a themed one on family favorites well for this week, I have planned some of our family favorites--part two!(here is part one if you are interested!) My hubby is going to be working long hours this week and I am not sure if he will be joining us for dinner every night so I wanted to do meals that would reheat easily for him.

Lunches listed are for the kids and me. Usually with our lunches I serve carrot sticks, and some kind of in-season fruit along with juice or water to drink. Hubby usually takes dinner leftovers each day along with several items for snacks.

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 Laura-Organizing Junkie's site! **

Sunday (10-5)
Breakfast: eggs, sausage links or steak and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: lunchmeat sandwiches & chips
Dinner: pizza rolls/pizza treats, fries, and corn (freezer meal!)
Snack: snack basket

Monday (10-6)
Breakfast: cereal and toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: saucy chicken mashed potatoes, peas or salad
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (10-7)
Breakfast: waffles & sausage
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: sloppy joes, fries, and corn
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (10-8)
Breakfast: French toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: roasted pork loin, rice, green beans, and homemade honey oatmeal rolls
Snack: cookies & milk

Thursday (10-9)
Breakfast: bagels, yogurt and eggs
Lunch: pizza rolls
Dinner: Roasted Chicken(going into crockpot), baked potatoes, corn, biscuits
Snack: snack basket

Friday (10-10)
Breakfast: cereal and toaster strudel
Lunch: sandwich and chips
Dinner: homemade bacon cheeseburgers, fries and salad
Snack: ice cream night

Saturday (10-11)
Breakfast: “Cook’s Choice”
Lunch: ??? probably leftovers!
Dinner: “Homemade Long John’s Silver’s Night”: oven fried chicken, homemade breaded fish(recipe below), shrimp, fries, and corn
Snack: snack basket or popcorn

Breaded Fish Recipe:

1lb fish (I use tilapia)
½ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
¼ cup olive oil

Thaw fish. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasoning in a bowl. Slightly beat egg with water in a separate bowl. Heat oil in a pan on stove. Dip fish into egg mixture. Then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place fish into the hot oil and fry on each side about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Singing Sunday

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I've proved him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!

2. O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to trust his cleansing blood;
and in simple faith to plunge me
neath the healing, cleansing flood!

3. Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
just from sin and self to cease;
just from Jesus simply taking
life and rest, and joy and peace.

4. I'm so glad I learned to trust thee,
precious Jesus, Savior, friend;
and I know that thou art with me,
wilt be with me to the end.