Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reading Book Lists

Salt Lake City Library's Children Page links to book lists, all about authors, awards, books in a series and more.

Children's Book Council

Book Adventure --along with lists of books there is quizzes that kids can take on the books.

Birchwood Elementary School's library recommended reading --reading lists by grade levels

Book Nuts Reading Club Reading Lists

PPS Leveled Books Lists

1000 Good Books List

The Best Kids Book Site --book lists plus more activities

Carol Hurst' Children's Literature Site --collection of book reviews for kids and more

Children's Literature Web Guide

Teacher's and Families Reading Ideas -- reading lists by grade levels, along with a reading theme section for middle and high school students.  There is also a "lifetime reading list" link with a list of books that one should read at least once in their lifetime. Ultimate Reading List -- over 400 titles of young adult to adult books that should be enjoyed by teens. List is compiled alphabetically and in a downloadable PDF file

**updated list with additional links added!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chex Peanut Butter and Chocolate Blast Mix

6 cups Rice Chex cereal (or Corn Chex)
1 cup white vanilla baking chips (8 oz)
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup candy coated peanut butter candies (Reese's Pieces or M&Ms)
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts

1. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil or waxed paper. Place 3 cups cereal in large bowl. In small microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Pour melted chips over cereal in bowl; stir to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on one of the cookie sheets. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until set.

2. Repeat the above using the remaining cereal and the peanut butter chips; refrigerate 5 minutes or until set.

3. Gently break up coated cereal into large bowl. 

4. Add candy and peanuts; stir gently to combine or just sprinkle on top of the mixed coated cereal. Store in airtight container.

Sonshine's Notes:  I made this twice over the holiday weekend and both times it was gone before I could get a picture of it or have any of it myself.  The reviews of teenage boys and my hubby are phenomenal considering they are known for being picky eaters.  They told me that I could make it on a consistent basis and they would not complain about having to eat again!    

The first time I made the mix I just switched things up by using mixing together Corn and Rice Chex and switching out the Reese's Pieces for milk chocolate M&Ms, I still used vanilla and peanut butter chips for the coating. The second time I made it I ended up burning the peanut butter chips during the melting process, so I melted milk chocolate chips with about 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter for part of the coating. Also the second time I didn't have enough cereal to round out the 3 cups for the second half of the mix so I broke up some pretzel sticks in half and put them in with the cereal to coat.  As for the candies and peanuts, I didn't measure these items, I sprinkled them on top after mixing the coated cereal on one of the cookie sheets. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms
~~Author Unknown

I can read bedtime stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor--but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.

I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voice mail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window when it's 30 minutes past curfew. Love is kind when my teen says, "I hate you!" It does not envy the neighbors' swimming pool or their brand-new mini van, but trusts the Lord to provide every need.

Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities, and love rejoices when other families succeed. It doesn't boast, even when I've multi-tasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.

Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?" It does not immediately seek after glory when we see talent in our children, but encourages them to get training and make wise choices.

It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her. It does not delight in evil (is not self-righteous) when I remind my 17-year-old that he's going 83 in a 55-mph zone, but rejoices in the truth.

Love does not give up hope. It always protects our children's self-esteem and spirit, even while doling out discipline. It always trusts God to protect our children when we cannot. It always perseveres, through blue nail polish, burps and other bodily functions, rolled eyes and crossed arms, messy rooms and sleep overs. 

Love never fails.

But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labor(s), they will fade away. Where there is talking back, it will (eventually) cease. (Please, Lord?) Where there is a teenager who thinks she knows everything, there will one day be an adult who knows you did your best. 

For we know we fail our children, and we pray they don't end up in therapy, but when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will disappear. (Thank you, God!)

When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we're parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters us and holds us when we need to cry. 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cheesecake Cookie Cups

On my list to make again, so I decided to pull out this yummy recipe to share with everyone again...

The other day after taking my pantry inventory, I found that I had several boxes of cream cheese and a can of sweetened condensed milk that were getting close to their use by dates. I also had some ready to bake cookie dough in my fridge that I needed to use but I didn't just want to make plain ol' cookies.

So I went digging around on some of my favorite baking sites and blogs and I ran across this recipe on Nestle's Very Best Baking website and decided that they would make a excellent treat for the family so I made them today along with a few alterations.

Cheesecake Cookie Cups

1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) Ready to bake chocolate chip cookie dough
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (14 oz.)sweetened condensed Milk, not evaporated
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling(optional)
or 1/2 bag chocolate chips, melted with 2 tbsp Crisco

Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup.

BAKE at 325° for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.

BEAT cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.

BAKE for additional 18 to 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Top each with level tablespoon of pie filling or drizzle melted chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Baking Notes: I didn't have any pie filling but I had a 1/2 bag of special dark chocolate chips in my fridge. I poured the chips into a microwaveable bowl and added 2 tbsp Crisco and put the bowl in the microwave for 3 minutes or until the chips are totally melted. Once the chips are melted, I transferred them to a plastic bag and clipped the corner of the bag and drizzled the chocolate on top of the cheesecake cookie cups while they were cooling on the counter.

I am sure that you could make up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough rather than using the ready to bake to dough and just put a 2-3 tbsp. dough in each muffin cup.

This recipe was easy to prepare although I did have to bake them longer than stated in the original recipe.  They will make an easy go to dessert for hubby to take to work or for those planned summertime potlucks!


This post is linked to:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Singing Sunday--God Undefeatable!

I have been humming this song all day....during my prayer time while getting ready for church this morning...then singing it during the worship time of the morning service.

So I asked a friend who sings with the worship team what the name of the song was so that I could look it up and share it! Needless to say, I was amazed what I found....the writers of the song provided a pdf. of the theology of the song for others to ready and just the like the song, the thoughts behind the song are powerful too!

Simply powerful....enjoy listening to the song and then read the theology behind the song!!  Then praise God for His matchless love and power!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Savings at Meijer---$93.99

Before I left to do my shopping, I had decided that I wanted to get TWO of the OM promotion deal. I kept debating if I wanted to do my shopping once through and then go back through and get my 2nd round of the OM promotion or if I wanted to try my hand at doing two transactions in a row with the same cashier. I am usually a one transaction lady because the cashier's at my store seem to get impatient with the customers my philosophy is the quicker through the line the better. Well I went for it and did two transactions with the same cashier. I went through a line with a cashier that I wasn't familiar with and needless to say I will NOT be going back through that grouch's lane again! She did not want to talk at all to me and when she did it was very harsh. UGH! I did a small transaction first and then the bigger one as the second transaction. The first one didn't have any Mperks associated with it so I didn't punch in my numbers for that one. However, the second transaction had quite a few Mperks associated with it, so I waited until she had finished doing my paper MQs before I went to punch in my Mperks numbers. Well she had already hit the payment key when I went to punch the Mperks numbers in so the Mperks button was missing on the card reader, so I commented oh I have Mperks too and she snapped at me saying you are to do that while I am scanning your order cause once I hit the payment key I am not to go back so you can do the Mperks. I said "oh I didn't realize that, I learned something new today". She did go back and allow me to punch in my Mperks but with disdain for such. Anyway on to the transactions....

First transaction: 

12 Mars brand candy bars $9.48 - $5.16(MMB & free items)= $4.32 (36¢ each)
4 OM Lunchables $7.96 -$4.00(promo)-$2.00(MQs)= $1.96 (49¢ each)
4 pks OM Deli Fresh $9.96 - $4.00(promo) -$2.00 (MQs) = $3.96 (99¢ each)

OOP: $10.24
Savings Total: $25.96
Savings %: 71.71%!!!!
**side note: there was 24 items in this transaction, so my avg cost per item after savings was 43¢!!! Not bad!

Second transaction: 

19.08 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts $33.78
3 pks Ortega seasonings and 1 jar taco sauce $3.92 -$1.00MMB - $1.00 (2-50¢ MQs) = $1.92 (48¢ each)
2 pouches Starkist tuna $2.98 -$1.00MMB - $1.00(2-50¢ MQS) = 98¢ (49¢ each)
4 conts. Daisy sour cream $7.16
4 pkgs OM Lunchables $7.96 - $4.00 promo - $2.00(MQs) = $1.96
4 pkgs OM Deli Fresh $9.96 - $4.00 promo -$2.00(MQs) = $3.96
2 pkgs Chi-Chi's tortillas $4.00 -$1.00MMB = $3.00
2 bags Tostitos $5.00 - 50¢MMB -50¢Mperks = $4.00
4 jars Planters Peanuts $10.00 - 50¢Mperks - $3.00(2-$1.50 MQs) = $6.50 ($1.63 each)
4 boxes Lipton Soup Mix $4.00 - 60¢Mperks - $1.00MMB = $2.40 (60¢ each)
5 Totinos Pizzas $6.25 -$1.00Mperks - $1.00(MQ) = $4.25 (85¢ each)
2 pkgs Hillshire Lil Smokies $5.00 - 55¢ IP - 50¢MMB = $3.95
2 bags Tyson Anytizers $11.98 -$2.00(MQs) = $9.98
2 jars Miracle Whip $6.00 - B1G1(MQ) = $3.00
20 cups Yoplait Yogurt $12.00 - 40¢Mperks = $11.60 (kicking myself b/c I forgot to pull my MQs for the yogurt!)
2 bags M&M valentine candy $5.00- $1.00(MQ) = $4.00

OOP: $102.04
Savings: $68.03 
Savings %: 40%!!!
**side note there was 73 items in this transaction so my avg cost per item after savings was $1.40!! not bad! 

The yogurt had a Catalina for $2.00 OYNO so I guess that makes up for things just a tad.  

For no doubles at my store and forgetting about $2.00 in MQs for the yogurt this turned out be to a good shopping trip even if I did have my 2 little ones with me asking every few minutes...."are we done yet!"

This post is linked to: 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday Jan 29-Feb 4

I really have been doing menu planning over the last several months, but I haven’t taken the time to post them due to life getting very busy on me and reducing my time spent on the computer.  Now that a new year has started and I have a routine pretty much figured out, I am finding that getting back into menu planning is a great asset for those busy days and weeks because I am not having the big issue of wondering what I am going to throw together for dinner.

Last week was just getting the basics with grocery shopping.  I have been working at a new system of shopping over the last few months and the new system is working for our family! My grocery shopping system is I shop the stores within the 5 mile radius of my house and make a trip to Sam's around the 15th and the last day of each month, which coincide with hubby’s paychecks.   I am finding this plan to be working very well!  I can get the good deals on the weeks I shop and get creative in the kitchen on the weeks where I just swing into Aldi for our weekly supply of 4 gallons of milk and 4 dozen eggs.

This week’s meals are simple and using what meat I had in the freezer and pantry items leftover from before my big grocery shopping trip that was two weeks ago.  Sundays are family dinner dining out nights due to our schedule with church activities it makes life so much easier and dinner is served earlier rather than later.   The rest of the week is simple meals to save time, energy and money in the kitchen.

This week’s lunches that are listed below are for the kids and me! Unless we are having leftovers, our lunches are served with apple slices or carrot sticks along with fruit juice or water.   Hubby and my three oldest boys usually take a dinner leftover along with various snacks for their lunches so I don’t take the time to really plan their lunches. I just take the next container of leftovers in the stack in the fridge that I have prepared ahead of time.

A special thanks to Laura-Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday! Need help with your menus; go check the over 300 other delicious meal plans that have been linked at Laura-Organizing Junkie's site or look down in my right sidebar for my menu suggestion lists!

Sunday (1-29)
Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage and cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftovers –turned sloppy joes into taco meat and made sloppy chicken sandwiches from roasted chicken.
Dinner:  Checker’s (family dining out night)
Snack: snack basket

Monday (1-30)
Breakfast: cereal and leftover cinnamon rolls
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  saucy chicken, mashed taters, salad, rolls and green beans
Snack: snack basket

Tuesday (1-31)
Breakfast:  waffles and sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  smothered chicken, boiled red taters, corn
Snack: snack basket

Wednesday (2-1)
Breakfast:  bagels and cereal
Lunch: sandwich & chips
Dinner: beef gravy over noodles, peas and crescent rolls
Snack: snack basket

Thursday (2-2)
Breakfast: Pancakes and sausage
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  chicken rice casserole served with homemade bread
Snack: snack basket                                                       

Friday (2-3)
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner:  chicken club sandwiches, fries and carrots
Snack: snack basket

Saturday (2-4)
Breakfast:  Your Choice
Lunch: sandwiches & chips
Dinner: pork chops, mac & cheese, peas, salad and rolls
Snack: popcorn or snack basket