Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 28 - July 4

There's nothing like bragging about yourself..."I've been so good about following my meal plan"...blah, blah, blah... for things (like life!) to happen and make a liar out of you. Well, I got thrown off a little bit last week. I can't really recall why but a couple of my meals didn't happen so onward they go to this week. I especially dropped the ball on breakfast last week. As I've mentioned before, I try to make breakfast everyday and not buy cereal. I bet I forgot to mention the exception to this self-imposed rule.....summer. Summer ushers in fun and relaxation of not only our bodies and minds but our cereal rule. In the summer I buy chocolate cereal, cereal shaped like aliens, princess cereal, cookie cereal and all must contain....gasp...marshmallows! Pop tarts are also a summer treat as is the occasional ice cream sundae for dinner. Come fall and the beginning of school (mind you, we homeschool so school never really ends) all is back to business....homemade-as-organic-as-possible-breakfast.

We need to be flexible this week...I'm planning but expecting the unexpected (we are eating from the pantry and freezer, trying to use up as much as possible) as we are supposed to close on our house on Wednesday and will be moving the rest of the week. Hopefully!

Have a great week and happy eating!!

Breakfast - Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins from the freezer

Dinner - Beef stroganoff, glazed carrots

Breakfast - Homemade cranberry granola bars

Dinner - Fried fish, macaroni and cheese, peas

Breakfast - Orange cinnamon rolls (from last week's menu)

Dinner - Smothered pork chops with long grain and wild rice, green beans

Breakfast - Scrambled eggs on toast

Dinner - Chicken a la king on homemade buttermilk biscuits, salad

Breakfast - Cereal!

Dinner - Family Fun Night! Pizza, root beer floats

Breakfast - Doughnuts (I know, I know but we are moving! We'll get back to nutrition and lower carbs next week!:) )

Dinner - I have no idea...all I know is I'm not cooking it

Breakfast - Kolaches

Dinner - Fourth of July Cookout!

For more meal ideas check out

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Anniversary and a PSA...Trust God and Buckle Up!

                               Crash sends family of nine to hospital

June 22 is a date that no one in my family will forget. It is a day that held the greatest horror of our lives yet became a defining moment in a million other joyful ways, Today is the one year anniversary of the car accident that changed our lives.

We (myself, my husband and our 7 children) were traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas where my husband worked during the week. We looked forward to this trip and had several fun summer activities planned to fill our days while my husband was at work. The day was beautiful, sunny and clear and we had just commented on how there were very few cars on the road. No sooner had those words left our lips than a white Firebird traveling in the opposite direction came careening across the median, hitting us head-on at 70 miles per hour. When a little car wedges itself under a very large van, it cause the very large van to somersault over it. We flew through the air end over end, rolled several times and came to rest on the driver's side...and then caught fire. Then, the moment I feared most...turning around to see if all of children were still there....and alive. Their cries were the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard. There they all were. Scared, banged up but securely belted in their seats...all seven of them. Thank you God! Then, angels descended upon us in the form of a guy with a fire extinguisher who put out the fire and pulled my children to safety, doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs...and these were just the passers-by! They brought blankets, water and comfort to my children. Meanwhile my husband and I were still trapped in the van. I was suspended by my seatbelt and had a broken arm and several broken ribs. My husband was much worse...his door had been peeled open and his leg was trapped between the van and the ground. He leg was shattered from top to bottom as well as several of  his ribs being broken. I just remember a man appearing, he had a white ponytail. He climbed into the van with us and stood next to me and stooped over. He instructed me to rest on his back. I was hanging by my seat belt and it was slicing into my hips and he stood there for probably 30 minutes hunched over trying to alleviate my discomfort...I'll never forget him.
Anyway, here we are a year later. My husband ended up being in the hospital for a month and unable to return to work for almost 12 months. But God loves us and we have experienced the fullness of His grace. Our scars are fading, our life is still slowly returning to normal and we have forgiven the young man who caused this (by the way, he walked away without a scratch). We received an outpouring of prayer and love from people and churches from all over the country. I am grateful beyond words to everyone who stopped and helped us, the bystanders, the police, firefighters, hospital staff and all of those who I will never know. We have grown closer as a family, realizing how precious each day...each moment is because in the blink of an eye, it can all change.

So, even if your state doesn't have a mandatory seat belt law (Texas, where we're from has for years but Arkansas' law didn't go into effect until July 1, 2009...9 days after our wreck) WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT, keep your kids in child safety seats as long as possible (my nine year old is still in a saved his life) and don't use your cell phone while you are could be saving your and someone else's lives.

Oh yeah, here's the other guy's car....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 21-28

Well, after a wonderful weekend with my husband and a great Father's Day, he's on his way back to work and we're back to our summer fun. This week is vacation Bible school and...God willing...our closing (although I really think it's going to be next week...I can still hope!).

I've been extremely diligent in keeping with my menu plans and in turn I've been saving lots of money! I'm feeding our family of 9 minus 1 for approximately $90.00 per week. And we are not eating beans! No offense to bean growers and lovers everywhere....we love 'em but don't want to have to eat them for every meal. We did end up ditching the bleu cheese burgers because we ended up eating out instead. However, our star of the week was the meatloaf sandwiches with asiago cheese sauce and sundried tomato mayonnaise. I ended up serving them on a garlic parmesan bread I found while shopping for the was so good!

Here is our plan for this week....Happy eating!

Breakfast -
Cinnamon toast
Chicken alfredo,
Glazed carrots,
Garlic bread

Breakfast -
Breakfast pizza
Dinner -
Thai noodle bowls (saw this on 30 minute meals and thought it would be yummy...I'll let you know)

Breakfast -
Orange cinnamon rolls
Dinner -
Corn dog casserole

Breakfast -
Pancakes ( check out Jim's Pancakes...we may not get that elaborate but talk about inspired!)
Dinner - Grilled chicken quesadillas with watermelon salsa,
Rice pudding

Breakfast -
Cheese omelets
Family Fun Night! Pizza, fruit skewers with chocolate fondue

Saturday -
Homemade jelly filled doughnuts
Dinner -
Coconut battered chicken tenderloins - mix bisquick with enough beer or tonic water to make a thick batter; dip chicken in and then in coconut; fry in hot oil until golden),
Tropical luau rice - add pineapple chunks, black beans, roasted corn and green onion to white rice, Orange lime dipping sauce

Breakfast -
Ham and cheese kolaches on the way to church
Dinner -
Summer spaghetti - toss cooked spaghetti with diced fresh tomatoes, torn fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and cubed or pearl fresh mozzarella. It's light, refreshing and filling.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

R.I.P. Darth

Death is never an easy issue but when you are responsible for that death, it's a burden almost to great to bear. That's what I've been dealing with since I accidentally killed my son's frog, Darth Vader. I really, really didn't mean to. I was trying to be helpful and clean it's tank. I didn't know I was supposed to put "spring water" into the tank. I thought the frog was just being pretentious so I used tap water. Darth Vader became really active... I thought he was happy because his tank was clean, I didn't realize he was trying to escape the toxic tap water! Goodness, we drink this stuff!  We woke up the next morning and ole Darth wasn't looking so, well, alive. I feel so awful.  At least we still have our other frog, Luke Skywalker, to keep us company. The worst part is this is the second pet death we've experienced in the last 2 months. Our dear hamster, Ham and Cheese died in Grandma's care while we were out of town. He had lived to the ripe old age of 2 1/2 and died peacefully in his sleep. We're going to have to invest in some sturdier pets with longer life expectancies! My poor sister, in an effort to spare her children the heartbreak of loss (they have a bird, fish and hamster) is on a first name basis with most of the staff at her local Petsmart.  I think she' s in there about once a week replacing some dearly departed creature.
Fortunately for me, my son is a wonderful, forgiving soul. He says he doesn't blame me (a new Stars Wars action figure helped heal the wound, too).

Well, Darth, may the force be with will be missed.

I think I'm going to go buy a water filter......


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This week...

June 14 - Flag Day
June 15 - My wedding anniversary!!!
June 16 - Fudge Day
June 18 - International Picnic Day - go out and enjoy the day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 14 - 20

                This image is, of course, a only feels like my house!

Why have I been lugging all of this junk around?!  That's the question I have spent the last week asking myself...over and over and over. As I am going through drawers, files, cabinets, etc...I am overwhelmed by the amount of paper we accumulate! In the fourteen years we have been married, we have moved a lot. Our new house is the first house we're actually buying and I am determined not to drag all of this with me!! So far, we've filled 5 7 garbage bags with papers we've shredded and emptied 3 bookcases...YAH! More of the same to come this week.
This week is also our wedding anniversary...the first one we'll spend apart (at least until Thursday) since my husband just started a new position in Florida. We really miss him but I sure get a lot done when he's gone (only because I don't have my best friend to hang out with). Speaking of that..gotta go pack! Have a great week and happy eating!!!

Breakfast -
Cereal....I is summer vacation....
Dinner -
Meatball Monday! Polynesian meatball and sausage skewers, rice, sesame green beans

Breakfast -
Sausage and egg bagels
Dinner -
BBQ baby back ribs
Baked beans (see recipe below...going to make enough for tonight and Thursday boys love know, the musical fruit:))
Mac and cheese...oh's (almost)  all frozen...

Breakfast -
Crepes with Nutella and strawberries
Dinner -
Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy on toast (I'm's frozen)
Mashed potatoes
Green peas

Breakfast - Cowboy breakfast -
Ranch home fries - cube potatoes, toss in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil then ranch dressing mix; bake at 425 until middles are soft and edges are crispy.
Baked beans - this is another non-recipe: two cans pork and beans, drained; a few shakes of Worchestershire sauce, a dash of liquid smoke, about a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, a giant squirt of yellow mustard, a couple of dashes of garlic powder and a big handful of brown sugar. Bake at 400 for about an hour or put in the crock pot on low for about 4 hours.
Scrambled eggs (can you tell this is the only way my kids will eat eggs?)
Buttermilk biscuits
Dinner -
Crockpot sloppy Joes (when we eat these in the dining room we call them by their more formal name "disheveled Joseph's" but we're eating on the floor so they are definitely sloppy Joes...and Williams and Carolines and Quentins......

Breakfast -
Monkey bread
Dinner - Family Fun Night!
Boneless wings - buy your favorite chicken nuggets I like the Great Value brand chicken fritters from Walmart...they have lots of nooks and crannies for the sauce to nestle in; coat with your favorite BBQ, wing or teriyaki sauce or any other sauce for that matter and bake on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray at the recommended temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Banana boats - we're going to make these but add marshmallows, too and individually wrap them for individual messes!

Breakfast -
Huevos rancheros with homemade pico de gallo (chop sweet onion, tomato, jalapeno pepper and cilatro. Mix in the quantities to suit your taste. I like it heavy on the tomatoes and cilantro but my husband likes it hot so we add more jalapeno)
Dinner -
Meatloaf sandwiches on toasted sourdough with cheese sauce (here comes that ever-morphing bechamel recipe again this time I'm adding parmesan and gruyere) and sun dried tomato mayonnaise

Breakfast -
Can't's a Father's Day surprise!
Dinner -
Bleu cheese bacon burgers and seasoned steak fries with garlic aolicarrot cake with cream cheese frosting (Dad's other favorite beside Key Lime pie which he may be a little tired of since he's in Florida now!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 7 - 14

Wow! Things are starting to happen fast! It looks like we're closing on a new house in the next couple of weeks and I have a million things to do...and a million things to pack! Fortunately, the house is less than five miles from our current abode and I have lots of helpers. In the midst of all of  the chaos and excitement that comes with a move it's nice to know I have my meals planned! Otherwise, we probably would  be eating sandwiches or takeout every night. It's bad enough I've packed the dishes already so we're eating off of styrofoam plates and cups...on the floor. I got carried away and took apart the dining room table...whoops! So here's my plan....

Monday: Breakfast - yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits
Dinner - Meatball Monday! Meatball pizza ring (Check out my Chicken ranch ring and substitute meatballs, pizza sauce, cheese and black olives)

Tuesday: Breakfast - Grilled peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches
Dinner - Pineapple glazed ham steaks, hash brown casserole, green beans

Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday! - (Like our normal life isn't wacky enough)                
Breakfast - Hotdogs,  baked beans, chips
Dinner  - French toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit

Thursday: Breakfast - Breakfast nachos - Tortilla chips topped with scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, sauteed onion and  bell peppers, diced tomato and avocado,  cheese and sour cream. Click the link for an "official"-type recipe...I'm just winging it.
Dinner - Baked tortellini and cheese (like mac and cheese only with cheese tortellini), garden salad

Friday: Breakfast - Blueberry Buckle
Dinner - Family Fun night! Pizza, Purple Cows

Saturday: Breakfast - Bagel bar - Bagel with a choice of toppings cream cheese in various flavors, jam, smoked salmon, strawberries, etc...
Dinner - Grilled turkey and cheese and creamy garlic potato soup

Sunday: Breakfast - Donuts and kolaches on the way to church
Dinner - Grilled Kabobs - beef, zucchini, grape tomatoes with a dijon marinade, broccoli cheese rice

Find more menu ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie...Laura's got a great blog!

Happy eating and have a great week!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This week...

June 1 - Donut Day
June 2 - National Rocky Road Day
June 3 - National Egg Day (check out my Eggs Benedict recipe!)
June 4 - National Cheese Day ....I thought this was every day!