My progress, since weight loss surgery 8/8/07

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

I won the Polo shirt giveaway! See here and here.

I am so excited you would think that I won the Lottery!

I just want to send a big thanks and some Link Love to The Seabird Chronicles- And please be sure to visit her blog!

Frugal Friday: Frugal Napkins

My Frugal tip this week may not be original , but it sure savesmoney ! When wash cloths start getting to thin they "recycle" to become our everyday napkins- I even keep them on the table in

a pretty basket:


I assign a clean one every morning at breakfast to each kid and if needed they can be wet to
clean messy faces. I just rinse them out and hang them on the stove handle for easy reach. The children will clean their hands, faced and personal eating spaces after each meal. If they are too dirty, they can get a new one. When they are finished for the day , dry ones are tossed in the laundry and wet ones are hung on the stove to dry all night and then put in the laundry the next morning.


When the "everyday" napkins start to look to rough from too many spaghetti dinners or just to thin, they get "recycled" again into the rag bin for cleaning and "daddy's garage".

Saves money! and a few trees! Please visit Biblical women for more frugal ideas!

Alien Abduction, abnormal disappearances!

(insert ex-files music here) Where do my pictures go that disappear from my post? This strange phenomena keeps happening, my blog looks so nice one day and the next day They are GONE! No goodbyes. nothing! Does anyone know how to fix this? So I usually re-load my pictures. Do they show up as two pictures for my visitors? Does this have anything to do with my beloved Macintosh? HELP..... This is Blogger Hell!!!! Are my graphics and photos being probed as we speak?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

WFMW- Homekeeping Notebook

My Home keeping Notebook

I have been keeping a home keeping notebook for about 3 years now . It changes and evolves as my life does. There are new things added , updated and even removed a the children grow, we move, We get a dog, buying and selling house and car, new jobs, Home schooling. Well you get the idea. I love seeing what others do with their notebooks, so before I ask you to share, I thought I would open mine for you. First let me tell you that I have went from one notebook to three! The main one is the most important. I have my main homekeeping notebooking, My homeschool binder and my lesson plan binder. Please leave me a comment or e-mail me if you would like to share your notebook(s) with me or if you want a copy of my forms :)

Be sure to see Rocks In My Dryer For more ideas!

Want to see more? Read below:

Dolly’s Home keeping Notebook (2 inch binder~ photo follows)
Inside there sections:

1. A current to do or notes( just a handwritten sheet ( I Love List)

2. Cleaning notes and schedules- Daily, Weekly, once a quarter schedules for life and cleaning,
And a Library Log that keeps track of when borrowed items are due. I don’t keep my calendar here anymore because it is on my computer and the “family one” is a desk calendar on the fridge.

3.Monthly Menus- blank and Current menus and a month’s worth ( so I can avoid too many repeats) , My Butcher shop price list, and a list of Breakfast and lunch ideas

4. My wonder dog’s and the Kid’s Dr. and schedules for vaccines- We order the vaccines for wonder dog online and give them at home.

5. Funny stories, poems and cute things- Mostly copies of clippings that I have found that I like to keep and share sometimes.

6. Blank Note paper for list and notes

My Homeshcool Stuff ( 3 inch binder~ photo follows)
Inside there sections

1,2 &3.A section for each subject that I need extra notes for Ie- Sazon Math K has A ton of worksheets- these are in a section of their own. Bible , and Spell to Write and Read.

4. Legal stuff-the laws and a notice of intent form

5. Tips and notes - Things and Ideas

Lesson Plans and Notes (1 inch binder~ photo follows)

Zippered Pouch with scissors pens and pencils because this one is used away form my office .

and 3 sections:

1. Calendar and schedules- a full calendar- year at a glance and a detail of the kid’s home school schedule

2. Curriculum - The curriculum key that explains my Abbreviations in the lesson plan and my current years curriculum plan that includes what plans we have for the current year.

3. Lesson Plans- Daily plans for two kids one page for each. I have to explain because this coming year my DH and I plan to share HS duties so I can work PT- He is a Firefighter and works one 24 hr. shift and then has 48 off continuously.

You Know your a Homeschooler when...

I found this a few years ago- if you know the author- please e-mail me So I can give credit :)

You Know You're A Homeschool Mom When...

You get to change more than diapers, you get to change their minds.

When a child busts a lip, and after seeing she's okay, you round up some scotch tape to capture some blood and look at it under the microscope!

You find dead animals and actually consider saving them to dissect later.

Your children never ever leave the "why?" stage.

When your teenager decides to take one community college course, and comes home and asks you why the teacher wrote "At" on his paper. (A+)

You ask for, and get, a copier instead of a diamond tennis bracelet for your wedding anniversary.

Your kids think reading history is best accomplished while lying on the floor with their head resting on the side of their patient dog.

Your husband can walk in at the end of a long day and tell how the science experiment went just by looking at the house.

You never have to drive your child's forgotten lunch to school.

Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE.

The only debate about the school lunch program is whose turn it is to cook.

You never have to face the dilemna of whether to take your child's side or the teacher's side in a dispute at school.

If your child get's drugs at school, it's probably Tylenol.

Your neighbors think you are insane.

Your kids learn new vocabulary from their extensive collection of "Calvin & Hobbes" books.

Your formal dining room now has a computer, copy machine, and many book shelves and there are educational posters and maps all over the walls.

You have meal worms growing in a container....on purpose.

If you get caught talking to yourself, you can claim you're having a PTA meeting.

Talking out loud to yourself is a parent/teacher conference.

You take off for a teacher in-service day because the principal needs clean underwear.

You can't make it through a movie without pointing out the historical inaccuracies.

You step on math manipulatives on your pre-dawn stumble to the bathroom.

The teacher gets to kiss the principal in the faculty lounge and no one gossips.

Your honor student can actually read the bumper sticker that you have put on your car.

If your child claims that the dog ate his homework, you can ask the dog.

Some day your children will consider you to be a miracle-working expert and will turn to you for advice.

Your kids refer to the neighbor kids as "government school inmates."

You can't make it through the grocery produce department without asking your preschooler the name and color of every vegetable.

You can't put your produce in your cart without asking your older student to estimate it's weight and verify accuracy.

You live in a one-house schoolroom.

Polo anyone?

The Sea Bird Chronicles is giving away another Polo shirt, This one is even nicer than the last one! Be sure to visit and sign up for your chance to win!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cooking with kids

Tammy inspired this post with her pod cast (see here)Teaching my children is one of my greatest joys, as they get bigger we enjoy time together in the kitchen. We started with cookies using pre-made cookie dough, now I have them measure and scoop and even pour ingredients. Sometimes we combine crafts and snack time. Below is a collection of kid fun recipes I have collected so as they grow and can do more with me- I will be able to pull form my stash- enjoy!
Visit Tammy for more tips!


Hot dogs
Prepared yellow mustard
1 pkg. (3 oz.) beef ramen noodles
Green food coloring

Octopus Instructions:
1. Fill a large saucepan up with water. _2. Bring water to a boil. _3. Cut each hot dog lengthwise into eight strips to within 2 inches of one end. _4. Drop the cut hotdog into boiling water. _5. Cook until heated through. _6. Remove from water. _7. Stand on a plate. With dabs of mustard add eyes and a mouth.
Seaweed Instructions:
1. In a saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in the noodles and the contents of the seasoning packet. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until noodles are tender. _2. Add green food coloring to noodles and stir until well blended. _3. Drain, if there is too much liquid left. _4. Place noodles (seaweed) on a serving plate and top with the hotdogs (octopus).

Oreo Rocket Ship

13 Double Stuff Oreos_1/4 c. canned chocolate or vanilla frosting_blue food coloring_1 Oreo chocolate ice cream cone 9you can also use plain cones_cinnamon red hots_red cake decorator gel for decorating_4 sticks fruit stripe bubble gum
1. Stack cookies together, securing with frosting in between each cookie. Let dry completely._2. Tint remaining frosting blue. Spread cone with blue frosting. Press red hots into frosting around open end of cone. Let dry. Write USA on cone with red decorating gel._3. Trim ends of gum diagonally; secure with gel round base of rocket. Secure cone with frosting to top of rocket. Decorate rocket with red hots._If you like, surround rocket ship with mounds of pressured whipped topping for clouds and red candy curls for blast off trails. To make red candy curls, pipe a small amount of melted red candy coating in spiral shapes onto waxed paper. Refrigerate till set. Carefully peel off paper._Makes 1 rocket ship.

Worms in Dirt

1 16-ounce package Oreo type cookies
2 cups cold milk
1 pkg.small JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping , thawed slightly
individual serving cups

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping , thawed slightly
individual serving cups
Gummy worms
1.CRUSH cookies in zipper-style plastic bag with rolling pin or in food processor.
2.POUR cold milk into large bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in whipped topping and 1/2 of the crushed cookies.
3.PLACE about 1 tablespoon crushed cookies into each cup. Fill cups about 3/4 full with pudding mixture. Top with remaining crushed cookies.
4.REFRIGERATE until ready to serve. Garnish with gummy worms just before serving. Yields about 8 servings

Make Butter

1 cup of whipping cream, salt, baby food jars (one for each child), crackers.
Pour whipping cream into jars with 1 drop of food coloring. Add a pinch of salt. Close tightly and give to the children to shake. Butter will form soon. Pour off extra liquid. Spread on crackers and it's ready to eat.

Cow Milk Shakes

Ice Cream
Chocolate or Strawberry Syrup

Haystack Cookies

Graham Crackers
Small Chocolate Squares
Chow Mien Noodles
On top of a graham cracker have the children place a chocolate square, half marshmallow and chow mien. Microwave for 16 sec.

Chicken Coop Nest

Chow Mien Noodles
Hard Shell Topping
Marshmallows (eggs)
Children spread their chow mien noodles at the bottom of a paper bowl. Squeeze the hard shell over your noodles and put into refrigerator until stiff. Add marshmallow (eggs) and enjoy!

Make Mud Pudding

Borrowed from Maureen Ford & Stacy Wingfield
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding
3 cups of cold milk
chocolate cookie crumbs
Mix the chocolate pudding with the milk. Pour into a large jar and shake. The pudding will soon form. Spoon the pudding into 6 small bowls. Crumble 1 chocolate cookie into each bowl. (This makes 6 servings.)

Edible Fire Trucks

Adapted from Enchanted Learning for the Texas Department of Agriculture Food Ban Guidelines

You will need:
1 1/2 graham crackers per fire truck
tiny Oreos for wheels
stick pretzels
1 can of vanilla frosting
red food coloring
1 jar of cherries

Mix a few drops of food coloring into a can of vanilla frosting. Place 1 whole graham cracker onto a paper plate. Put a spoonful of frosting on the graham cracker. Let your students spread the frosting on the graham cracker. Put half a graham cracker on top of the frosting. This is the cab of the truck. Using a small amount of red frosting, "glue" the cherry on top of the cab. This is the fire truck's red light. Using more frosting, "glue" on four tiny Oreos to the sides of the graham crackers. These are the wheels. On the back of the truck, "glue" two pretzels parallel to each other. Then, "glue" in broken pieces to make the ladder.

Dalmatian Cookies
Use refrigerator-type sugar cookie dough. Roll out and press with dog-shaped cookie cutter. Add chocolate chips for the dots. Bake according to package directions.

Valentines Creamy Jigglers from Kraft

2-1/2 cups boiling water
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Brand Gelatin, any red flavor
1 cup cold 2% reduced fat milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl at least 3 minutes until completely dissolved. Cool 30 minutes at room temperature.

Pour milk into medium bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute. Quickly pour into gelatin. Stir with wire whisk until well blended. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Dip bottom of pan in warm water about 15 seconds. Cut into decorative shapes with heart-shaped cookie cutters all the way through gelatin. Lift from pan.

Ants on a Log
To make the log, fill celery sticks with peanut better. Place four raisin ants along the log.

Lady Bug Snack
Slice an apple in half lengthwise, and lay with cut side down on a plate. The ladybugs' spots are raisins, put on with a dot of peanut butter. The head is a grape attached with a toothpick.

Celery and Pretzel Butterflies
Cut celery into 3 inch pieces, spread on cream cheese, add raisins down the middle, add 2 pretzels with the two loops outward, put 2 pretzel pieces at one end for antennae.

Edible Caterpillar
From Copycat May/June 1993
Give each child a licorice lace and a handful of colorful ring shaped cereal. Knot one end of the licorice and thread the cereal onto the lace until the other end is ready to be knotted.

Tasty Ladybug Cookies

Ice a round sugar cookie with red frosting to make the ladybug's body. Press chocolate chips into the frosting for the ladybug's spots. Attach three pretzel-stick legs on each side of the cookie for the ladybug's legs.

Chicka chicka boom boom snack

I saw this somewhere but now can't remember where!! Give each child a piece of celery and a few leaves from the celery stalk. Stuff the celery with peanut butter, add the leaves to the top to make the 'Palm Tree' and add alphabits cereal to the peanut butter to make the letters climbing up the tree. I wish I had a picture. What a cute snack!

Penguin Treat

You will need: 2 oreos, 3 candy corn, 2 mini m&m's, white icing (small tube) for "glue"

1. Twist cookie apart.

2. Attach the head at the top.

3. Add candy corn for feet.

4. Add m&m eyes and candy corn beak.

5. Split other oreo in half to mak penguin wings.

Cupa Cupa Egg Peanut Butter Cookies (from:

Print this recipe

These are the easiest cookies in the world!

What you will need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (you can use crunchy if you like)
1 egg
a bag of chocolate stars or Hershey's kisses

1. Mix the sugar, peanut butter, and egg together in a bowl.

2. Roll dough into walnut size balls. Place on a cookie sheet and with your thumb make a well in the center of each and place a chocolate star.

3. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes and let them cool.Link


1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cube of butter
1 cup pecan pieces
You'll need a 9X13 pan.

Pour in the cherry pie filling and the pineapple to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cake mix over the entire pan. Cut the butter in little cubes and place evenly over the cake mix and then sprinkle with the pecan pieces. Bake at 350° for approximateely 50 minutes.

Isn't that easy!!!! We serve it with vanilla ice cream and sing "Happy Birthday" to Grampa even if it's not his birthday! He really likes this cake and so do we....

For more cute ideas visit here:

Here is my weekly Menu 28th-June 2nd
The recipes at the bottom are for the items in bold. Be sure to vistit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas!

Monday- B- bacon and eggs ~ L- Grilled cheese~ D-Leftovers

Tuesday- B- Strawberry Smoothies, Toast ~ L- PBJ on Pancakes From freezer ~ D- Quick and Easy Sausage Rotini and Garden salad

Wednesday- B- Granola bars ~ L- Finger food plates ~ Ritz Chicken, Broccoli

Thursday- B-Bananas slices in cereal~ Tuna fish salad~ D- leftovers

Friday- B- Toast and eggs, ~L- Mac N Cheese with Hotdogs~D- Spanish Rice With beans, Garden salad

Saturday- B- hash brown casserole (Leftover from freezer) ~Frozen Pizza~Meat Loaf and mashed Potatoes and green beans

Sunday- B- Blueberry Muffins~ L- fruit salad and mac n Cheese~ D- Chicken Dumplings

The Recipes:

Quick & Cheesy Sausage Rotini

3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 lb. Italian sausage links, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1/4 cup KRAFT Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
3/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided

COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, cook sausage in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 10 min. or until sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Drain sausage; return to skillet. Add tomatoes with their liquid, the onions and dressing. Cook 5 min. or until onions are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
DRAIN pasta. Toss with the sausage mixture and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Finger Foods Plate-
Simply bits of meat, cheese and veggie- cut for dippin in favorite sauce
Ritz Chicken

1 stick of butter
1 roll ritz crackers
1 packet Ranch Dressing Mix
4 boneless chicken breasts
Mashed Potatoes (Prepared)

In large ziploc bag, put dry ranch packet and roll of Ritz crackers, crush- not too fine, leaving some bigger chunks. Add chicken to Ziploc and shake to coat chicken (you can leave in breasts or cut in to fat strips or chunks for kids). Put stick of butter in a 9x13 pan and melt in the microwave. Place entire bag of crackers and chicken in the melted butter (don’t stir) and bake in the oven at 350* for 1 hour. When nearly done, prepare mashed potatoes. Remove chicken from pan and place on serving dish. Scrape all the buttery drippings and leftover crumbs into mashed potatoes and mix well.

Authentic Spanish Rice with Beans (From: Tammy’s recipes)

1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 cup Basmati rice*
2 medium-large onions, diced
1 1/4 cups chicken broth**
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons freshly crushed cumin***
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 large tomatoes, washed and diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup cooked black, pinto, or kidney beans
salt, to taste
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro (or more, if you love cilantro!)
4-6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Melt butter in saucepan and add about 1/4 of your total chopped onions (about 1/2 an onion). Cook and stir for several minutes; add rice and stir until mixed. Add chicken broth and turmeric and stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir once and re-cover. Cook on low for 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.

2. In skillet, brown ground beef with remaining onions; drain excess grease. Add lemon pepper, chili powder, cumin, pepper, bell pepper, tomatoes, sugar, corn, and peas. Cook and stir until simmering; simmer for a minute or so.

3. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Drain a little of the juice from the meat mixture into the dish, to coat the bottom.

4. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, meat mixture, beans, and cilantro. Toss to mix well, and add salt to taste. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Authentic Spanish Rice
Authentic Spanish Rice with Beans
Additional Notes:

*Can substitute other rices, but Basmati is best because it doesn't over-absorb the liquid and become soft and mushy.

**Can substitute water, but chicken broth gives a better flavor.

***May substitute pre-ground cumin, but use more because it won't be as flavorful as freshly-crushed.

Hash brown Casserole

2 pound package frozen hash brown potatoes
3/4 cup butter -- divided
16 ounces sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
minced onion -- to taste
1/2 cup milk
2 cups grated cheese
corn flakes to cover

Mix hash browns with 1/4 cups melted butter and place in a greased 9x13-inch casserole dish. In a bowl, mix sour cream, soup, onion and milk. Pour over the hash browns. Sprinkle cheese on top of the casserole. Top with corn flakes and pour 1/2 cup of melted butter over all.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 whole store-bought roast chicken (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 container (7 ounces) chopped onions
6 cans (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 container (14 ounces) pre-cut carrot sticks, chopped
1 container (14 ounces) pre-cut celery sticks, chopped
1 roll (16.3 ounces) golden buttermilk biscuit dough
1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed chicken gravy

Remove skin from chicken and shred meat into large pieces. Set aside.
In a small frying pan, add vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chopped onions and saute until soft.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, add broth, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, carrots, celery, and sauteed onions. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes to soften vegetables, and then add shredded chicken. Continue to simmer while making dumplings.

While stew is simmering, prepare dumplings. Open can and remove biscuits. On a lightly floured surface, roll each biscuit to 1/4-inch thick. With a knife, cut each biscuit into 4 pie-pieces. Set aside.

Skim surface for any scum that has risen to top. Stir in chicken gravy.

With the stew still simmering over low heat, stir in dumplings a few at a time. Once all dumplings are in to pot, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot.

Home Day Care

I closed my home day care about 2 years ago. I loved doing it and my parents hated seeing me "go." My reasons were because at that time we were living in an apartment and they had some changes to the lease that no longer allowed home day care. I still have my handbook, forms, some other things that are on my hard drive that I would love to bless someone with. They could be a great help to someone who wants to start a home daycare. Please e-mail me and I will send you copies by e-mail for free! My web page is still active so I can send you the link if you want that too. Why am I offering this? Well I have NO desire to sell any of it, and I haven't the heart to delete it! So, why not let someone get some use from it?

E-mail me or leave a comment if you are interested.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Is your Congressman living on Foodstamps?

It seems that there is a challenge( voluntary) among the State Reps and the congressmen! Read Hillbilly Housewife's post about it here or the "official site here and here!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gift Idea- My Day off!

I am taking a day off- no one at home , kids are at the beach with daddy and I have spent my day window shopping, running errands and planted here in front of my friend Mac! I was strolling through blog land when I nearly spit my coffee on the screen! This one is so good I have to share- need a good laugh PLEASE READ THIS! I dare you to not Laugh!

I Love Freebies!



TV Guide:

Check here for more:

Free Senseo Pods!

Free Movies - (In the Theatre)!

Ok. This one is so good that I posted it twice! This was 1st posted this past Wednesday ( 5-23-07)on another web site carnival.

Regal Cinemas are again offering free movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the summer. Free Movies- a chance to have a special "date" with my kids that only cost me gas and time?! Now that really works for me!

See more great Frugal Friday Finds at Biblical Womanhood!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Free polo shirt giveaway

Just in time for Father's Day!
Who doesn't just love freebies? Here is a chance to win a Polo shirt for the man in your life- blue or white and sizes up to XL! Just leave a comment here for your chance to win - Read more here!
I hope to win- but look luck to you just the same!

Thanks to The Sea Bird Chronicles for this giveaway!


Homemade Sour Cream,buttermilk and Butter

Tammy' Recipes is now hosting a new Carnival, since this is one of my favorite spots for "everyday recipes", I couldn't wait to share!

Most of you probably already know these, but I just found these in my Depression era cook book that I inherited from Grandma:

Sour Cream: 1/4 cup of buttermilk and add four cups of heavy cream to a mason jar. Cover and shake a little, then put on the counter. In about 24 hours, I have sour cream!

I also noticed that there was a recipe on how to make buttermilk (tip # 7) I want to try that recipe next time!

Buttermilk (another recipe)
1/4 cup of buttermilk and add four cups of milk to a mason jar. Cover and shake a little, then put on the counter. In about 24 hours, I have buttermilk. I just have to remember to save a little buttermilk from each batch for the next batch.

Homemade butter:

Put heavy cream into a bowl and beat with a mixer until it turns into butter or put it in a jar a shake!

Be sure to visit Tammy's Kitchen for more tips!

WFMW-Free Movies in the Theatre!

Ok. This one is so good that I plan to post it here and at another site on Friday as a frugal Friday idea- I hope this does not break any rules!

Regal Cinemas are again offering free movies on Tuesdays and
Wednesdays during summer.
This Works for me!

Be sure to visit Rocks in My Dryer for More ideas!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Free Cereal Sample

Free Sample of Kashi cereal!

The kids liked it, it seemed a little bland - but what the hay- t was free so I tied it! if you want to try it here is the link:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Menu Monday

My hubby is a Fireman and works 24 hour shifts at the firehouse 3 times a week- The kids and I usually eat leftovers those days or "easy meals". Sundays are my day off unless DH is working that Sat. then I take Saturday off. Recipes for the items in bold can be found at the bottom :)

Be sure to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more Menu plans!

M- B- strawberry and yogurt Smoothies,L- Tuna sandwich on toast, D-Pumpkin and black bean soup and homemade bread

T- B- grits and eggs, L- leftovers/Sandwiches D-leftovers/Sandwiches

W- B- Rice Pudding L- PB and J with carrot sticks D- Rice Medley and garden salad

Th-B- orange Julius, L-baked potato bar D-hamburger and gravy, string beans, and mashed potatoes

F-B-waffles L- cheese and meat cold cut tray D-Sweet and sour chicken stir fry, rice, sliced kiwi

S- B-cold cereal L- leftovers/Sandwiches D-leftovers/Sandwiches

S- B- Pancakes L- Grilled cheese and fruit cups D-baked lemon fish and Cream cheese and Chives mashed potatoes


Pumpkin and Black bean Soup (as found here:


1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 to 4 1/2 cups freshly cooked black beans*
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, diced
3/4 teaspoon sugar
4 cups beef broth
16 ounces (2 cups) pumpkin puree
1/3 to 1/2 pound turkey pastrami, diced or chopped**
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. In a 6-quart stock pot, saute the onion, garlic, cumin and pepper over moderate heat, until onions are translucent.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, sugar, broth and pumpkin, stirring to combine. Simmer uncovered for 25+ minutes.***

3. Add pastrami and vinegar and heat through.
Additional Notes:

*Can substitute three 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained. The original recipe also said to puree the beans, but we like them left whole!

**I order my turkey pastrami thin sliced and then dice it for this. You could also use turkey ham.

***This soup can be simmered or covered and left heated on low until ready to serve. However, it does need to be simmered for at least 25 minutes.

Rice Medley (as found here:


1 cup (uncooked measurement) of rice, cooked according to package instructions*
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cooked peas (hot)
1/2 cup hot cooked corn, optional
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt, to taste

1. Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper (if using), and garlic. Drain grease.

2. In a large bowl, toss cooked meat with the hot rice, peas, corn (if using), and pepper. Add salt to taste (this recipe needs salt, so don't skip that part!) and serve.
Additional Notes:

*Or, 3 cups of cooked rice; you can use yellow rice instead of plain rice if you wish.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Orange Julius

In Blender Combine
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tsp. vanilla
Sugar/splenda (too taste)
2 cups milk
2 large handfuls ice

Blend and taste- add sweetener too taste and enjoy!


2 cups Original Bisquick® mix (or use a homemade one or any other brand even low fat ones work fine)
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tbsp. Sugar/ splenda
1 tsp. vanilla

1.Heat waffle iron; grease with vegetable oil or shortening.
2.Stir ingredients until blended. Pour onto center of hot waffle iron. Close lid of waffle iron.
3.Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle.
(Total time will vary; cook or bake time is per batch.)

Sweet and sour chicken stir fry

1 Tbsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1/3 cup Sweet 'N Sour Sauce
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1-1/2 cups instant white rice, cooked

HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and peppers; cook 8 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
ADD sweet-and-sour sauce, dressing, soy sauce and broccoli; mix well. Cook 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
SERVE over the hot rice.

Ultimate Melt In Your Mouth Pancakes

2 cups Bisquick® mix (or use a homemade one or any other brand even low fat ones work fine)
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs

1.Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear.)
2.Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle.
3.Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden. To keep warm, place in single layer on cookie sheet. Cover with aluminum foil, and place in 200°F oven up to 10 minutes.

Lemon fish

As many fillets as your family will need
Old Bay with Lemon
Salt and pepper
Butter/ Margarine
Cast iron pan
Small amount of oil
sprinkle both sides with Old Bay with Lemon and coat both sides with flour salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil. Put fish in pan and put pats of butter on the fish- cook at 450 until done.

Where are the LADIES in Hollywood? A Rant!

Ok- this has to be said: You would have to be dumb, deaf and blind to not notice that the "ladies" (refering ONLY to gender) of Hollywood don't wear undergarments any more.
It seems that talent no longer matters then what does matter? Just slip a nipple or shot of your bottom to the Paparattzi and you become richer, more famous and in demand. What scares me the most is that these "ladies" are influencing a whole generation of young women and boys on fashion and what is socially acceptable, ironic since they rarely wear clothes! These women are celebrated for things that should land them in jail! Sure they can sing, act and look pretty- but money and fame do not buy class! Women like Ashley and Jessica Simpson (who's dad Joe WAS a youth pastor!!!) , Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Mariah Carrey, Britney Spears- It seems that the message is drink, do drugs and flash your crotch for fame! It makes me angry to say the least! They do not even have enough class to apolagize and cover up! Now, I don't expect young ladies to walk around in a Burka and not in Victorian clothes either, but for cryin out loud visit Victoria people, ask her what the secret is- she'll tell you! yall have the money!

Friday, May 18, 2007

For Anyone who wants to see my WLS Progress

I am posting this Before shot- I hope to post some progress pictures along the way :)
I am Scheduled to have laparoscopic RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery on August 8, 2007. If you would like to "Google it" try : LAPRNY. WLS, Weight Loss Surgery or Gastric Bypass.
Keep me in your prayers!

Love My Coffee...

And I love Freebies even more!

The WONDERFUL People who make the Senseo are giving them away again! I got mine about a year ago just for filling out a short survey and agreeing to tell people about the best coffee machne ever made! Run over to fill out one to get your right now! This is not a scam- they don't ask for any personal info until you get the e-mail asking where to ship it~ they even pay shipping and Handling!

Here's to a free coffee fix!

Frugal Friday: Patience Pays!

Patience does pay! I hope everyone knows about Freecycle, but if you don't be sure to take a look: This site allows you to join your local group. Since my children were infants I have given and received nearly everything they needed two cribs, excercauser, two toddler beds, Coats, Clothes every season, Outside toys- a bunk bed, bikes - you get the idea. My Prince and I have also benefited: A TV, DVD/VCR, clothes, appliances etc. All you need is diligence and patience! Freecycle is a wonderful resource to help your budget.
Be sure to go visit Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday ideas or to add your own!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Frugal tip this week may not be original , but it sure savesmoney ! When wash cloths start getting to thin they "recycle" to become our everyday napkins- I even keep them on the table in a pretty basket:nap1

W I assign a clean one every morning at breakfast to each kid and if needed they can be wet to clean messy faces. I just rinse them out and hang them on the stove handle for easy reach. The children will clean their hands, faced and personal eating spaces after each meal. If they are too dirty, they can get a new one. When they are finished for the day , dry ones are tossed in the laundry and wet ones are hung on the stove to dry all night and then put in the laundry the next morning.

dscn1341.jpg When the "everyday" napkins start to look to rough from too many spaghetti dinners they get "recycled" again into the rag bin for cleaning and "daddy's garage". Saves money! and a few trees! Please visit Biblical women for more frugal ideas!

Why Weight Loss Surgery?

I had folks asking WHY have weight loss surgery? What is wrong with diet and exercise? Well let me assure you that I am not taking an “easy road”. After YEARS of failed diet attempts - I am desperate. I have spent two years researching , thinking and praying- in the end the pros were more than the cons. I wrote my list of whys on my profile page, but I cannot figure out how to link it so here it is again:

My motivation/goals for WLS

1. To ride a bike
2. To walk without being breathless
3. To sit in chairs with arms without bruising myself
4. To not have to wonder if I will fit or break a chair
5. To fit in amusement park rides
6. To buy my clothes in a “regular size”
7. To run
8. to swing with my kids
9. To not have to avoid the beach because walking n the sand I sink and become exhausted to fast
10. To feel good about me
11. To be able to go all day without napping
12.To be able to tuck in my shirt
13. So I’m not always self-conscious about my weight, wondering what other people are thinking about how big I am.
14. So I don’t end up with diabetes like my mom, aunt, siblings and both grandmothers.
15. I don’t want to have a heart attack before I’m 40
16. So people don’t perceive me as lazy, because I’m not!
17. Because if a restaurant has booths with a fixed (non-movable)
table, I can’t sit in a booth.
18. So I can buy a bra from the rack in the store and not have to buy them off the Internet or mail order catalogs.
19. So I can know, for once in my life, that I was finally able to take
control of my eating and my weight.
20. I want to feel attractive and sexy !
21.I want to be able to cross my legs!
22. So that when my hubby and kids hug me they can wrap their arms all the way around.
23.Because I can’t walk at the same pace as my husband, otherwise I’d break out in a sweat and being breathless.
24.A lot of what I have in my closet was not purchased because I like
it….I got it simply because it fit and I needed clothes . I want to buy clothes because I like them.
25. Because I cannot get life insurance.
26. I want to teach my children healthy habits by example.
27. Not ever looking looking pregnant just fatter.
28. To wear cute shoes
29.To be able to fly without paying extra or getting a seat belt extender or worst of all- squishing my neighbor!
30. To be able to walk through a tight space like: between cars in a parking space or in a theater or between pews and people at church or in a crowded restaurant,
31. So I don’t see the “look” when people meet me.
32. So people don’t “not Look” at me and avoid “hearing” me.
33. So I don’t struggle getting in and out of cars and buckling my seat belt.
34. So I feel like a lady.
35. So when I am around other people they don’t quickly shift to make room- and then have that embarrassing moment when they overcompensate for the space needed.

WFMW- Homemade NO Fleas! Dog Biscuits (Treat)


WFMW headerI have always used all-natural non-toxic cleaners and personal things like soaps and Shampoos. So when Wonderdog joined our family- I searched for a natural flea preventative. Not only does this work but Wonderdog loves this! He sits in front of the refrigerator every morning and waits for it! Works for Me!

NO Fleas! Dog Biscuits (Treat)

This recipe will help control, reduce or eliminate dog fleas. It is a great medicine against dog fleas of all kinds. Give them one everyday or increase the amount until you see that it is effective for your size dog. Very versatile!

(If your dog has a yeast allergy, I would not suggest making this)
basic recipe:
2 cups All-Purpose Flour (use wheat, white or unbleached)
1⁄2 cup Brewers Yeast
1 tsp Salt
Choose one form of Garlic: 2 each Cloves Garlic, minced or 2-3 Tsp. Garlic powder or if you use 3 Tsp. Garlic salt just omit the extra 1 tsp. Salt
3 tbs. Vegetable, canola, or bacon fat, or Olive Oil*
1 cup** Chicken Stock (or any flavor you wish to use)

Optional add ins that are not necessary but give variations on flavors and textures:
- 2-3 tbsp. Peanut butter creamy or chunky is fine , 2-3tbsp chopped apples run the scraps in the food processor to make mushy, Oatmeal, a well beaten egg, 2tbsp. Wheat Germ, apple sauce, shredded carrots, a jar of meat baby food.You can also use food colors to distinguish different types or flavors

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease two to three baking sheets. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, Mix wet ingredients except stock in another bowl. Slowly stir flour mixture and stock alternately into wet mix, beating well, until the dough is well-mixed. * *You may need to add more stock if dough is dry- it should be similar to play dough. Shape dough into a balls or other shapes you like ( I let the kids help and they make shapes) .*** Bake 20-25 minutes or until well browned. Turn off heat and allow biscuits to dry in oven for several hours or over night. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 26 biscuits.

***Note: There have been times that it came out sticky and still worked just fine. I have done these in balls and Even used a mini muffin pan- shape them any way you want.

Be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more great WFMW ideas!