Day to Day Adventure: 4/3/11 - 4/10/11

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reading, too much of a good thing?

Do you have voracious readers in your house?  I do.

Some days it makes me crazy.  Like yesterday.  It was beautiful outside.   I walked through the house & saw children INSIDE reading.  I was appalled!


I just won’t put up with that.  I sent them outside to play. 

Seriously reading can be come an obsession just like any other activity.  Like playing on the computer—stepping back from that land mine.

Cartoon books—oh my.  I find them everywhere!  We have an old collection of Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, Beetle Bailey etc.  I have to say—only on Sundays because if I don’t I find them curled up with a comic book avoiding their math.  Sigh.  This is a serious problem can’t you tell?

I should know since I LOVE to read.  As a teen I used to stay up until 2, 3, 4 . . in the morning finishing a book.  My mom did (?still does?) the same thing.

Very rarely can I do that now.  I have some how realized that sleep is more important than good book.  HA!

I don’t have much time to sit down and read.  Too many other projects, duties & responsibilities.  Sort of sad in a way.

A friend of mine was asking about good books for her son and I started making a list.  Mainly because her son is a bit older my Joshua, who is working his way through the Redwall series right now. 

I need to be ready for when he finishes though.  I read most of the books the kids do(or I used to) but this is one series I never read.  It is about mice with strange accents—I know from all the quoting of the books that happens around here.


Luckily for me his older sister(affectionately called the librarian) has read a TON of books.  Oh and his older brother used to have time to read(before college and math took over his life) so we have walked this road before.

I want this spring/summer to be a time for deliberate reading.  Not just pleasure reading(their choice) but assigned reading(my choice) that isn’t based upon our current history study.  So I need to make some book lists.  As I work these out I will be posting them here for everyone to use!

However, since we already have a problem with “over” reading in the house, we are going to have to balance time in ACTIVITIES and time with our nose in a book.  Such a sad problem to have.

Actually it is a good problem to have and I am glad to have it. 



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Messes I keep running into

Things are back to normal around here. 

Not in a good way either.

Everywhere I turned today there was a mess.


I am frustrated at the lack of helpers.  I am frustrated at my lack of consistent consequences for their slacking.  Besides I have been slacking so how can I hold them accountable?

Grrrr!  I am trying not to react and be upset. 

It is hard. 

It  is difficult not to take it personally.  Everyone did such a great job when I was down and out & unable to _____(do dishes, laundry, clean etc).  But now that I can  . . . well we just aren’t there yet.

It isn’t everywhere.  Mainly just in the bedrooms.  So we are going to work there on Saturday. 


Some of it is day to day stuff.  8 year olds should be able to remember to make their beds each day right?  Somehow that isn’t happening.

Everything in me looks outside and yearns to just chuck chores, school & house cleaning and go out and enjoy it.


We will, it will just be the reward for working inside.

Piles of stuff, season change clothes & papers—be gone!


It is hard to be the grown up around here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Love the little ones


Nope she’s not his. 

He’s home from college for the weekend.  My niece was baptised  this Sunday.  I caught P with this little one afterward(name withheld to protect the guilty). 

She is a sweetie and he just can’t resist.


Keeping up with Mount Washmore.

Oh how to manage LAUNDRY?  My least favorite task is this never ending chore.  I’d rather mow the grass or shovel snow.  At least that stays done for a while.  Every time I turn around I find a dirty sock or  a shirt that is shed when some one is hot. 

Kids = Laundry

I don’t like having a bad attitude about this chore but how to make it more joyful?  How to turn a chore in to a blessing?  I do love having clean laundry when I need it but how to not feel like it is a heavy burden?  I needed a plan.

A very wise friend shared with me over a year ago how she keeps ahead of the accumulating loads.  She has 8 kids, so she should know right?

Each child gets a day to do their laundry & at their house one other load—whites.  She only buys white towels by the way. 

We’ve arranged it a bit differently but it works for our family.

Monday—Mom & Dad


Wednesday—Joshua—yep my 8 year old does his own laundry


Friday—Mom & Dad

Weekends? Michael brings his home some or we don’t do any.

The kids share the whites/towels/sheets on Wed & Friday.  It is part of the chores that they do. 

I love knowing when they leave the house they will be able to handle their laundry.  When I couldn’t do the stairs they girls did my laundry as well & handled it wonderfully!

It is awesome to not have the entire responsibility of the family laundry on me.  I don’t refer to the basement as the dungeon quite so often now!

So that is how we roll with the laundry here.

How do you do get it all done?


Monday, April 4, 2011

Turkey in a Pot

One of my favorite ways to cook a turkey is in my crockpot.  Now this isn’t your standard BIG bird like on Thanksgiving.  It is a turkey breast that I have caught on sale at some point & stuck in the freezer(with a friend or two).

My crew LOVES turkey but some of them ONLY like it this way.  When we go places at Thanksgiving, where the turkey is cooked in the oven, they think it is too dry.  Spoiled bunch of kids!  However, turkey in the crockpot is super MOIST and yummy.  We then cook & mash some taters, heat some green beans & we are ready to eat! 


Oh an did I mention it is in the CROCKPOT?  I love my slave in the kitchen.  She works all day and I can come home to a yummy meal with almost no effort on my part!


After we eat turkey for supper there are always leftovers.  I cut up the turkey & make this delicious soup for the freezer!  Usually there is enough for 2 or 3 batches!  There goes my other slave who just holds on to those premade meals for me until I REALLY need one on a busy day.  Love .. Love .. Love my freezer!

Turkey & Noodles—this was adapted from the 30 Day Gourmet

12 cups turkey or chicken broth

1/2 tsp salt

1 lb frozen egg noodles

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups cooked turkey

In a large, pot heat broth to boiling.  Add salt.  Add frozen noodles and bring back to a boil.  Turn down to simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes and then stir flour & milk together.  Mix in with the noodles & broth.  Cook until it seems to have reduced slightly and thickened.  Add the meat & salt to taste.

Serving immediately?  Just add a salad & some vegies and you are ready to eat!

Freezing?  Measure out in to appropriate size containers & let cool.  Freeze!  Don’t for get to label your container & date it!

Is it still cool & drizzly outside in your neck of the woods?  Enjoy these warm & nourishing soups!

Brown Jug Soup

3 Bean Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grocery Store Hop

One of the challenges of being a coupon shopper is knowing where to shop for the best deals.   I have a process that I go through each week that helps me narrow it down and I also have a couple of resources I wanted to share with you that REALLY help!

First I check my monthly menu plan that I created at the first of the month(or whenever I get around to it.  HA!)  It helps me to know what I am supposed to make and what I need to pick up as I do my shopping of the weekly sales.


The adds come out on Tuesday but I wait until Wednesday to look at the adds because that is when we get a free paper.  I just quickly go through the add looking for obvious sales that I will want to not miss out on.  I jot those down on scrap paper under the name of the store.

My friend Gwen has started a new site, The Savings Jungle, that has been a wonderful help in deciding which stores have the best deals.  She even has a “If you make it to only one store” post each week.  This has helped streamline my shopping.  These posts are meant to be specific to our local Columbia, MO stores but I am sure they apply to other stores around the country also!

This past week I was able to get lots of cereal & cheese at low prices and those hints came straight from The Savings Jungle!


(17 bags of cheese for 25 cents each!)

Another resource that I just found was a printable that is based on the idea that you will be going to several stores for the best deal.  It has 4 places to jot down the items you want with the price beside it & even a place to check if you have a coupon to go with it.  I love this idea!  Going to try it out this week.  The link to that printable is below!

If you are asking yourself why would I bother going to more than one store--much less go to 4 stores.  Well as I said I got shredded cheese at one store for 25 cents per 8 oz bag.  I also got cereal for 88 cents a box.  Now our family doesn’t eat a lot of cereal.  Too much sugar, not enough staying power for growing bodies.  However on Saturday’s it is a special treat. 


This was cornflakes not frosted coated sugar bombs—there are some foods that I rarely buy!  So I now have enough cereal that if there are no more sales we have a stash that would probably last 5 or 6 months.  Yeah that is a lot of cereal but hey if I’d paid full price it would have been $3-4 a box! 

Oh and did I mention when I bought those I got Catalina’s for 4 gallons of milk for free?  YEP—that is why I went to more than one store last week.  It was worth every penny of gas money.  Not every week is that good but every little bit of stocking up & saving is a drop in the proverbial bucket.

So what do YOU think--it is worth it to go to more than one store? 

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