"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Here is our menu for the week! Hope you enjoy some of the recipe links!

Monday: Brown sugar glazed salmon with green beans and new potatoes
Tuesday: Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon
Wednesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
Thursday: BBQ Chicken and Broccoli-Cauliflower and Raisin salad
Friday: Black Bean and Salsa Soup and Delicious Black Bean Burritos
Saturday: Leftovers!!
Sunday: Egg Drop Soup and Chicken Fried Rice

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, fruit, eggs
Lunches: Leftovers, cheese quesadillas, veggies, soups, salads
Snacks: Fruit, homemade yummies

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Thursday!

It is amazing how fast the week goes by during the summer. It seems there is always something to do..in fact TOO much to do and we're racing here and there.

At any rate, this week Reagan and I attended a bumble bee garden party (inside due to the rain) and I'll post pictures this weekend! She looked absolutely adorable as a little bumble bee! We've been to a cookout, played until she's absolutely exhausted, worked on cutting a new tooth and just got back from another play date..I must say, Reagan is a popular little girl! I'm going to be one exhausted momma carting her to and from everything!

Tomorrow we also have a big outing planned. This time to Shipshewanna, which is an Amish town about an hour and a half from home. Reagan loves to visit the horses and I want to stock up on some whole foods they have at their bulk store. I also am hoping to find a mill grinder and a water bath canner! I'm really looking forward to feeding my family much healthier foods!

On another note, we've decided to cloth diaper Reagan for the remainder of the time that she's in diapers. Not only is it a huge savings (we're spending roughly $60 a month on diapers and accessories at the moment and up until about 4 months ago, we were spending over $300 a month on diapers, accessories and formulas!), but it also will be a lot healthier for her little bum--hopefully no more diaper rashes and no more skin irritations on her back from where the disposables rub!

And before you gasp in awe, they're not the same diapers kids of our generation were clothed in! They are very much like disposables now, with snaps and they just slide right on...the only difference is they're made out of cloth (well, that and you wash them!)

And furthermore, no, I am not going liberal on you guys! Which brings me to my next topic of interest. Have you heard all of the court rulings from this past week? I'll touch on two very briefly.

First, I'm proud that the Second Amendment was actually upheld. Americans have the right to bear arms-plain and simple. Our forefathers knew there might come a time when government would get too big (can we hear a NOW!??!) and we would need some recourse to protect ourselves and revamp our system.

Now for those of you who believe that allowing our citizens to bear arms causes more crime, well, this blog isn't for you, and neither are factual hard numbers for that matter. No matter what, criminals will find a way to get their hands on guns. Because they are.... (say it with me now....) CRIMINALS! They have no respect for the law. A law banning guns will not stop them from getting their hands on them. It will, however, stop YOU from being able to protect yourself and your family. And with that, I firmly urge you to support the NRA!

The second ruling I want to talk about is the fact that 'the death penalty is not proportional punishment for child molesters'. Hmm. Well ok. Then what exactly is???? I mean, they are not only hurting that child physically, mentally and emotionally..but they are taking that child's innocence away FOREVER. Fine, you don't want to kill them, I like Louisiana's governor's plan just as well--chemical castration! But let me say this, if anyone EVER hurt my child, I can guarantee that the justice system won't have a chance to do anything to them. I will hunt them down and kill them myself. Obviously, I believe the death penalty is 'proportional punishment' for child molesters.

One final note, I urge you to sign up for Glenn Beck's magazine, Fusion. Today is the last day to sign up to get the July issue. The July issue supposedly has NO opinions in it...it simply states word for word, the Constitution, the words of Carl Marx and the words of the two candidates running for President today....how much do you want to bet that the two candidates sound NOTHING like our forefathers? I'm willing to bet even more that Obama sounds JUST LIKE Carl Marx.....

I'll leave you with this quote by a friend of mine "America. The land of the free and home of the brave. Vote Obama for change." ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday everyone :) This week is all about pantry cooking, which hopefully means I won't be going to the grocery store! I'll be happy to provide recipes to anyone that wants them and Jana, I've written out how I make sweet potato chips below!

Monday: Chicken and Green Beans with potatoes
Tuesday: Mac and Tuna Casserole with peas
Wednesday: Calzones (which hopefully will have the veggies IN them!)
Thursday: Chicken Parmasean and brussel sprouts
Friday: Black bean soup and wet burritos--I'll be using this recipe to make homemade tortillas, without shortening
Saturday: Attending a baby shower at which I believe there will be a cookout?? OR Leftovers!
Sunday: Roast with potatoes and carrots

Breakfasts: No-cook fruity oatmeal; fruit; eggs; muffins
Lunches: Leftovers; black bean burgers; veggies
Snacks: Fruit and homemade goodies
Drinks: Unsweet tea; water; coffee; juice; milk/formula
Extras: Strawberry shortcake/pie or something! We have a ton of strawberries!

Also, if you get a chance, register for an account at SuperCook. You can type in EVERYTHING you have on hand in your freeze, fridge, pantry and cabinets--from cream of tartar to tartar sauce and it will give you all the recipes you can possibly make from those ingredients, divided into three categories--Starters, Entrees, and Desserts! Then it'll even give you a list of more recipes you can make if you add just a few additional ingredients. It even helps you out by suggesting items you may already have on hand!

Whoever came up with SuperCooks gets a standing ovation in my book! Hop on over and have some fun coming up with some great ideas for your menu plans!

**Jana, for the sweet potato chips, slice them after peeling, either dip them in egg whites and place on greased cookie sheet or (and this is my preferred way) brush them with olive oil and add some cinnamon and brown sugar and bake! SOO GOOD!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Remiss in my duties

...as a blogger! I haven't been blogging at all this week and I've missed it! Reagan is *SUPPOSED* to be napping (however I can still hear her in there chatting away) and I wanted to catch up!

There isn't really any big news for this week. We've been enjoying some incredible weather..in the 70s, gorgeous blue skies (think North Carolina skies), birds twittering and flowers blooming..absolutely lovely weather--wish all summer could be like this! We've been outside running and playing and just enjoying the days; as well as a strawberry picking session at a local farm...excuse me, mommy picked, Reagan ate strawberries--here's a picture of her covered in the juice! The picking only lasted about twenty minutes (a long time in toddler land) and then Reagan was quite ready for a nap!

What else? Reagan has discovered two new favorite foods: cantaloupe and cheese quesadillas! She's learned a few new words, including "HOP!"..cute story to follow; and she's saying sentences, albiet short sentences! We also had a scary moment on Thursday morning.

Josh was leaving for the office when he discovered our garage door was wide open and then he noticed that the garage door opener from our car was missing. Apparently someone didn't quite get to finish the business of burgluring our garage. We did call the police and we're changing the codes. Joy.

Ok, now for some cute Reagan stories:

The other day she helped me mix some flour and yeast and salt for bread....and later on I found cute little floured handprints on the door and couch

Earlier this week she fell off the couch while we were snacking and reading and I said 'are you ok??' like I always do and for the first time she popped back up and said 'I ok!'

On Tuesday, we went to a program at the library and after the program, we went outside and played in the courtyard where some older kids were playing hopscotch...Reagan kept getting right on top of them and bending down to watch what they were doing with their feet and trying to hop herself (couldn't quite get it!) and then she started laughing and saying 'hop! hop! hop!'

Enjoy the start to the weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday & Rotovirus

Nice title, huh?

So last week we did absolutely HORRIBLE with our menu, because Reagan was sick with what we believe to be rotovirus (labwork still pending) and we were back and forth at the doctor's office and hospital/lab all week.

Reagan is MUCH better now, as the virus seems to have worked itself out of her system. Did you know that 50% of all hospitalizations for children under the age of 3 are due to rotovirus? The statistics happened to be true for our neck of the woods because Reagan's playmate, Emma, also got sick a week before Reagan and ended up in the hospital due to dehydration, luckily we didn't. Scary stuff, guys. There is a vaccine available now but since it's so new, I don't know much about it and I'm not sure if rotovirus something you can even get twice....sooooooooooo, another question to ask at her well baby checkup!

In the meantime, here is the meal plan for this week which I plan to follow to the letter!

Monday: Pizza Hut to support missions trip
Tuesday: Mac and Tuna Casserole with veggies for Reagan and Josh and salad for me
Wednesday: Baked potatoes with homemade chili sauce and broccoli or salad
Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie with vegetables
Friday: Mac and Beef Casserole, Green Beans and Cookies--double batch of all, one for us and one for a friend that just had a baby
Saturday: Leftovers day
Sunday: Roast with potatoes and various vegetables from the crisper and freezer that need to be used

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, eggs, cottage cheese, english muffins, cheese and fruit
Lunches: Leftovers, turkey, soup, fruit, vegetables and salad
Snacks: Sweet potato baked chips (homemade), fruit, vegetables, crackers, raisins and cranraisins
Additional items to make/bake this week: the granola I never got around to from last week; bread

And lastly: I had to share a lolcatz
Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

A meme!

I was tagged by my IRL friend Jana to participate in this meme! Here are the rules:

1. Link your tagger and list the rules on the blog.
2. Share 7 facts about your kiddos on your blog…random, weird, funny…whatever you want!
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post
4. Don’t forget to let the tagged people know!

1. When Reagan was born, my OB had a little difficulty in pulling Reagan out (emergency c-section)..partly due to Reagan's position and partly because she (the dr!) was laughing! In all her years of delivering babies, she had never seen a child in the dive bomber position with their feet and legs tucked completely behind their head!

2. When Reagan eats or drinks anything now she has to say 'uuum, yum! yum!' beforehand!

3. Reagan loves to eat rocks....blech!

4. She has three 'babies'...one is pink and the other two are white and she doesn't really care as long as she has one of them at all times!

5. She loves to sing and dance...if you put on Veggie Tales, she'll sing the theme song. If you put on music, she'll dance....she's even started singing that old 80s song "True" because it plays on a card Josh bought me!

6. She'll eat cat puke but won't eat spaghetti. Go figure.

7. She likes to put her own face in the water and laugh like crazy, but God forbid mommy pour water over her face!

Hope you enjoyed getting to know my little one a little better! Here are the guys I'm tagging!

Leah (the other Leah ;) )

And I don't know anyone else in the blogging world! Ok, so if you're out there lurking (and I know a ton of you are because I get your emails!!!!!) then post your 7 great things about your kids here! And if you've posted here before, link yourself up here and post!! Yes, I'm talk to YOU!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I swear, if I read one more anti-US blog entry from another self-righteous left winger, hug mother earth, do gooder, flourescent bulb loving, crunchy organic hippie, I WILL LOSE IT.

In trying to live more naturally you come across a lot of those kinds of blogs...A.LOT. In fact, I just skimmed through one that had the audacity to negatively compare us to the European Union.

....You know what honey? If you like Europe so much, just go ahead and move right on over there. Let us know how you enjoy socialized health care and $10 a gallon gas in a couple of months ok?

UGH!!!! Alright, moving swiftly on before I start pulling out what little hair I have left at this point.

Update on Reagan: She is sick again with some gastrointestinal virus. We're testing to make sure it's NOT rotovirus. Poor sweetie..her playmate just had this and ended up in the hospital this past Saturday. Keep Reagan in your prayers. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It isn't easy being green...

Liked that little throwback to the good ole days of Kermie didn't you? ;) As you all know, we've been trying to be healthier, get rid of chemicals, etc etc etc. Let me just say....I don't know how some people do it.

I've been reading blogs about people using all natural rock deodorant (YUCK!), living in round huts (WHAT?!) and using things called xantham gum, reconstituted organic sugar cane beet juice (or something similar to that) and sprouted bagels--now, just why those are so special I have no clue.

I thought we were doing a great job by switching to Seventh Generation products, using baking soda and vinegar and making most of our meals from home. But alas, you're not completely green until you start wearing organic cotton underwear (rolling my eyes here).

At any rate, if you have any suggestions for going green, please let me know! I'd love to hear them, and if it's not as extreme as using a rock in place of my Suave deo, I may even try it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday & Happy Birthday to me!

Yep, today is my birthday. And no, I'm not telling you how old I am! I can barely believe how old I am myself. At any rate, it's also Monday which means it's time to plan our meals for the week. I am so proud of us. Last week we did so well!! We made everything on the menu (although a few days were switched around) and the crockpot chicken and vegetables were absolutely delicious!! Here's hoping this week is a success too! Oh and if you notice lots of potato and chicken dishes, that's because chicken is on sale and I have a ton of potatoes to use up!

Monday: Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad [side note: I usually make mine without the sunflower seeds and with mayo] and chicken breasts
Tuesday: Mix night: Tuna salad for Josh, regular salad for me, and chicken (veggie) patties with cheesy veggies for Reagan
Wednesday: Pizza (and hopefully some veggies!)
Thursday: Broccoli Quiche with Mashed Potato Crust
Friday: Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Mashed Potatoes with salad or green beans
Saturday: Leftovers and if we have family stop by or just don't have any leftovers, there are plenty of freezer items or we can whip up broccoli and cheese baked potatoes!
Sunday: Grilled steak, with yep, you guessed it, potatoes!!! and either salad or another green vegetable.

**Make a big batch of granola bars or just granola snack mix for Josh to keep at the office** Here is the recipe I'm going to try: Playgroup Granola Bars

Breakfasts: Oatmeal, fruit, eggs, sausage, muffins, pancakes/waffles, cottage cheese (Reagan loves this with fruit for breakfast!)
Lunches: Salads, leftovers and various other items out of the freezer
Snacks: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, cheese sticks (string cheese)
Desserts: Cookies, fruit, muffins, cake, ice cream--all of which is either in the freezer or can be whipped up out of the pantry

Note: The goal here is to continue not eating out, and therefore save money! We didn't eat out AT ALL last week with the exception of once for my birthday...including no Starbucks runs either! We did have one cookie run to the grocery store which is why I'm incorporating them into the menu this time around!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's in your recipe box?

Can I just say that allrecipes.com is one of my all time favorite sites? I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE the ease of looking up recipes, by ingredients, name, whatever and I love the fact that I have a practically limitless recipe box to fill. Here are a few of the yummy recipes I currently have saved:

BLT Pasta Salad
Black Bean and Chickpea Hummus
Bush's Slightly Southwestern Tomato Soup
Sonora Chicken
The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World
Potato Beef Croquettes

What's in your recipe box?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Never underestimate the power of dust....

Apparently I'm doing all the nesting I never got to do before I had Reagan. And let me tell you...there are some pretty disgusting spots in your house I bet you have never even thought of before. Think, the tops of your doors..those little ledges that never see much action at all.....they're great little dust collectors. AND the molding above those doors!

I dusted there and let me tell you folks..it wasn't pretty. It wasn't pretty at all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Felt play food!

In all my life, I have never seen toys as cute as these. And that is why, my friends, I am going to attempt to make Reagan a pantry full of felt foods for Christmas, which conveniently, is when she is going to get a new kitchen (her old one is just too small to really play in!)

So far, I know I want to make eggs, pancakes, sugar cookies with icing (because they're too darn cute, and pretty simple to boot!). Then maybe I'll get really creative and do carrots, peas and ice cream cones. Don't worry. I'll showcase the goods when I've got a few under my belt.

I doubt they are going to be as pretty as anything you'll find on Etsy, but they'll do and they'll be made with all my love for my little sweetie! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Toddler Thursday is ba-aa--aa-ck!!!

So, in the long absense of Toddler Thursday, I've been compiling a list of activities for Reagan and I. I've done this before, but what fustrates me so incredibly is I think 'oh, we'll do this or that', only to realize I don't have the props for the game. So, below, I've made a list of propless activities, as well as activities that require items you more than likely have in your own home or can make from items in your home!(OH! And feel free to add any activities of your own!) These activities are appropriate for your 1-2 year old! And I'm breaking them down into at least three sections because there are a ton! Enjoy!

Games that require no props or props almost all mothers have on hand: Part I:

Bubbles (you can even make your own with dishsoap and water and curl an old hanger into a bubble blower!)
Puzzles (even if you don't have puzzles, go through magazines, find pictures of animals or flowers your child likes, cut out, glue to heavier cardboard (heck, even use old cereal boxes here) and cut them into large pieces!)
Reading (lately we've been reading "I Like Pumpkins' by Jerry Smath, it's Reagan's favorite!)
Coloring (make large, chunky crayons by melting a few of your regular ones together in a muffin pan!)
Painting (with regular old water paints or pudding paint)
Bath time regular old bubble baths with bath toys are still fun or use this tip I read from another mom: freeze colored cubes of ice (just add food coloring) and let them slowly dissolve in the bath water..then talk about the colors with your kids! A great science project for preschoolers too!
Nature Walk take a bucket oustide and let your toddler collect til her heart's content!
Play with a baby doll -feeding it, loving it, putting it down for a nap...we do this with Reagan's teddy bear "Baby"
Hide and Seek or Peek-a-boo
Tea Party I read from another mom that it's a good idea to either put a blanket down to avoid the floor getting wet or take the party outside!
Hand games pat-a-cake, wheels on the bus, itsy-bitsy spider
Rolling and kicking a ball
Going to the park
Dancing to fun music
Make a fort use blankets and pillows and old carboard boxes for tunnels!

Alright, that's it for now! Tune in next week for some more fun ideas!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hi! Howr oo?

This morning Reagan grabbed the cell phone, flipped it open and promptly said "Hi! Howr oo?" Josh was still home and we were both like 'holy crap!' I'm so impressed with my baby! I know she picked it up from me because that's how I answer when someone calls but I think it's so cute! She's done it several more times this morning! I didn't think she'd be doing sentences yet..although
she's been saying 'hey kitty!' and 'hey doggie!' for months, but I'm not sure if those count?

Anyway, what a smart girl!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Home made cleaners!

In an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals that I use in our home due to Reagan's allergies and asthma, I've been purging all my old reliables...good bye Clorox, regular Purex and nicely scented fabric softener! *sigh*

Instead I've been making our own cleaners. Here are a few that I've run across. A by-product is they're much cheaper and greener too! Enjoy! I'll be posting more as I use different products and techniques!

Glass Cleaner: 1:1:1 ratio of white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water
Furniture polish: 1:1 ratio of vegetable oil and white vinegar
Fruit and Vegetable Spray: 3:1 ratio of water and white vinegar
Lemon juice is also a natural anti-bacterial agent.
*Heat a bowl of water and baking soda in your microwave for 1-2 minutes to loosen grime.
*Baking soda and vinegar both remove odors from the air in your home.

For more information on making your own non-toxic cleaners, check out this site. (NOTE: I have not read all of their contect, however I'm sure I wouldn't agree with most of it..I use it only for these recipes!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

We're starting a new grocery budget due to rising prices, so we're hoping to actually follow this plan and avoid eating out! Wish us luck!

Monday: Prepare a batch of meatballs for the freezer and meatloaf for Wednesday; for dinner: Mashed sweet potatoes, steamed grean beans and salmon patties
Tuesday: Grilled asparagus and salad for mommy; asparagus and meatballs and fruit for Reagan; leftovers for Daddy; make a batch of bread
Wednesday: Leftovers for mommy and mashed potatoes and green beans and meatloaf for Daddy and Reagan (we have a lot of potatoes and green beans to use up!)
Thursday: Crockpot chicken and vegetables
Friday: Chicken pot pie and vegetables
Saturday & Sunday: Either Saturday or Sunday, we'll go out to eat for my birthday, but whichever of those days we don't, taco salad with fresh vegetables

Breakfasts: oatmeal, cereal, sausage, eggs, pancakes or egg muffin cups
Lunches: leftovers
Snacks: various fruits
Desserts: fruit salad with pudding, cool whip or fresh cake
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