"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

Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (a little late!)

For more great menu ideas, check out orgjunkie.com!

Monday: Meatloaf, baked seasoned potatoes and vegetables (I also made a huge batch of Spice-Banana cupcakes)
Tuesday: Saucy Baked chicken and steamed green beans
Wednesday: Grilled chicken and creamy corn; salad (hopefully all fresh from the farmer's market!)
Thursday: Fish Fillet with Herbed Tartar Sauce, coleslaw, steamed green beans
Friday: Leftovers or food at the downtown cruise in
Saturday: Out all day--sandwiches and leftovers as needed
Sunday: Out most of day--Crockpot chicken with sauteed zucchini, squash and onions and green beans for the people that don't like squash and zucchini!

Breakfasts: Cereal, waffles, eggs
Lunches: fruit, soup, sandwiches, veggie chicken nuggets
Snacks: Cookies and banana muffins, fruit, string cheese

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Someone explain to me....

...exactly why the flags have been at half mast? Yes. I know Ted Kennedy died. But let's be brutally honest. I'm not mourning. In fact, the only nice thing I can say is that I do feel badly for his family. It hurts so much to lose a family member and I can imagine that they are truly grieving at the moment.

HOWEVER, America did not lose a great hero. America did not lose someone that deserved the flag to be lowered in their honor. With Kennedy's passing at least we have one less person that can do damage to our country and it's future. The man had no honor, no morals, no decency. He had no love of country or people. He had a love of power and the control that came with it.

I would much rather see the flag lowered to half mast in honor of a fallen soldier who gave his life to preserve our freedom and to protect me and my family, than see the flag lowered to half mast for a man so ill deserving of such an honor as Ted Kennedy.

Today America laid to rest a Senator, a man that SHOULD have served the best interests of the American people. A man who SHOULD have proved love of country over that of self. A man who did none of those things. A man instead, who disgraced his own life and continues to disgrace America by having the flag lowered in his so-called honor.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Coupon Fairies

Are you a "coupon fairy"? I just love those people! Sometimes I try to be one myself, but I'm always slightly embarrassed at the thought of a manager of a grocery store catching me!

Let me explain what a coupon fairy is: Someone who leaves coupons that they can't use right on top of the product in the store for someone else to use when they come along. The other day I was out of laundry detergent and just didn't have time to sift through my (unorganized) coupons. Luckily, some wonderful coupon fairy had left a $2.00 off coupon right there on the shelf for the exact detergent I needed! I was in Heaven and had no problems swiping up the coupon and using it on my own bill.

So, are you a coupon fairy? Have you taken up the generosity of some anonymous coupon fairy?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grandma Juice

My mother in law has my daughter hooked on V8 Fusion..which is great because it has vegetables and fruit in it. However, I think it may be slightly embarrassing for Grandma, because everytime Reagan wants it she asks for "Grandma Juice!" Too funny!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I think my cat is anorexic

She throws up after every meal and has since she was a baby. She is in perfect health and gets bloodwork ran every few years to ensure that she is. But she still throws up. I tell you, I am so sick of waking up and stepping in cat puke..DISGUSTING I TELL YOU! It's almost like having a second child except this one will never advance to where she is able to get to the bathroom in time to throw up. Argh.

I do love her though...she was my first "baby" and I still love to wake in the morning hearing her purr and cuddle next to me. She still has her habit of snuggling into my hair to smell it and padding my shoulders with her little paws. And, although she sleeps 16 hours a day, there are those random moments of friskiness that reminds me of when she was a kitten.

I just really really wish she'd stop throwing up on my bed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It seems I am FOREVER writing about food! *sigh* At any rate, here is this week's menu plan! Enjoy! (By the way, recipes are below!) For more great menu ideas, check out orgjunkie.com!

Monday: Beef and Potato Moons, fresh green beans
Tuesday: Taco chicken soup, corn muffins
Wednesday: Creamy chicken stew, herb and cheese biscuits
Thursday: Mixed vegetables and seasoned chicken drumsticks
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Cheese wrapped dogs and raisin-carrot salad

Breakfasts: Cream of wheat, fruit, smoothies, cereal,
Lunches: Leftovers, grilled cheese, fruit
Snacks: Muffins, fruit, carrot sticks

Cheese Wrapped Dogs
All-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups
Yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Cold hard margarine, cut up 1/3 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Hot dogs 6
Milk cheddar cheese 3/4 cup

Combine first three ingredients in medium bowl. Cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center.

Add milk to well. Stir until just moistened. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 5-6 times. Roll out or press onto 12 inch square. Cut in half. Cut each half into three equal portions, for a total of 6.

Place one hot dog lengthwise down the center of 1 dough portion. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of cheese evenly over top. Fold both long sides over hot dog. Pinch together to seal. Repeat til you have six rolls. Arrange rolls, seam side down, evenly spaced apart on greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Taco Chicken Soup *makes 8 cups*
Bacon slices, diced 2
Sliced fresh white mushrooms 1 cup
Chopped onion 2/3 cup
Chopped red pepper 1/2 cup
Prepared chicken broth 4 cups
Chopped cooked chicken 2 cups
Can of kernal corn, drained
Jar of mild taco sauce 7.5 oz
Salt to taste
Grated cheddar cheese for garnish

Cook bacon in large saucepan til almost crisp. Do not drain.
Add next three ingredients. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is softened.

Add next five ingredients. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, til chicken is heated through.

Garnish with cheese. Freezes well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Naps and other disjointed ramblings...

Does anyone else get completely disoriented when they take naps late in the afternoon? Ugh. I do. And it drives me insane. It's as though my internal clock ceases to function when the day begins to drift towards darkness.

But I REALLY needed a nap this afternoon. Dealing with Reagan is exhausting some days--at exactly what age do they actually begin LISTENING to you? Really. Some days I feel like a robot, repeating the same thing 20 times before she'll actually do what I'm telling her...and time-outs? All in all, I threaten time-outs at least 25-30 times daily, resulting in at least 1 time out trip.

I'm beginning to feel I have a 2 year old going on 17.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm Going Bananas...quite literally

Earlier this week I ran into Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we absolutely needed that couldn't wait til our normal grocery run (as in DISHWASHING DETERGENT ladies! I spent five years without a dishwasher and there was no way that I was going back to handwashing! The dishes could be growing mold I tell you and I STILL wouldn't handwash them! SO THERE!) Ahem, anyway, back to my story.

So I ran into Wal-Mart to get a few much needed items....potatoes and cucumbers among them. Which explains how I JUST HAPPENED to be in the produce department, which explains how I JUST HAPPENED upon a huge case of bananas for (are you ready for this) $5.00!!!!!!!!!!

I immediately purchased a case for myself and one for my friend and delivered hers to her house. Then I came home (and waited for Josh so he could heave the heavy sucker inside--after all I had already toted it around Wal-Mart AND delivered another box) and spent at least thirty minutes peeling bananas! A good portion of them were quite brown and bruised and needed to be used right away or frozen (which is what I did) but quite a large number were perfect enough for us to use the rest of the week.

All in all, I ended up with around 33 pounds of bananas! This is huge because instead of doing Christmas cookies for all of Josh's co-workers this year, I can do...dum da da dum...BANANA bread! MUCH easier! Especially with a toddler underfoot!

I just can't believe I scored such an awesome deal. See? Sometimes there ARE good reasons for tooling around the store all afternoon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

AND...from the trenches of house selling...

Josh and I are literally (this) close to taking our house off the market in order to purchase a large piece of property in which we (HOPE) to build our dream home at some point. And, as fate would have it..we have a showing today.

Wonder if fate is cruel enough to give us an offer at this point in the process? We shall see....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reaganism Time!

Reagan has a habit of picking random things that Josh and I say and responding to it with "DON'T SAY THAT!!!" At first it started when (embarrassingly enough) I said "Oh God" to something that had happened (who knows what it was...maybe me spilling something? The cat puking on the rug AGAIN!?) And she was certainly right. I didn't need to use the Lord's name like that.

BUT...then it evolved into her saying "DON'T SAY THAT!" to even the most ordinary things we would chat about. Finally, exasperated today after Reagan had interrupted us several times to tell us NOT to say something, Josh looked at her and said "Well, what can I say, Reagan?" She refused to answer. So he smiled and said "Walla Walla Washington? Can I say that?"

Her prompt response? A very emphatic and serious: "Yes, you can say that. That is a good word!"


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (on Sunday!)

Check out more great menu plans at orgjunkie.com!

Recipes bolded have instructions listed below.

Sunday: Steak, turnip greens and beans
Monday: Eat at the baseball game
Tuesday: Caesar Pita Burgers, carrot sticks and applesauce
Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry with whole grain brown rice
Thursday: Homemade mac and cheese with zucchini vegetable mix
Sunday: Slow-Cooker Pot Roast with fresh green beans


Slow-Cooker Pot Roast:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, cut in wedges
3 lb roast
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 medium white potatoes, cubed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
2 envelopes (1.4 oz each) onion soup mix
1 tbsp corn starch

Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Add onion and beef. Brown beef on all sides and Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cooker.

Arrange the carrots, potatoes and bay leaves around the beef. Sprinkle with salt. In a heatproof bowl or measuring cup, combine the soup mix with three cups of boil water, stirring til smooth.

Pour the soup mixture over the beef and vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until the meat is very tender, about 3.5 hours.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch and about 1 tsp water; stir to form a paste. Add 2 cups hot liquid from slow cooker and bring to a boil, stirring until the gravy has thickened. Slice the beef and serve with vegetables and gravy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Will I Ever Get Over the Fear?

Anytime Reagan is sick...a small cold, an unexplained rash, even an injury, I get this gut-twisting, air-depriving feeling deep inside. Rationally, I know that she will probably be fine and get over whatever illness or injury is ailing her. But on some level, it's as if, every time she's sick, I'm reliving holding her in my arms and watching her heartbeat fade away. I feel that same sense of stark terror that I felt watching doctors and nurses swarm in on her and start working to keep her here with us.

I know ultimately that her life, like all of ours, is in God's hands; and I'm pretty certain He must have some BIG plans for her. But it doesn't stop me from feeling gut-wrenching panic, almost as if I'm on the verge of hysteria, every time she starts with a little sniffle.

Other moms are so calm when their little ones are sick. Oh, they'll get over it. It's just a little cold. Oh, it's just a skinned knee. Me? By the time the sniffles have turned into a full-blown cold, I've been on the phone with at least two of her doctors, given her five different medications and restricted all activities so that her wheezing doesn't start.

Paranoid? Yes. Slightly over-protective? Yes. I'm just so afraid of losing that little precious bundle that my life is completely tied to. I know other moms MUST feel at least some slight version of my panic when their children are sick, and even as I sit here with the knot growing heavier and heavier in my stomach, I know I'm being irrational. But I can't help it.

Will I end up smothering her with my over-protectiveness in the end? Probably. Will I regret it in the future? Probably not. At least I can say I did my best to keep her here and help her grow, even if she does end up resenting me and in therapy for the rest of her adult life. That's such a hard line to take, but I feel it's the only one I'm equipped to take right now. And I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to take another position...she's almost three. I'm not sure this gut-wrenching feeling will ever go away completely.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I should really learn to listen to the cats....

About two days ago Reagan was sooo unbelievably tired. She wanted to go down for her nap at 11:30 (usually it's a struggle to get her down at 2 pm!) She slept for almost three hours and THEN wanted to go to bed early. On top of all of that, Porthos was unusually attentive to her. He had to sleep with her (even on top of her pillow right above her head at one point) and everywhere she went, well, he was sure to follow.

That in and of itself is fairly unusual....see Porthos usually avoids Reagan's love fest that she slathers on him like the plague :) And I thought, hmm, maybe Reagan's getting sick...no, she's perfectly healthy and hasn't been sick in a few months..yet sure enough, starting yesterday---SICK.

I'm amazed that the cats are so in tuned as to be able to tell us when something is going to happen. They've done this before and yet it never ceases to completely blow my mind when they're right.

Hmm, wonder if I should have them help me pick out lotto numbers or something??

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Need An Intervention, People...

Seriously. I AM ADDICTED TO FRUITY PEBBLES. I cannot control myself when there is a box around. We have seriously gone through two whole boxes in TWO DAYS...TWO DAYS, people. 48 hours...and at least a portion of that was spent sleeping.

I can control myself around chocolate. I can control myself around ice cream even, but Fruity Pebbles....well, the empty boxes say it all. And do you REALIZE how many calories are in one serving??? Don't even get me started. It's sugar people..colored sugar...there is no reason for one bowl to contain 200 calories!!!

Someone, please, anyone, help......my addiction is getting way out of control.....and Kroger isn't helping with their $1.88 boxes...oh and I had a coupon too....mmmmm.....

Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm afraid the blog has been suffering a bit lately as I've found myself overwhelmed with housing stuff...no, we STILL have not sold our house...but we're going ahead with the planning for another-just so we'll be ready when the time comes!

In the meantime, Indiana seems to have taken on a southern-esque heatwave, with highs in the upper 90s and heat indexes reaching into the 100s. Not that this is unusual mind you. There are always three or four days in the summer when the heat is awful and reminds me of being at home. But most of the time it's pretty pleasant. This, however, was not the time to have the oven on baking cookies...and yet, that's exactly what I did today.

And no, I'm not going to recommend the recipe to anyone, because they are really rather bland, and although they have a healthy amount of sugar and butter, they have an even healthier amount of oats and applesauce..making for a VERY dense cookie! But Reagan loves them and they are SLIGHTLY healthy, so that's what counts right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ok Moms....Is this not the greatest quote ever???

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." Phyllis Diller

I swear I'm going to paint this on every wall in my house...especially the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So Excited!

We're taking Reagan camping this weekend! We rented a cabin and we're just going to enjoy being together for a little while without any appointments to get to, schedules to follow or people to see!

I know Reagan is going to love it!...AND if I can ever get my husband to apply for a license, we might even do a little fishing as well...can you imagine me trying to clean a fish?? Yeah, right! I think I'll stick with thawing out chicken to throw on the grill!

In the meantime, I leave you with this recipe for Green Tomato Nut Bread. I tried this for the first time this past week after purchasing a loaf at the Farmer's Market. NOTE: I am not sure if this is the exact recipe she followed, but it appears to be close. I promise you this stuff is delicious AND addicting! Enjoy!

Green Tomato Bread
Yields 2 loaves (about 20 servings)

1/2 cup canola oil
8 ounces nonfat yogurt, plain
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup Splenda (or use all sugar)
2 cups green tomatoes, pureed, juice drained and discarded
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Combine oil, yogurt, eggs, sugar, Splenda and green tomatoes in a large bowl and mix well. Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices and add to wet ingredients along with the whole wheat flour. Stir together just until combined. Divide evenly between two prepared pans and bake just until a toothpick comes clean from the center of the bread, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pans, then remove. To retain moisture, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. May be frozen.

Note: I found this version of the recipe at: Cooking with Michele

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Poop Soup

The other day Reagan was on the potty and I happened to walk in. She had poop all over her undies and I asked what happened. She said "nothing mommy" (apparently she didn't realize what had happened) and I said, "Reagan, there's poopy in your undies" "I didn't go pooty I pooted (passed gas)"...I said "No, sweetie, you thought you pooted but it was really poopy. You have diahrea." She looked behind her, starting laughing and said "I made poop soup!"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's that time again ;) Menu Plan Monday....for more great menu ideas, check out http://thehappyhousewife.com/!

Monday-Leftovers from cookout; various meat, pasta salad and green beans
Tuesday-Chicken pot pie; green beans (can you tell someone in this house loves green beans!? Reagan has been making me buy tons at the farmer's market!)
Wednesday-Potato and Leek soup; zucchini bread
Friday-Homemade Sausage and Cheese Pizza
Saturday and Sunday--campout food! YUM! (S'mores anyone?!)

Breakfasts: Fruit, cheese, eggs, slimfast (for mommy!)
Lunches: Leftovers, Lean Cuisine meals, Green Giant steamers
Snacks: fresh fruit, cheese sticks, Zucchini bread

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