Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Most of our family really enjoys pancakes (Miss S asks for them at breakfast a LOT). I wanted to try something different than my standard buttermilk pancake so I play around with my pancake recipes and some fresh blueberries.

Cookies: On the Grill

Don't they look like they came out of the oven
instead of off the grill?
I've done it before for fun, but today it was a necessity. Yes, my oven decided to go on strike. What are the chances that two different gas ranges, in two different locations, would both have the oven ignitor break? The first oven issue happened almost 3 years ago while I was roasting squash. It ended up being an easy fix for Jared after Googling it and watching a YouTube video. :) However, this time around the oven went out as I was prepping food to take to a family from church. I had French bread rising, cookies ready to bake, and tomato sauce simmering for lasagna. This was NOT the time I wanted my oven to go on strike!

Grilled Green Beans and Carrots

Grilled Green Beans and Carrots = YUMMY!
I needed a veggie for dinner the other night but wanted to make it on the grill. Mr. R has an aversion to summer squash and zucchini (it's a texture thing, not the taste) so I really didn't want to make that. What other veggie can be made on the grill that all my kids like? Hmmmm...then I saw it. A recipe for green beans and carrots on the grill (thank you, Pinterest!). Now, you know me, I can't leave a recipe alone so here's my take on it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops

I had gotten some beautiful thick cut pork chops from the store the other day and wanted to do something delicious with them. I came across a recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops and decided that was the way to go. I wasn't disappointed, they were yummy in my tummy (and the kids seemed to think so as well).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Corndogs for the Birthday Girl

Miss A requested corndogs for her birthday lunch and I already had hot dogs on hand that I'd purchased when they were super cheap with coupons this summer. So off I went in search of a homemade corndog recipe that looked quick and easy. I found such a recipe at Out of the Box Food. I did tweak the recipe based on what items were in my cupboard and they turned out just great! The best thing about these corndogs is that they are freezer friendly. :) I made up a big batch (15 of them, although I would have had enough batter for a 16th) so that I could pop a few in the freezer for consumption at a later date. It only took Mr. R and I about 45 minutes from start to finish.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Laundry Monster is tamed!

There's a monster who lives in our house and I never seem to be able to keep it under control. It haunts me on regular basis but especially at night. It's at it's meanest when I just want to fall into bed and sleep. It's name, you may ask...

Clean Laundry!

With 2 adults and 4 children, we almost have enough dirty clothes for a large load by the end of the day, which means I go through roughly 7 loads off laundry a week. Now that doesn't include soiled bedding and towels. I used to have 1 set laundry day a week but since we moved my schedule just doesn't allow for that. I now try to do a couple of loads every other day, which has helped a bit with taming the dirty laundry monster. We also use a laundry sorter and that helps even more. 

Now our biggest problem has been the clean laundry. I struggled with getting it all folded right away and many times the clean clothes would pile up unfolded in the laundry baskets till they all needed to be ironed, but who has time to iron every piece of "visible" clothing? Not me! So I started folding the clothes as I took them out of the dryer. It did help but then I ran into another problem...I sorted the laundry on our bed (usually during naptime when the house is, for the most part, still) but I didn't always find time to put the sorted laundry away before we put the kids to bed. This was when the clean laundry monster reared its nasty head. I'd be so tired and frustrated that all the nice, clean, folded, sorted laundry had to go back in the laundry baskets to be put away another day. It made me feel like I wasn't really finishing my task (and it took up a lot of space in our bedroom since we currently have 6 people crammed into a 3 bedroom, 850 sq. ft. house).

I'm sure you've seen the amazing pictures of laundry rooms that people have shared on Pinterest and wished your laundry room could be so neat and organized. Yes, I'll admit that I have. However, the Lord provided a way of escape from my temptation to covet, and this escape came in the shape of 4 dollar store "mini" laundry baskets. I found them by "accident" really, I was looking for some little plastic boxes for sort small items when I saw them. I figured that for $1 each, we could swing it. I am so glad that I did. I still struggle with getting all the hanging clothes put away but now the kids can easily put their own folded laundry away.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Count your blessings, an exercise in thankfulness

Today we had some clothes shopping and errand running to do. Miss E. still had some birthday money to spend and wanted to get some outfits for her doll (clearance preemie clothes make GREAT inexpensive baby doll clothes). Mr. R needed some new dress shirts for church (yes, he's growing all too fast, well, they all are). Jared needed some new dress shirts for work. The younger two didn't need anything and I would rather shop for myself when I can do it by myself or with just Jared.

You know how it goes as a parent, when one kids gets a few things the others complain and that was true for today's shopping. Finally after the last store, Jared decided it was time to focus on thankfulness. So we started a simple exercise. As we drove the last 10 minutes, we went from oldest to youngest (yes, even Miss S at age 2 named participated) and had each person name something that they were thankful for in life. We did a few rounds of this and it seemed to help cure the complaining for today. So when you're kids are having a case of the "mopies" tell them to count their blessings, name them one. by. one. It works for adults, too. :) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Menu 2013: August 5-September 1

July was CRAZY at our house and August is going to be almost as busy. I need to start getting everything in order for the first day of school (September 9th) considering I have yet to finish unpacking my office. This summer has just flown by! I've been able to log a few running miles but have yet to run more than 1.3 at a time. I'll be going with a similar menu format to last month as we're working harder to eat healthy and also enjoy the outdoors, so we'll be:
  • Grilled 
  • Salad
  • Sandwich/wrap/pitas
  • Spicy
  • Misc. dish
  • Crockpot
Don't forget to check out the new Printable Menu Plan feature.

Week 1: August 5-11
Week 2: August 12-18 (Miss A. turns "4")
Week 3: August 19-25
Week 4: August 26-September 1
We're having company several different times this month so I'll be doing some baking.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake

I wanted to take breakfast to church for our Sunday school class this morning and it had to be a dish with blueberries as I'd gotten a really good deal on fresh ones this week. I decided to look for a good coffee cake recipe but was missing at least one ingredient for every recipe I looked at, which made me decide to experiment...