Well, I’m a day late with my weekly planning but I’m still determined to get some plans planned and linked up over Felicia’s Red Door Life. Last week, I felt as if the week knocked me down like a giant wave before I could do any planning. Basically, my week planned itself. Sometimes that is okay but I prefer to meet the week with my own plans already formed when I can. I’ve been working as a substitute teacher at a Montessori preschool and I love it. However, it is a bit of an adjustment as I seem to be working on my planning days (i.e. Monday & Tuesday) quite a bit. Thus, my attempt at some Tuesday afternoon planning.
Scripture of the Week:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
Focus of the Week:
Tis the Season to be Jolly! Fa La La La La La La
Know what kind of people are jolly? Healthy people! I seem to have a shortage of healthy people in this house. My husband has had some kind of virus for a week now. G and J were both home sick yesterday and G is still sick today. So, I’m focused on getting all these sick people healthy and making sure they do NOT share whatever they have with me. Bottoms up on the Emergen-C and green tea!
The Weather this Week:
Mele Kalikimaka! until Saturday. Barely need a jacket out there. Then on Saturday, we have a chance of freezing rain and snow. Time to get that shopping finished!
Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?
I just answered the phone and will now be working for a 3rd day this week. My husband and G are watching television or playing video games in the next room. J will be home from school soon. I need to be making spinach-artichoke dip (from a mix) for Bunco tonight as well as getting my clothes ready for tomorrow.
To Do List:
Run, Run, Rudolph! Santa’s got to make it town!
- Christmas Shopping! The big item of the week (of course, they all are aren’t they?) is teacher and bus driver gifts!
- Wrap Christmas gifts
- Buy a birthday gift for my sister-in-law (a card also)
- Make THE Christmas card decision. I bought some last year but alas I can not find them. Do I want to search or realize that everyone already knows we love them.
- Spend some time (with them) cleaning in the boys’ rooms
What I Am Reading This Week:
I read an e-book over the weekend into yesterday that I enjoyed more than I expected: Child of the Ghosts by Jonathan Moeller. It was free but I noticed it was the 1st in a series and I may see about reading the sequel.
I plan to start reading I Declare by Joel Osteen, which was one of my birthday presents last week, if I find myself with some free time (ha!) this week.
Secret list this week. It’s Christmas time! I do need to find some more suitable work clothes if they are going to keep calling me though. So I suppose I could put clothes on my shopping list along with Christmas presents.
From the Camera:
On the Blog:
Silent Night, Holy Night. All is Calm. All is Bright.
I know it has been quiet ’round here except for bits and pieces but it is that time of year! I do plan to get a Follow Through Friday up this week. It will be the Final Follow Through Friday before Christmas! Yikes! I’m not committing to any other posts. They may or may not happen. Hopefully, you are having too much seasonal fun with your family to spend much time blog reading anyway. Is your week before Christmas busy as well?
Who else is just trying to take a minute to breathe between the last holiday and the upcoming ones? The past 2 weeks went by in a blur for me. Something that saved me on more than one occasion was having some leftovers in the freezer! However, now with the exception of a box of fish sticks, taco soup, and some random breakfast items, the freezer is bare. Not really bare but certainly lacking in dinner item options unless I can convince my husband that pretzels would be a good, satisfying dinner. I’m going to try to put some more leftovers in there as I go through the next two weeks.
MONDAY: OUT! It’s my birthday. I chose Applebee’s since we hadn’t been there in a while and it had a lot of choices for everyone. My husband made me a cake already. I picked white cake with white frosting as I prefer white cake to chocolate. Really, I prefer coconut meringue pie but that wouldn’t be very nice to everyone else not to mention I don’t think he could find a box mix for that at the grocery store
TUESDAY: QUICK! It’s the night of the 7th grade band concert so our dinner will need to be quick and easy tonight. Spaghetti (planning to freeze the extras)
WEDNESDAY: Roasted Chicken Legs (again, planning to freeze the extras), sweet potato fries
THURSDAY: Pork Chops, baked potatoes or maybe rice, and salad
FRIDAY: Roast in the Crock Pot (Can you guess what I plan to do with the leftovers?)
I do have everything on hand to make a pot of chili as well. If I get ambitious this week, I may go ahead and make that as well just so I can have it ready to go in the freezer. I’m also still trying to mostly follow the Vegan eating ideas (no meat, no dairy although I’m a bit more lenient on that but I have certainly started using a lot less cheese. I have a whole post coming with my thoughts on it all so I won’t bore you here) so I could use some quick meal ideas for that as well preferably that do not include beans. I tried but I simply am not a huge fan. And lentils? Well, YUCK! Just to add to the challenge there, I’m also trying to do less wheat.
What is on your menu this (is it COLD where you are like it is here?) week? Also, what kind of cake would you pick on your birthday? White, Chocolate, or something entirely different?
If you need more dinner inspiration than I have offered here, then go check out Menu Plan Monday over at Orgjunkie.com where there are usually over 2oo bloggers linking up their menu plans!
Well, I did do stuff yesterday. I just didn’t do the stuff on my Follow Through Friday list. Oops. It was one of those days with a phone call from a friend needing help and the next thing I knew I was at J’s elementary school helping to set up the Santa Store that is running all next week. I was there during the bulk of the early afternoon hours. So as far as the list items from yesterday:
- Remember that post I wrote yesterday? It has to count as writing a blog post! I may (or may not) get another post written today but our weekend into next week is December busy! This afternoon, we are going to the junior Lego Robotics Team Celebration and who knows after that although I’m hoping it might include finding J a weather appropriate coat.
- This one WAS accomplished. The living room IS clean and the bin put away.
I just can’t take any credit. My husband did it. It is so nice to be able to go into the living room without feeling claustrophobic and actually have a place to sit down again. I was probably helping J do this to our closet door while he was cleaning:
- I still need to make that dreaded Christmas list although I think I did come up with a present for one of my nieces as I’ve decided she MUST have a pink Nerf gun. I think I’d like one as well ;) I will have to sit down and make that list out today though. I saw a post on Facebook that said something about only 2 more Fridays until Christmas. Eek!
At this point, all I’m really wishing for is a WARM Christmas. The cold is still at the BRRRR level here. How is the weather where you are? Has it calmed down? Warning: Report weather that is sunny and in the 80s at your own risk! I’d also love to hear how you did on your to-do list yesterday?
Well, hello there, blog readers! After a trying week of our computer crashing randomly, I think we’ve solved the problem. I didn’t even attempt to post while it was happening because I had bigger issues to sort out like making sure our passwords were printed off in case I needed them and our photos were all backed up (most the time they automatically upload to Snapfish but I don’t always do that). After entertaining serious concerns that perhaps our hard drive was dying, it turns out removing some computer game my older son had downloaded did the trick. So far the old computer is kicking again. On a slightly funny note, it is best not to tell a child that takes everything a bit literally that the computer is “dying” lest you should find him later in tears asking why it has to “die”. SIGH. Even though the month has just begun, I suddenly feel behind on everything. Anyone else? I’ve decided to just start with the basics and move forward from there. Here are my 3 basic (and not all that exciting) items for my Follow Through Friday list:
- Write a blog post! Hey, look I’m almost done! Actually, I have a few others to write but if I don’t get them done, I get to count this post, right?
- Put Christmas away. Wait? What? We put up our Christmas tree on Sunday but we still have a tub of unused decor/empty boxes sitting in the living room. I also (obviously) need to clean up the living room as well.
- Make a Christmas List and check it twice. I have a few presents purchased but I need to figure out who is left as well as call that guy in the red suit to see what he’s bringing the boys. I’m thinking coal would be light in his sled!
I also am hoping to maybe get out somewhere and pick up some applesauce and cinnamon to make ornaments. J has been on quite the paper snowflake flurry here lately and could use new craft. Plus, those ornaments make the house smell great! What are you dashing around doing today?
Since cooking is pretty much in the forefront this week with Thanksgiving just 2 days away, I thought I’d share some of my favorite kitchen gadgets with you. Some of these I use every single day and some only around the holidays or when the baking mood really strikes me (like my apple peeler/corer that I didn’t include below).
My first favorite kitchen gadget is maybe more of an appliance or a tool but I would be absolutely lost without this item:
If I could write sonnets, I’d probably write one about my Kitchen Aid Mixer. My husband gave it to me as a Christmas gift in 2001 (the same year G was born) and I love it! Since I’m not exactly easy on appliances, the fact that it still works perfectly after years of use says something about the Kitchen Aid brand quality. I use it for making cookies, banana bread, pizza dough (with the dough hook attachment), meringue for pies as well as the frosting that goes on the family birthday cake (with the whisk attachment). I’ve also used it to shred chicken and for one ill-fated ivory soap experiment (Dear Family Fun, soap “snow” does NOT easily come off the window like you said and now I’m forbidden to ever decorate like that again). A few years ago, my husband bought the grinder attachment and uses it to grind deer meat as well. Thank goodness it is an easy dishwasher (hello, sanitize cycle!) item to clean. When I finish this post, I’m going to go use it to make more banana bread.
Now that I’ve shared my all-time favorite with you, here are the smaller gadgets that I would be lost in my own kitchen without (the photos will reflect that they are well-used):
I used this just this morning as evidenced by the piece of apple peel stuck in it. The next stop for this lovely gadget will be the dishwasher. I do not even know where this item came from but when my husband suggested just last week that we need to replace it, I was not in agreement. I use it almost every morning to peel apples for the boys’ lunches. I also use it to scrub my potatoes. The handle is a little wider than most peelers and makes it easy to maneuver. I’m not giving this item up willingly any time soon.
When I’m not peeling the apples whole, I like to use this to cut their apples into slices. It is sharp, fast, and efficient as long as the apples are a bit on the large size and not shaped too oddly. Oddly shaped apples do not fare as well in this although I’ve been know to use it on them anyway.
I have no idea whether these are “quality” knives or not. They were a wedding gift and I still use them so I guess if they can withstand my antics, then that does indeed make them quality knives. I use the kitchen shears quite a bit although they have lost a bit of sharpness. I tend to use the steak knives to slice items like fruits and vegetables quite a bit also. I love having the knives on the counter where I can easily access them without having to go digging in a drawer.
I think this may have belonged to my husband before we were married. Wow, that makes this one pretty darn old. I use it for pizza but I also used it for slicing waffles and pancakes into bites when the kids were younger. I still use it on things besides pizza at times.
Here’s one that was mine before we were married. I would be lost without this. I have a husband to open jars for me but sometimes he’s not home when I want to open a jar. This works great for the stubborn lids on things like peanut butter jars.
This is my other jar opener. The first jar opener doesn’t do well on things like pickle jars but this tool is amazing. You simple use it to loosen the vacuum seal and then the jar opens up quite easily. The other end has a bottle opener that I don’t really use but it does work on things like stubborn Coca Cola bottle lids.
The last two items I’m sharing are kind of random but they are still counted in with my favorites (I’ve listed a lot of them here but not all):
I’m not sure what they are officially called but I love them. I use them all the time! I’ve baked lava cakes in them (Once. I’m not a huge lava cake baker). I put the dipping sauces for the kids’ stuff in them. They are our go-to taco sauce/salsa bowls. I’ve used them to hold the water for watercolor painting. I’m measured my ingredients into them. The came with lids and sometimes we put leftovers in them. I’ve even used them as dessert/snack bowls in a pinch.
Ever divide a recipe in half? How about a recipe that calls for 3/4 cup of something? That is a hard one to cut in two unless you have an 1/8 cup measuring spoon! (3/4 divided by 2 is 1/4 plus 1/8 in case you were wondering….you know because 3/4 is equivalent to 1/2 plus 1/4…you knew that already though, right?). This is the perfect gadget for making 1/2 a batch of chocolate chip cookies because sometimes you only have 1/2 the amount of butter that the recipe requires and they really want those cookies!
What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets and tools?