December 29, 2015

Monthly Menu December 2015

01  Tue  Missionary dinner: tacos, corn, salad
02  Wed  Youth Group:  chicken and rice soup, rolls
03  Thu  red beans and rice, green beans
04  Fri  
05  Sat
06  Sun

21  Mon  leftover chili
22  Tue  birthday party at my sister's house (make macaroni salad)
23  Wed  cream of chicken soup, biscuits
24  Thu  Christmas Eve at my sister's house (make broccoli casserole, cookies)
25  Fri  Christmas Day: rib roast with York shire pudding, mashed  potatoes, green beans
26  Sat  leftovers
27  Sun  pasta
28  Mon  take out Chinese food
29  Tue  leftover pork from freezer, gravy, rice, kale
30  Wed  creamy chicken soup
31  Thu New Year's Eve ham, sweet potatoes, green beans

December 22, 2015

Macaroni Salad

At Christmas?!!! The crazy part of this is, Christmas Eve day is going to be MUGGY with a high of 65-70! Where do we live?! The reality is that my sister is having us over to celebrate her daughter in-law's and granddaughter's birthdays, determined that their birthdays will not be neglected just because of where they fall on the calendar. So, she has asked me to make macaroni salad. My mother in-law makes a delicious macaroni salad, and she taught me how to make it, and I have made it many, many times. However, it is a recipe that is a little of this, more of this, a lot of this, and taste it until it tastes right to you. So, for me at least, it was hit or miss, so I went searching on the internet for a recipe close to my MIL's. This is it, with a couple of tweaks:

Hellman's Macaroni Salad (this is doubled):

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente, rinsed in cold water, and drained

lots of carrots (maybe 6), chopped fine* (use your electric chopper and make it easy on yourself)
lots of celery (maybe 6 stalks), chopped fine*
a small onion (optional), chopped fine*
or whatever veggies you want

2 C mayo
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 T dijon mustard
1 1/2 t salt
2 t sugar
ground pepper to taste

mix dressing ingredients, allow to blend

mix pasta and veggies, add dressing to desired consistency (you can really halve the dressing, especially if you are using it right away)

*by chopping the veggies fine, kids cannot avoid them when eating the salad, although mine do their best

December 21, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday December 21 2015

Wow, Christmas is upon us already! We complain (in my house, anyway) about Christmas starting too early and not giving Thanksgiving its proper due, but before you know it, Christmas is less than a week away and I always feel a little panicky that I have run out of time. But then I remind myself that whatever we have and whatever I have to offer is enough, and I let it go. And here we are! I wish you  all a very peaceful, joyful Christmas. 

The weather outside is
cold but getting warmer. Right now it is 37 degrees and overcast, which I don't mind because then I put on the tree lights and they look beautiful. We are supposed to have rain all this week but I am not complaining because I am not ready for snow yet.

On the breakfast plate
was granola bars with peanut butter. I was going to blend yogurt with frozen berries and add some granola but I was too cold. Maybe for lunch...

As I look outside my window
I see that we are, as usual, behind in our chores. The chairs to the patio set are still on the deck, and there have been two scrub brushes sitting on the patio table for weeks now. My husband is in the process of expanding our shed (instead of getting rid of stuff, he keeps expanding it, I tease him that it will someday be bigger than our house) so he hasn't had time to take care of those things. Meanwhile, I was going to clean out our flower beds and haven't done any of that, so I cannot complain.

Right now I am
sitting at my kitchen table, which is where I always am when at the computer. I'm thinking how I really tried to start the season (which begins the night of Thanksgiving for our family) by reflecting on our Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. But then the gift buying, wrapping, and BAKING take over and I lose it. I haven't read my scriptures for days, until today! So that's a start, I have already read some today. 

As I look around the house
I see my clean crock pot still sitting on my counter along with all of my baking paraphernalia, I am done making cookies for my husband to bring to work (36 dozen) and for our church Christmas party. Now I just have baking for my family, which won't be too much. Then my kitchen needs a thorough cleaning before tax season starts as it is covered in flour!

On today's to-do list
towel washing, counter cleaning, gift wrapping, cookie baking, and planning a game day for our seminary class on Wednesday. Dinner is going to be leftover chili, so that's easy.

Happening this week
Tonight is a night at home, thank goodness. 
Tuesday - swim meet, birthday party for my nephew's wife and daughter (they are visiting from out of state)
Wednesday - preparing for Christmas
Thursday - Christmas eve at my sister's house
Friday - Christmas day at our house (plans are still up in the air) and Skyping with my missionary daughter!
Saturday - hopefully some house cleaning! game playing, relaxing with the family
Sunday - church, family time

Currently reading
Starting A Christmas Carol this week

On the tv
Christmas movies! We have only watched two so far: Scrooge and The Homecoming. 

On the menu this week
leftover chili tonight. The rest can be found here (not much on it though).

Favorite photo
This came to me by an anonymous missionary mom in Arizona, where my daughter is currently serving. (She is on the right.)


Have a great week and a very merry Christmas!

November 30, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday November 30 2015

It has been a long time since I have participated in HHM. I really have no excuse, Mondays just seem to get away from me I guess. Please see Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for more Happy Homemaker Monday!

Winter is just starting to show up in my part of New England. The Friday after Thanksgiving, which is our Christmas decorating day, was a beautiful 65 degrees! It was hard to get into the Christmas spirit, lol. But today it is only 36 degrees and it's 1:37 pm. So, brrr. Cloudy too, but now snow in the forecast, thank heaven!

Out of my window
I see clouds. Also, my 17 year old son is practicing lacrosse in the backyard, and my husband is working on expanding our shed. I prefer to stay in the warm house, but, alas, I do have to venture out to the grocery store.

Right now
I am listening to Christmas music. Friday I took a lot of time uploading all of my Christmas cds onto my computer (had done it before but we lost the hard drive on that one) and then loading them on my mp3. I put it on shuffle and love the random styles that come up. Variety is the spice of life! I am also warming up the car so I can venture out to the grocery stores (one warehouse club and two grocery stores) plus the post office to get a package out to my daughter.

Thinking about
How blessed I am! We all are if we just learn to see it! My daughter is preparing to serve a mission for our church in New Caledonia. It's on the other side of the earth! And warm! She is happy! I know two other girls who are doing the same, but going to different places. And since she has dedicated this time of her life to the Lord our family has been so blessed! Mostly I am grateful for the blessing of my Savior. There is no greater gift, and I would like to keep that foremost in my mind during this holiday season. He is the most important gift!

On my bedside table
My phone (at night), my tablet, a magazine, a pile of books, my glasses, two bottles of water, and a lot of dust!

On my tv
We will be watching Christmas movies, I don't care about anything else right now. We always start off by watching Scrooge, the musical from the 1970s with Albert Finney on Thanksgiving night. I can watch every version of A Christmas Carol ever made (except the muppets), I just love that story. I thank my dad for that. But, I want to start Jesus of Nazareth soon so I can watch all of it during the month.

On the menu
You can find my menu here.

To do list
Post office, grocery shopping, one load of laundry, make dinner, make lunches for hubby for the week.

Happening this week
We are having the missionaries in our area over for dinner Tuesday night, Wednesday is youth night at church, Thursday one son has scouts (until he gets that Eagle project done), Saturday is girls mall day, woot! My mom, sister, and I (and my daughter when she was here) spend the day at the mall, eating out and shopping and laughing a lot.

Simple pleasure
Christmas lights! Right now we have a miniature village on our fireplace mantel with lights in them and candles in our front windows. Love them!

Looking around the house
It got the best cleaning it has had in a long time for Thanksgiving, so it's not too bad. The cat is sleeping on the top of her tower and the vacuum hose is out waiting to be used.

From the camera
Packing up the fall decorations

This was my Facebook profile picture this month

Have a wonderful week!

November 16, 2015

Monthly Menu November 2015

16  Mon  Kid meal: hot dogs, tater tots, corn
17  Tue  Missionary meal: pasta with homemade sauce, salad, bread
18  Wed Youth Night: creamy chicken soup, biscuits
19  Thu  red beans and rice
20  Fri  fish, rice, mixed veggies
30  Mon  turkey, mashed potatoes, leftover stuffing, veggies

October 12, 2015

Monthly Menu October 2015

12  Mon  pizza
13  Tue  Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast
14  Wed  Split Pea and Ham Soup, crusty bread
15 Thu   Beef Stew
16  Fri  Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
17  Sat
18  Sun  Family dinner: pulled beef, pulled pork, baked beans, macaroni salad
19  Mon  leftovers
20  Tue  chili, rolls
21  Wed
22  Thu  raviolis, garlic bread, broccoli salad
23  Fri
24  Sat
25  Sun
26  Mon  pasta, salad, garlic bread
27  Tue  leftover pulled beef, egg noodles, gravy, peas and carrots
28  Wed  slow cooker ham and potato soup, biscuits
29  Thu  temple trip, fend for yourselves
30  Fri  missionary dinner:
31  Sat

August 29, 2015

Monthly Menu September 2015

01  Tue  pasta, salad, garlic bread
02  Wed  fast food
03  Thu  grilled chicken legs, macaroni salad, corn

Monthly Menu August 2015

23  Sun  hamburgers, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
24  Mon  lasagna, salad, bread
25  Tue  honey mustard pork tenderloin, salad
26  Wed  Philly steak sandwiches, coleslaw
27  Thu  grilled chicken, rice, green beans
28  Fri
29  Sat dinner out for S birthday
30  Sun grilled chicken thighs, Rice-a-Roni, green beans
31  Mon  Back to school dinner at The Dairy Bar

June 29, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday June 29 2015

Wow, it is almost July, my kids are out of school and working (all of my kids are old enough to drive and have jobs!), and it is grilling and pool season. Today is a beautiful day. Life is good.

The Weather
It is gorgeous! The forecast was mostly cloudy (and maybe that will happen) but right now it is sunny with blue skies, 61 degrees (high is 75, perfect!), and supposedly 81% humidity, but it doesn't feel like it to me. Humidity is an important factor around here, probably more of a concern for us than the actual temperature. We only have this issue in the summer, but that humidity level is what can make or break us on a summer day.

Things That Make Me Happy
Reading a really good book. But what may make me even happier are book lists. Oh, the possibilities! 

Also what makes me happy is that all of my kids (and my husband, of course) have jobs. My oldest son, who is 21, is working for our local telephone company in business support. It is not an easy job, because it includes sales quotas, but he is doing really well. He has been earning great commissions and is paying off a lot of debt (caused by financing the band he was in). My daughter is working in a daycare and the kids, parents, and fellow teachers love her. She is really great with kids. She started there the summer before her senior year in high school, worked after school senior year, and summers and Christmas vacation when she is home from college. My youngest, who is 16 now, is working for a man from our church fixing and installing automatic pool covers. This good man has employed so many of our men and youth. The hours are long (because it requires a lot of traveling), and therefore the pay is good. It does require, however, that we leave the house at 6:25 (his hours are about 7 - 7, Monday through Friday). And my last child, my foster son, was supposed to work with his brother (biological brother), but he has not been responding to his calls or texts (this does NOT make me happy). So this morning he texted my youngest son's boss, and sure enough he told him he can start tomorrow. I am so grateful for this man, who also employed my oldest son at one time, and for the good young man who takes them all to work. We are truly blessed.

Menu for this week
can be found in separate posts here for June and here for July

What's on tv
Two of my kids have been rewatching Glee from the first season, and I get sucked in once in awhile. Other than that, no tv, other than an occasional movie on the weekend. We watched Mockingjay Part 1 this weekend. I had seen it before but my husband hadn't.

Looking Around the House
The main floor isn't terrible. My one son who is home today volunteered to clean the house because we have a crowd of people possibly coming over tonight. I gave the bathroom/laundry room on the main floor a good cleaning on Saturday, so no complaints.

On My To Do List
I already got my menu planning done, so I have grocery shopping, straightening up the house, and making dinner for the family. Also, calling/texting a bunch of people. We are waiting for a letter with my daughter's mission call in the mail and if it comes, I have to let everyone know to come over!

Looking forward to this week
My daughter's letter! Also, the holiday weekend.

Tips and tricks
This isn't really a tip or trick, but my favorite bathroom cleaner is Borax and kitchen sink cleaner is baking soda. I use a wet microfiber cloth for windows and mirrors and a steam mop on my floors. Why? Because I am very sensitive to chemicals and cannot stand breathing in fumes from spray bottles of cleaner. So grateful for microfiber cloths and Magic Eraser sponges (for the shower).

Favorite photo
Last day of school for the two boys (my daughter's last day of her summer college class was the next day). The boys are officially high school seniors, and my daughter is now a second semester college sophomore (once she transfers the credits).

On my mind
I am in a bit of a panic now because I remembered that I need a permission form from DCF in order for my foster son to climb Mt. Washington next week with the boy scouts since he will be out of state. So far I haven't been able to get in touch with his social worker, and since it is a holiday week, the chances are that she is on vacation. So I will be frantically calling tomorrow (again) and may have to take a 45 minute drive to the office to pick it up, or else he won't be able to go. (He will be 18 in less than a month and then all of this nonsense goes away, yes!)

Psalm 37:7 in part: "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.. Something we need today as we await that mission call and await to hear about that permission form!

Have a great week!

Monthly Menu: July 2015

July is a busy month around here. We have three birthdays in our immediate family, and two more in our extended family. This year we are going to Cape Cod for a week, something we never do, but since this may be the last time our family is all together, my husband and daughter conspired to spend our money, and I am not complaining! (Although it looks like the house we rented does not have air conditioning, so we will be packing a lot of fans.) We also have at least one boy scout Eagle project to complete (and I know I will be doing a lot of the volunteering). Oh, and half of us are hiking Mount Washington. So here goes:

01  Wed  sandwiches, watermelon
02  Thu  grilled chicken legs, corn on the cob, salad
03  Fri  leaving open
04  Sat  Hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, watermelon, birthday cake for me!
05  Sun  tacos
27  Mon  baked chicken, egg noodles, peas
28  Tue  tacos
29  Wed  London Broil, baked potatoes, broccoli
30  Thu  grilled chicken, zucchini, rice
31  Fri  hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni salad

How to Choose: Watermelon

Have you seen the link on Facebook about how to choose a juicy watermelon? I wish I could go back and find it to link to the proper source, but to go back and find ANYTHING on Facebook is a nightmare. Anyway, when picking a watermelon, look for the ones with a yellow spot like this:

I would avoid those watermelons, thinking they are under or overripe, but now I know better. The yellow spot means that the watermelon was left on the vine longer, long enough to obtain that spot, and the longer on the vine, the more ripe (and juicy) the fruit. Also, if the bottom of the watermelon looks slightly sticky (couldn't find a photo of one that does), that is desirable because it is because of the sugar in the juice.

So I happened to have a watermelon with a yellow spot when I found this information and, sure enough, it was really juicy and delicious. Three cheers for the ugly yellow spot!

May 30, 2015

Monthly Menu June

01  Mon  Pasta night: elbows with Lentil Sauce, salad
02  Tue  Chicken Soup, biscuits
03  Wed  kielbasi, Farmstand Potato Salad, baked beans
04  Thu
05  Fri  grilled chicken legs, orzo salad, green beans
06  Sat  London Broil, broccoli, baked potatoes
07  Sun  Grilled salmon, rice, salad
08  Mon  Pasta Night:
09  Tue  grilled chicken breasts, Santa Fe Potato Salad, cucumbers
10  Wed  grilled hamburgers, corn salad, watermelon, zucchini
11  Thu  Chicken Taco Casserole
12  Fri  grilled chicken, California Salad, baked beans
13  Sat  hamburgers, store bought salads, brussel sprouts
14  Sun
15  Mon  Pasta night: elbows with meat sauce, salad
16  Tue  freezer leftovers, rice, broccoli
17  Wed sandwiches, macaroni salad
18  Thu  taco soup, chips
19  Fri
20  Sat
21  Sun
22  Mon  tacos, corn on the cob, watermelon
23  Tue  pasta, salad
24  Wed  taco soup, chips
25  Thu
26  Fri fend for yourself
27  Sat pizza
28  Sun  shredded bbq chicken, baked beans, leftover corn on the cob
29  Mon  pasta with meat sauce, salad
30  Tue oven pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans

May 1, 2015

May Monthly Menu

01  Fri  It's my husband's birthday! And we will be watching Godspell! When will we eat dinner?
 02  Sat  Same as above!
03  Sun Time to celebrate? Grilled surf and turf, new potatoes, broccoli, salad
04  Mon Leftover pasta/chicken/salmon/broccoli/cauliflower with choice of sauce
05  Tue Grilled italian chicken, rice, salad
06  Wed Youth group: fast food
07  Thur Soup extravaganza: various canned soups with any leftovers still in the fridge, rolls
08  Fri Church prom: rice and beans for husband and I
09  Sat  Grilled pork tenderloin, salad, baked potatoes
10  Sun Mother's Day picnic: hot dogs, hamburgers, salads
19  Tue  Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes w/ gravy, green beans
20  Wed sandwiches
21  Thu  grilled chicken, zucchini,  peppers and onions w/rice
22  Fri  (prom) pizza (shop for Sunday & Monday)
23  Sat picnics/eat out
24  Sun surf and turf, macaroni salad, broccoli
25  Mon hot dogs, hamburgers, picnic food!
26  Tue  spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
27  Wed (NVL's, Halos): hot dogs/sandwiches, leftover macaroni salad, beans
28  Thu (upperclassmen showcase) Sloppy Joes, coleslaw, rice, carrot and celery sticks
29  Fri  Baked ziti, bread
30  Sat grilled chicken, macaroni salad, corn on the cob
31  Sun  quesadillas: Kitchen Sink & Chicken, broccoli, cheesy rice

April 30, 2015

April Monthly Menu

Well, it won't be a full month, funny how that seems to happen every year. 

20  Mon  missionary dinner: pasta with meat sauce, salad, bread
21  Tue   Son 1's request:  pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
22  Wed  leftovers
23  Thu  
24   Fri   salmon, rice, zucchini
25  Sat   grilled chicken, cauliflower, salad
26  Sun  split pea soup, rolls
27  Mon  pasta, salad, garlic rolls
28  Tue  taco casserole, corn, broccoli
29  Wed bbq chicken sandwiches
30  Thu pantry taco soup with cheese quesadillas

April 27, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday April 27 2015

Wow, it has been so long since I have been able to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday! I am glad to be back! So what is happening? I am through working (almost) full time, and now it is time to get my house on track. I am thrilled that May is almost here (which brings leaves to the trees), even though it is a busy, busy month. My daughter has two weeks left of her freshman year of college, and my two youngest are almost done with their junior year of high school. Time is going by so fast. Stop by Sandra's blog to see more Happy Homemaker posts.

The weather is 
sunny, although a little on the cool side, but I heard it should be hitting 70 by Wednesday! Right now it is 46.

For breakfast
I am drinking fruit water. Here, I'll show you:

I had been toying with smoothies, but couldn't come up with a good base that would not add a lot of calories. Then I was thinking about getting a glass of water, and thought, why not just blend some frozen fruit into your water? And so I did. I have tons of fruit in my freezer from past attempts of a couple of us in making smoothies, so I threw some fruit in, blended it, and it pretty much tastes like water with a slight fruit taste. Pretty much what you would expect. What has made it successful for me, is that I am no longer looking for a different taste (like say, a milkshake). I like water, I drink it all of the time, and now I have flavored water! So right now I am drinking water blended with frozen blueberries and strawberries. 

Outside my window
the trees in my backyard are still bare, but the sun is shining and there is no snow anywhere, which has been such a large part of the landscape for so many months that it is thrilling to see grass!

Right now
I have some laundry going, hoping to finally catch up in that department. Today are towels and rags, which require soaking first. Hopefully the rest of the week I will get everyone's sheets done. The kids are in charge of their own clothes.

Around the house
It is relatively picked up. Needs dusting and my windows need washing desperately! Overall I am pleased with it though because I managed to organize my small desk this weekend.

To Do
grocery shopping today, bank, pick up son from play rehearsal, meet with another mom about selling tickets (they are performing Godspell this weekend!), cook dinner, plan seminary lesson

Tuesday: clean bedroom, laundry, sell tickets at school during lunch, dinner, lesson plan, rides (not in that order)
Wednesday: same, but dust main floor
Thursday: same, but vacuum main floor, wash floors
Friday: same, but clean downstairs bathrooms, bookkeeping, play
Saturday: play
Sunday: church, lesson plan

nothing at the moment

last season's Madmen

you can find my menu here

Favorite photo
my daughter and her roommate at the Boston Marathon (as spectators)

                          "as we fill our hearts and homes with the Savior's light and truth, we will have the inner strength to withstand in every circumstance"  Cheryl A. Esplin

Have a wonderful week!

March 31, 2015

March Monthly Menu

Sun 01:  Beef stew, biscuits
Mon 02:  Missionaries for dinner: pasta with meat sauce, garlic bread, salad
Tue 03:  chicken and rice, biscuits
Wed 04:  youth group: leftovers, sandwiches, or fast food
Thu 05:  scouts:  ham and bean soup, bread and butter
Fri  06:  Church Valentine's dance: (McDonalds for boys)
Sat 07:  NVL's:  pizza
Sun 08:  Church:  Tortilla soup, cooked zucchini
Mon 09:  Pasta:  elbows w/ sauce and mozzarella, salad, bread
Tue 10:  pork roast, egg noodles, gravy, peas
Wed 11: leftovers, sandwiches
Thu 12:  bbq chicken, fries, coleslaw

March 13, 2015

Friday Update

What's Now
Look at our deck, snow free! That is mostly because my husband shoveled most of it off. You can still see snow on the ground.

But the piles have gotten much smaller. We have no snow in the forecast, and above freezing temps during the day, which means it will continue to melt, but below freezing temps overnight, which means early in the morning can be dangerous driving, as the runoff from the melting snow freezes into a slick layer of ice. What's this? Snow forecasted for next Saturday? I refuse to believe it.

Can you see the dirt on the driveway? That is the the one thing about winter that drives me insane. That and the static electricity. There is always sand in my mudroom. Tons and tons of sand. The sound of it under my feet makes me cringe. And with six people walking in and out of this house every day, it is always present.

What's New
Daughter will be home tonight! Spring break. Hopefully she will look kindly on me and clean the house while I work. Sometimes she is good that way. Sometimes. 

I am sick with some virus. Mucus abounds. Possible sinus infection? Can't get in to see the doctor until Monday afternoon. Yes! I found Mucinex in my cabinet, and it wasn't expired! Hopefully it will keep me going. I have two bookkeeping jobs to do and I don't need to be stopping every two minutes to blow my nose.

Son 3 has state swim competitions this weekend. 

The women in my family are too sick to get together for St. Patrick's Day. We are not Catholic, but we do have some Irish heritage, so we have a family tradition of getting together for corned beef and cabbage and watching The Quiet Man. I will probably make the meal for my immediate family on Tuesday since I can throw everything in a slow cooker.

What's On My Mind
I am so tired. Tax season is getting harder for me as I get older, because I teach seminary early in the morning. I asked if they were going to get someone else for next year (they like us to teach for a four year cycle, and this is the last year of my second cycle). My kids have one more year to go, so they may keep me on for one more year. My husband thinks I should teach it next year since I have to take the boys anyway.

What's the Schedule
  • bookkeeping jobs
  • laundry (two or three loads)
  • clean bathrooms???
  • rest
  • dinner, hmmm
  • menu plan
  • bring boys to SAT's
  • drama club parents' meeting
  • grocery shop
  • vacuum, clean house?
  • bookkeeping jobs?
  • quick dinner
  • stake conference


  • stake conference
  • plan seminary lessons
  • dinner
  • seminary
  • work (leave 3 pm)
  • doctor's appointment
  • start dinner
  • pick up son(s)
  • FHE
  • prepare seminary lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up son(s)
  • dinner
  • prepare seminary lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up son?
  • state swim class finals
  • bring son to youth group
  • prepare lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up sons
  • dinner
  • bring sons to scouts
  • prepare lesson
  • seminary
  • grocery shop
  • bookkeeping?
  • laundry
  • dinner

March 6, 2015

Friday Update

What's Now

Not much has changed since I posted photos a month ago. We are still covered in snow, as a matter of fact, it snowed yesterday. Today it is a balmy 16 degrees. Certainly no sign of spring yet. However, the sun is shining (meaning the driveway should melt!!!) and the sky is clear blue. And, we are getting used to the cold temperatures - will we be able to handle 70 degrees?

What's New
Son 2 will be performing in the high school production of Godspell as John the Baptist/Judas. I know nothing about the musical except for one song. Is it offensive? I sure hope not.

Son 3 will be swimming in the league finals on Saturday, then on to States. Both have to take the SAT next Saturday. Fun times.

Son 1 got a new job and has completed 2 (3?) weeks of training so far. He quit his band (blessings).

Daughter is coming home (as in, we must go get her) for spring break next week. 

I have completed four weeks of tax season (6 to go!). I really do like the work, just not the crazy schedule. I am running ragged. 

What's notable
I will cook for as long as I still have stamina, then will be relying on what was put in the freezer. Hoping to make it another three to four weeks before then. 

I have no idea how son 2 will be getting home from rehearsals. Hopefully he will find a ride, otherwise he will have to wait around until about 5:45 when I can pick him and son 3 up at the school. That way I can work until 5, which means I need to get there by 9 am, which is not easy (did it once so far, and that was because I was given a ride).

What's needed
Today's schedule:  
  • Family bookkeeping
  • buy gas
  • buy groceries
  • unload groceries
  • call health insurance company
  • call orthodontist
  • call piano tuner
  • call dietitian
  • Job bookkeeping
  • finish laundry
  • pick up son 3
  • drive boys to church, picking up McDonald's on the way
  • plan seminary for next week
  • clean house
  • wash towels
  • wash sheets
  • go to NVLs

  • church
  • make dinner
  • prepare seminary lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up son 3
  • make dinner
  • FHE
  • plan seminary lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up son 3
  • make dinner
  • plan seminary lesson
  • seminary
  • work
  • eat something quick!
  • drive boys to youth group
  • prepare seminary lesson
  • Note* state trials (check date!) have husband pick up son 3
  • seminary
  • work
  • pick up son 3
  • make dinner
  • drive boys to scouts
  • prepare seminary lesson
Onto next week!

February 28, 2015

February Menu

Sun Feb 01 tacos, veggie platter
Mon Feb 02  Pasta, salad
Tue Feb 03   swim meet, track NVLs?, pick up at high school  slow cooker bbq pork, baked beans, coleslaw, corn
Wed Feb 04  Youth Group, toasted roast beef subs, carrot sticks
Thu  Feb 05  Scouts, ham, baked potatoes w/ melted cheese, peas
Fri   Feb 06:  Swim meet:  pizza
Sat  Feb 07:  temple trip?: eat out (chicken soup as a backup)
Sun Feb 08:  church: lasagna, salad, garlic rolls
Mon  Feb 09:  work:  spaghetti, salad
Tue  Feb 10:  work, swim meet: pork roast, egg noodles, peas
Wed  Feb 11: work, youth group:  sandwiches, carrot sticks
Thu  Feb 12: work, swim practice: chicken quesadillas, corn
Fri  Feb 13:  groceries, work from home, swim meet, senior night:  hot dogs, beans, potato salad
Sat  Feb 14:  youth dance, dinner out or dinner in?, hmm, it's supposed to snow: raviolis, garlic bread, salad, just in case (save for Monday if I don't need it)
Sun  Feb  15:  church: breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage)
Mon Feb 16:  work:  pasta, salad, bread
Tue Feb 17:  work:  pot roast, potatoes, carrots
Wed Feb 18:  work, youth group:  sandwiches/fast food
Thu Feb 19:  work, scouts:  grilled cheese, tomato soup
Fri Feb 20: boys are camping, mom gets a break
Sat Feb 21: boys are camping, mom gets a break
Sun Feb 22: church, inservice training: chili
Mon Feb 23:  pasta, salad
Tue  Feb 24:  pork roast, gravy, egg noodles, peas
Wed Feb 25:  sandwiches
Thu Feb 26:  hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw
Fri Feb 27:  Visit Mom, pick up Chinese/pizza
Sat Feb 28:  Fast

February 9, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday February 9 2015

It's still winter, folks. Now, I can complain that Mother Nature is being too hard on us, but the fact is that we have had three day (minimum) weekends for three weeks now. It also means that I am not getting paid today, but I choose to look on the bright side. Plus, I have a bookkeeping job waiting for me that I can work on today. So, it is time for Happy Homemaker Monday, from Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom

The weather outside is snowy! Yes, we are supposed to get another 4-8, 12, 24 inches (I've seen all of those predictions, although I think the 24 inches is predicted for the Boston area) of snow today. It will be snowing all day with just a few short breaks in between. My husband cleared the driveway this morning with the snowblower before leaving for work, one son just left for work, and my remaining two are home and are the designated shovel pushers. That makes me the designated cookie baker. The snow shovelers need cookies when they come in, after all. It looks like we will have one day that will reach 33 degrees, but other than that, we will stay below freezing. This weekend it will get into the negative numbers overnight. I am grateful that I have a home with heat, running water, and electricity. It could be so much worse. Meanwhile, my daughter has had classes canceled for the fourth? day. She said last year they did not cancel once.

On the breakfast plate this morning was waffles with peanut butter. And water. I have caught this virus that is going around and have been coughing almost constantly. Water seems to be the only thing that helps, so I have been sipping several glasses a day. At least it is good for me.

As I look outside my window I see, wait for it, snow. I will show you.

Right now I am writing this post while I cough and wash clothes. My two high school students are home and still asleep. The dog and cat have both braved the outdoors out of desperation and are back inside and snuggled in their beds. I have a Yankee candle burning (Christmas Cookie). And I can hear the wind blowing and see the snow falling outside. Oh, I hear toilets flushing, sounds like someone is awake.

As I look around the house I see my candle burning. I see my two rectangular cake pans drying on a towel on my island. (Why do they make pans with seams where water can harbor?) There is some paperwork lying around (college brochures galore). For the most part, it is a pleasant view.

On today's (this week's) to-do list: I know this is tedious, but it really helps me to write it all down.

Monday:  bookkeeping job, laundry, vacuum main floor, clean four bathrooms if time
Tuesday:  seminary, feed pets, log seminary attendance, drive boys to school, eat breakfast, read scriptures, start pork roast in slow cooker, work, pick up son from swim meet, finish dinner, eat, clean up, wash towels, prepare seminary lesson, in bed by 9
Wednesday: seminary, feed pets, log seminary attendance, drive boys to school, eat breakfast, read scriptures, work, pick up son from swim practice, quick dinner, drive sons to youth group, prepare seminary lesson while at church
Thursday: seminary, feed pets, log seminary attendance, drive boys to school, eat breakfast, read scriptures, start dinner, work, finish dinner, pick up son from senior swim night, drive boys to boy scouts, prepare seminary lesson, menu plan, make grocery list
Friday:  No school, no work, no seminary! Feed pets, eat breakfast, read scriptures, grocery shop, unload, plan next week seminary, bookkeeping job, personal bookkeeping, dinner, drive boys to church to decorate for dance, watch Downton Abbey with hubby, pick up boys from church
Saturday: clean house, laundry, watch devotional, bring boys to dance, dinner, pick up boys from dance.

And it's no wonder I feel like I've put in a full day by the time I get to work.

Currently reading scriptures, Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall (very slowly)

On the tv today I finished Parenthood. I loved that show and will miss it, but am happy with how they ended it, including the death because that is a very real part of life. Husband and I are watching Downton Abbey on our Roku. I have been watching Glee but it is absolutely horrible this season, however I am sure I will watch it to it's end, since I have seen it from the beginning.

On the menu this week You can find my menu here.

What I am creating Seminary lessons and tax returns

Favorite photo from camera: My son and I drove to Boston (he drove the whole way!), picked up my daughter, and joined some fellow church members at our temple in that area. Then we went out to eat, said goodbye to my daughter, and drove all the way home. It was a wonderful day. Here are my son and daughter at the temple.

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals

Have a great week everyone, and if you are getting snow, stay safe and warm!

January 31, 2015

January Menu

01  Thu  Salmon, rice, green beans, coleslaw
02  Fri    Missionaries for dinner:  pasta with meat sauce, bread, salad
03  Sat   
04  Sun  
05  Mon  raviolis/shells, salad, garlic rolls
06  Tue   pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
07  Wed  (swim meet) chicken taco salad/quesadillas/tacos, mixed veggies
08  Thu   (scouts) split pea soup, rolls
09  Fri     (swim meet) Chili, rice, broccoli salad
10  Sat    (track meet)(Super Saturday) fish, rice pilaf, zucchini
11  Sun  pasta
12  Mon  leftover turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, veggies
13  Tue  Chili, broccoli salad
14  Wed  roast beef subs, potato salad
15  Thu  chicken soup, rolls
16  Fri      (swim meet)(track) fend for yourself
17  Sat      (track meet) rice and beans
18  Sun     leftovers
19  Mon   pasta, salad, bread
20  Tue    (evening swim meet away)(track) lentil soup and chicken soup, rolls
21  Wed   meatball subs with provolone cheese
22  Thu    (swim meet home) chicken quesadillas, corn
23  Fri      (swim meet away) pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw
24  Sat     (track meet) (dinner with in-laws)
25  Sun    (bring K to school)(inservice)
26  Mon  (missionary dinner/fhe) pasta with meat sauce, garlic bread
27  Tue    (swim meet away blizzard) turkey barley soup, rolls
28  Wed  (recovering from blizzard) bbq chicken, rice, veggies
29  Thu  (is everything back to normal?) chicken quesadillas, corn
30  Fri  (new grocery day)
31  Sat    

January 12, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday January 12 2015

It has been so hard to get back into a routine since the holidays. The weather hasn't been helping, since we have had late starts, early dismissals, and closings since the kids went back to school. That messes up my seminary schedule, and my sleep schedule too. But, it is what it is, so I am looking for ways to just enjoy the season and get through it too! Thanks to Sandra from Diary of a Stay At Home Mom for hosting Happy Homemaker Monday!

The weather outside is
cold, wet, and icy. I have spent the day inside and wish all of my family could have done the same. But, alas, my husband and two oldest have to work, so I get to eat chocolate chip cookies and worry about their drives home tonight. Fortunately the temperature is still above freezing so far.

On the breakfast plate this morning
was pancakes. Since we didn't have seminary, again, but had a delayed opening, I made my high schoolers pancakes and made them sit down to eat and read scriptures with me before going to school. Then they turned around and came home early.

As I look outside my window
it is dark now, but still wet. We have one tree in the front that refuses to drop its leaves. They are dried up, but they do not fall off. So, if I am looking outside my front window I can see those leaves too!

Right now I am
finishing up a batch of cookies and dreading the making of dinner. I have a major case of winter doldrums and I need something other than sugar to perk me up!

As I look around the house
I have tax returns sitting on the table because it is FAFSA time. Oh, it gives me a headache, filling out that form, and I am sure we do not do it right. I am looking towards the mudroom to see who just came home. Ah, my oldest, ready for those cookies! We finally have all of our Christmas decorations put away - we just held onto a couple of fake wreaths for the doors to get us through the winter. Not everything is put back yet, so it is looking a little empty in the living areas.

On my to do list
I am behind because today should be grocery day, but I did not want to go out in this weather.
Tuesday: groceries
Wednesday: upstairs bathrooms, bedroom
Thursday: kitchen and main floor bathroom
Friday: main floor dust and vacuum, put things back
Saturday: have kids clean downstairs

On the tv this week
season five of Downton Abbey!

On the menu
You can find my menu here.

New recipe to try this week
I was looking for foods to get me through the winter and came across this article, and I would like to pursue those suggestions more.

Favorite photo
I don't have anything from this week, so here is one last peek at Christmas:

Inspirational quote

Have a great week!

January 5, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday January 5 2015

Happy new year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and hope you were able to relax a bit. I sure did. Things are still not back to normal, whatever that is. My seminary class does not start up again until Wednesday since some schools are still on break because they recognize Three Kings Day. My kids started back today but my daughter is still on hiatus from college so she drove them to school this morning. So, even though I woke up when everyone else was getting up, I was able to stay in bed and get some more sleep.

The weather outside is
cold! My phone says it is 33 degrees but not all 33 degrees are equal! This 33 degrees has a very cold wind with it. It is a beautiful, sunny day, however. We got a little snow on Saturday but then it rained on Sunday and washed it away. So, since we haven't had any real snow yet, we have not gotten used to the inconvenience of bad weather for travel. I'm afraid we are getting a little spoiled and it will catch up to us, but not in the foreseeable future.

On the breakfast plate this morning
I plead the 5th. Lunch will be leftover ham and rice.

As I look outside my window
I see the trees blowing in the wind.

Right now I am
Drinking a bottle of Propel, listening to the washer running, and getting ready to relax for about an hour before making a huge salad for the week. I am also saying goodbye to my daughter who just left for work. Oh, and I am celebrating because she earned all As in her first semester in college!

As I look around the house
I see groceries that are waiting to be put away. If I turn around I will see the bare Christmas tree that still needs to be taken down and boxed up and the few ornaments that I still need to pack up. That's next on the list so I can have the boys hall the ornament boxes up to the attic.

On today's to do list:
Today: finish putting away groceries, finish packing ornaments, make salad, pick up son after practice, stop at Walmart, make dinner, pick up other son at late bus drop off (their practices end at different times). 

Tuesday: send out emails to bookkeeping clients, vacuum main floor, mop kitchen, prepare seminary lesson, wash colors, sheets.

Wednesday: clean upstairs bathrooms, wash towels, prepare seminary lesson, go to swim meet.

Thursday: clean bedroom, wash sheets, dentist appointment, prepare seminary lesson.

Friday: clean basement, wash sheets, go to swim meet.

Saturday: dust & vacuum main floor, put back items misplaced by Christmas decorations.

Sigh, every year I think the same thing: how am I going to fit in work? But somehow I manage.

Currently reading
nothing, and it doesn't look like I will get to anything before seminary starts again.

On the tv
I still have the crucifixion to watch on Jesus of Nazareth. My daughter started watching Gillmore Girls on Netflix so I get sucked into that sometimes. It is set in Connecticut, which is where we live, so we get a kick out of their portrayal of us Connecticut Yankees. *Note, although I have known people who have money and summer on Martha's Vineyard, I have never known anyone so rich to have a live-in maid. A cleaning lady who comes to the house once a week, yes, but not a live in.

On the menu this week
this can be found here.

Favorite photo
My brother in-law just started up a Beatles tribute band and we went to see their first show on New Year's Eve. We got to sit in the front row, which meant we had to take photos for them. I got home and realized I had taken almost 1,000. My brother in-law often came out blurry because he would not hold still!


Have a great week!