Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Last Week of April

This past weekend I picked up a few items to eat this week but for the most part I am still using pantry and freezer food.

BreakfastGranola & Yogurt
Cheerios & Milk

Fruit
Grapes
Peaches
Tangerines
Cantaloupe
Mango
Bananas

Lunch or Dinner
Tuna Wrap
Fried Rice
Chef Salad
Lasagna
Meatloaf
Leftovers, Leftovers, Leftovers

Veggies
Green Beans
Corn
Broccoli

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Project 365 ~ Week 17

The windows in our house are the perfect height for Betsy to keep an eye on the chickens. Actually, she is probably looking for squirrels. She has gotten really good at finding them as soon as we let her out the door. She runs fast and gets real close to catching the squirrels... one day she just might!This was one of my inside projects this week...getting all my winter clothes packed up and moved to the basement. The bag on top has clothes that don't fit anymore, so they will be given away.
Braden came over this week to teach Mike how to clip the chicken's wings. Mike and I put up extra fencing attached to the chicken run to allow the chickens to do more free ranging.
Here are the chickens enjoying their new found freedom.
The month of May is full of birthdays in my family, so I have been trying to focus on making cards in my spare time.
Of course with Mother's day coming up I didn't want to wait to the last minute for those cards either.
Take the time to check out Sara's blog and see what's happening in the lives of the other participants of Project 365!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Restoring Order ~ Winter Clothes

I am really thankful I am participating in the Restoring Order challenge. I feel like it keeps me accountable to get some things done around the house. When things are organized it feels so much homier.
This week I decided to go through my closet and pull out the winter clothes. I laid everything on my bed in different piles. I had a pile of summer clothes(that came out of the storage containers) that I needed to hang up, a pile of winter clothes to put in the containers, and a pile of give away clothes that no longer fit me. The piles may not be very noticeable on the bed but there was a method to my madness, I promise.
All my winter clothes got folded up and put in storage containers. I was actually surprised that all the clothes fit in the 2 containers that I had designated from last year. The reason I am so surprised is because Kathy (my wonderful sister) is always buying me clothes, so I really thought I would have a problem fitting it all in. I think one thing that helped is I only put away those items that were heavy duty winter. I have many shirts and skirts that I can use winter or summer. So my closet is well stocked with clothes from my sister. Here is the finished product... 2 containers to put in the basement and I bag of giveaway or garage sale items.
This week I was even able to tackle my coupons. I went through all the coupon booklets I had from January and February and cut out the ones that weren't expired.
If you need some inspiration on getting things done in your home, go to Monica's blog and see what everyone else is doing to restore order in their home and life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of 4/19

I took a break from Menu Plan Monday but thought it would be good to get back in the swing of things. I am still trying to eat healthier and still continue to use the stock of food we currently have.

Breakfast
Granola & Yogurt
Brown Sugar Pancakes
Pumpkin Waffles
Fall Comfort Muffins

Fruit
Grapes
Peaches
tangerines

Lunch or Dinner
Spaghetti with Blue Cheese Meatballs
Spinach Rice Casserole
Chicken Salad Wrap
Tuna Wrap
Taco Salad
Black Beans and Rice Burrito
Leftovers, Leftovers, Leftovers

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Project 365 - Week 16

We got some new chickens this week. Some friends of ours gave them to us. Six new chickens, now we have a total of 20 chickens... to be more specific, 19 hens and 1rooster. In the next few weeks we will be adding some more space for the chickens to be able to venture out further and get some more bugs, eat grass and enjoy life.
I completed my first ever challenge from Split Coast Stampers and here is the result. It was a sketch challenge and I really had alot of fun doing it.
My outside task for this week was to get branches from the back yard and move them to the front. Here is the pile so far. I got one area completely cleaned out, but there is always more to do.
Friday night some men from our church came over and helped Mike cut up 2 trees in our back yard. They brought it all up front to Mike's splitting area. Now Mike has enough wood to keep him busy for some time. Praise the Lord we'll be well stocked on firewood for the next few years.
I made 2 cards this week. Actually I made more than that, but 2 originals and then I made duplicates of them to keep in stock. I like the way this one turned out, I am actually very pleased with how the picture turned out as well.
I actually got alot accomplished this week. I got my fridge cleaned out, food organized, a few items posted on Craig's list, and got some recipes typed in for the church recipe book...all in all, a very productive week.
Saturday was National Husband Appreciation Day so I tried to make it a special day for Mike, however he kept saying "there is no such thing as husband appreciation day" I actually agree because I appreciate him every day not just once a year. I still had fun trying to make it an extra special day.
Be sure to go over to Sara's blog and see what's happening for others joining Project 365!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Restoring Order ~ Food

I really love to read Monica's blog The Homespun Heart; she has such a desire to honor God in all she does. She and her friend Rebecca at That's What It's All About have challenged me to restore order in my home and life.

For the first project I decided to tackle food. It was time to clean out the fridge, freezer and canned goods. It's not that things were a huge mess, for me it was more of an issue of knowing what I had on hand. I like buying items on sale and stocking up but I wouldn't be a wise steward of my money if I had to continually throw away food because it went bad or was out of date.
I tackled my basement shelf first. I had some garbanzo bean cans and other items that were collecting alot of dust. I decided to reorganize the shelf according to expiration date of the item. This way I know what items I need to use first; I can then go find a recipe to use these specific items.
Somehow I missed taking a before picture of my shelf but this is the after picture with everything organized according to date.This is the first shelf of my basement food and these are the items I need to use within the next few weeks.
Fridge (before)Freezer (before)Fridge/Freezer (after)
To the naked eye you may not notice much of a difference but believe me there is a huge difference. I feel so much better knowing what is in my fridge, freezer and pantry shelf.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baking Day ~ Yummy

Crystal from Money Saving Mom had a baking day yesterday and all the goodies she baked looked so good I just had to try some. So I dedicated my day to baking the following delicious items.

Super Power Muffins

Fall Comfort Muffins

Double Chocolate Walnut Bread and Lemon Poppyseed Loaf (both from a Betty Crocker mix)

Quick and Easy Banana Bread

I had some bananas in my freezer so I decided to make a loaf of banana bread. I used the recipe on the Biblical Womanhood blog.

Quick and Easy Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir flour, soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. Combine oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, banana, vanilla, and milk. Add flour mixture and blend just until moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean - about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and transfer to wire rack. Wrap with plastic wrap and/or foil and refrigerate or freeze.

Whole Wheat French Bread Rolls

The Happy Housewife had a guest post from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures this week. She shared a recipe for some whole wheat rolls. I was very excited to try this recipe.

Whole Wheat French Bread Rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups freshly milled soft white wheat
2 cups freshly milled hard red wheat

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown

Super Power Muffins

Frugal Girls shared a muffin recipe with Money Saving Mom and I tried it out. Talk about delicious!

Super Power Muffins

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients well and set aside. Blend everything else and then sift in dry ingredients. Spray muffin tray. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Fall Comfort Muffins

The Finer Things in Life blog shared this delicious muffin recipe. Here is my version, tweaked slightly.

Fall Comfort Muffins

1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
4 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup apple sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 cups freshly milled hard red wheat flour
2 cups freshly milled soft white wheat flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Blend sugar and butter. Add honey, eggs and water. Mix well. Add banana and apple sauce. Mix well. Stir dry ingredients together, add to wet batter just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 3 dozen muffins.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Created to be His Help Meet ~ 2

Chapter 2 ~ A Merry Heart
  • Proverbs 17:22 A Merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones
  • A merry heart is the foundation of health and happiness. And the day you have a merry heart will be the first day of rebuilding your marriage into the heavenly gift it was meant to be.
  • Love is like a flower: you can't expect it to grow without sunshine. Has your husband seen your sunshine lately?
  • Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance...
  • Do you have an attitude of contentment?
  • Remind him that you miss him when he is at work... remind him that you love him no matter what... remind him that you appreciate him.
  • Women spend billions of dollars every year to make themselves more attractive, but the most effective beauty aid is free - a joyful smile
  • No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man - no matter how justified her condemnation
  • Never demand that a man love you and cherish you because he ought to. Earn every smile and shared moment. Cultivate his love for you.
  • The tool of your warfare is your loving, kind, delightful, radiant, adoring self.
  • God stands with you when you stand by your man, but you will stand alone if you insist on standing by your rights. Always remember that the day you stop smiling is the day you stop trying to make your marriage heavenly
  • Stand by your man!

Time to Consider

  • God's perfect will is that I learn to be the best help meet possible.
  • Bubbling cheer goes a long way to maintain or even restore a marriage. Make a decision right now to break the "poor me" habit.
  • Establish a new habit ~ What can I do today that will make him smile?
  • Think of other ways and times during the day that you can establish a habit of praise and thanksgiving by showing joy. Write them down, think of yourself doing them, and then practice this new and wonderful habit all day long.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Project 365 ~ Week 15

The last day of our trip when we were finally at my brothers house in SC, we were all ready for some rest and relaxation. Kathy put chocolate masks on us and we watched a movie.Michael is always willing to participate :-)
While on our trip, Kathy introduced us to these delicious wraps that have 13 grams of fiber. For those of you who follow Weight Watchers points these wraps are huge and they are only 1 point. Since I have been home, I have used them at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My breakfast one day this week... peanut butter and jelly all wrapped up. It was delicious and very filling.The weather this week was very strange. We had snow on Tuesday, beautiful days of sunshine and warm weather on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday was full of thunder, lightning, rain and wind. Thursday as I took Betsy for a walk I enjoyed the smell of fresh cut grass. I love that smell. It's so refreshing to me.
Friday was the end of my giveaway. This is what my winner Rebecca received. A 7X7 Creative Memories photo album, along with stickers, die cuts and page protectors. Everything she needs to make a photo album of her summer fun!Saturday we got to spend some time with friends. It was so sweet to watch Mendell laugh and laugh as the "tickle monster" tickled her.Sunday was Karsten's birthday and I wanted to make something really special for her. I ended up making this name frame. Happy Birthday Karsten!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Read Sara's blog to see how this past week went for other participants of Project 365!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Winner & A New Background

I only had 5 people comment on my blogoversary giveaway. Mike picked #4 as the lucky winner. So Miss Rebecca aka Anonymous you are my winner. I will have the surprise bag of goodies for you when I see you next.

As a celebration of my blogoversary I changed the background and colors of my blog. I am not sure I totally like it but I will try it for a few weeks.

Congrats Rebecca!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Showing Love

I try to show Mike how much I love him and not just on special occasions like Valentine's day. I enjoy coming up with things throughout the year.
While I was traveling this past week I decided to mail Mike some cards. Here is one of the cards I made him and this is what I wrote:
Because I want to tell you just how dear you are to me,
Because my every thought of you is as loving as can be...
Because my heart is filled with things that words alone can't say,
This comes especially for you with all my love today.
The saying is not my original, I read it somewhere and thought it was perfect for this card.

So what have you done lately to show your love to your husband? I would love to hear from you!

PS - There are still a few days left to enter my giveaway.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicken Stuffing Bake

I was looking through a magazine I got in the mail while I was out of town and I found a recipe that sounded good. I had all the ingredients in stock so I decided to make it for lunch today. Mike loved it, so I am blogging the recipe to add it to my list.

Chicken Stuffing Bake
1 pkg. (6oz) stuffing mix
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can (10 3/4) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1 bag (16 oz) broccoli, thawed, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside.
Mix chicken, soup, sour cream and broccoli in a 13X9 baking dish; top with the stuffing.
Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Project 365 -- Week 14

On our way up to PA we stopped for some coffee but we couldn't find a Starbucks in these little towns in SC so we decided to try the specialty coffees at McDonalds. Lets just say I wont be trying them again. They tasted horrible. It took four workers to even figure out how to use the machine to make our drinks. Since Kathy rented the car we took to PA, she was the only one authorized to drive. Although we had lots of laughs in the car, we all got tired of being in the car. After many hours on the road we stopped at a hotel to rest for the night. The next morning we woke up ready to hit the road for the last part of our ride up to PA. Here we are waiting for our breakfast.
We were following the directions from Kathy's GPS to get to Grandma and Grandpa's house in PA and for some reason the Garmin took us right down Washington DC. It was great seeing everything but the traffic was horrible and it added alot of time on our trip. We were so ready to get out of the car and be done driving around.Finally!!
We had the opportunity to spend a day driving around Lancaster, eating some delicious food and going to some awesome craft stores. We loved looking at the Amish buggies, clothes lines full of clothes drying in the air and miles and miles of farm land.
We played lots of Hand and Foot...although they play with a few different rules than we do, it was still lots of fun.
This full week is over and I am so glad I am finally home!
Stop by Sara's blog to read all the posts from the other Project 365 participants!