Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Time

Or it's already Christmas if you ask Morgan.  It's been snowing, and we've been to a Christmas play already, so of course presents are coming any day... right?!

These photos were taken after the first snow, more has fallen, and more is on it's way.  This has actually been a bit of a rough spell for us.  The snow is beautiful, and the tree is up and decorated by Kaia and Morgan, but so much has been going on.

First was the death of a friend of mine.  He suffered from diabetes and kidney failure and was only 40 years old.  It was unexpected, completely a shock.  Everyone believed that he would get a transplant and live a long life.  He was so full of life he just had to.  For Dana and I, it's scary to consider the parallels.  Dana is just 2 years younger, and also suffers from diabetes.  While his kidneys have held out, he has dealt with his fair share of health issues, and it really put things in perspective.

2 days after the funeral the snow began to fall.  Snow means extra work for Dana.  It means very early mornings and going into work on days off.  It's tiring for him, and it isn't easy on the rest of us.  The kids miss seeing daddy in the evenings, and Dana misses spending time with them.  Right now our evenings are a rush to eat dinner and go to bed.

Then this weekend my great aunt Ruby died.  It is a blessing that she is no longer in pain, but she will be missed.  She was such a sweet lady, and Kaia had grown to love spending time with Aunt Ruby. 

Through all of this though, Christmas approaches and it's not all sad news.  My VISTA worker started this week, and is staying with us temporarily.  A new face in the house means very excited and talkative kids.  I'm also preparing for a conference in New Orleans.  A city I've wanted to visit for a very long time, but wondered if I'd ever make it there.  The twins continue to grow and are becoming quite the characters.  And we all continue to enjoy good times spent with family.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grandma Sarah's Rolls

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is just days away!  I am really looking forward to watching the boys eat all the yummy food for the first time. 

I'm bringing rolls and deviled eggs to our get together.  The roll recipe is one I remember helping my grandma make many years ago.  I found her recipe in the cookbook I received for my birthday a few years ago.  Always a frugal woman, it was written on an old calendar that had been cut up into a notepad.  This particular calendar was from 1959.  I can't wait to taste these rolls again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back into Shape

Not my body, no I'm still carrying 10+ pounds of twin weight on me, but my house is back into shape.  It started last week when my mom and aunt came over to help out.  They cooked, entertained the kids and picked up the kitchen.  Somehow that gave me a little kick-start.  By Saturday, I was feeling well drugged enough to clean the whole house up before we had guests over. 

It is now Tuesday, and miraculously my kitchen is still clean, the dining area is clean, and the front room is as clean as can be expected with 4 kids living in it.  It really hasn't been difficult, and yes I know that really that is only 2 full days of keeping it clean, but we did have a huge pile of dishes after our get together Saturday night.  At the end of the day, I'm tired, I'm sore and the last thing I want to do after fixing dinner is dishes.  But I did it last night, and I'm making it a habit of rinsing most things and putting them in the left side of the sink, so it's easy to catch up.

I also have been following a menu plan.  This is helped by the fact that we were given meals for both Sunday and Monday nights.  Tonight we will hopefully have leftover Olive Garden from the Board Meeting, and I have food planned for the next few nights. 

I'm really not sure what has come over me, but maybe this broke rib is a good thing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Klutz

Yes, here it is, another post filed under "owies."  How do I continue to do this to myself?  No idea, but I don't expect these posts to change any time soon.

Yesterday, while helping Dana in the garage I fell.  Now I didn't just trip and fall, or slip in a wet spot and fall.  No, I do both of those on a very regular basis in the garage.  This time I stepped on a socket, it rolled and I went flying into the motorcycle jack.  The pain was insane.  The wind was knocked out of me.  As Dana was looking at my back to see what happened, the garage door came down onto his shoulder.  There wasn't much to see on my back.  There still isn't.

I did spend over 3 hours in a very busy ER to learn that I did in fact break a rib. I did not puncture my lung though, but I now need to be careful so that I do not puncture my lung.  And how is a mom of 4, with 2 toddlers supposed to take it easy? 

Luckily I have the help of my family, and several friends have volunteered to help if needed.  My mom and dad watched Kaia and the twins while I was at ER, and she watched Morgan after Dana stopped by with him.  Then my mom picked up my prescription and a few groceries, while Dana went and picked up dinner at New York Teriyaki. 

I'm feeling ok but sore today.  Breathing seems easier, and of course there are these lovely little things called pain pills.  The one bright note from yesterday, I spent my time in ER reading Hungry Planet.  Wow, it is fantastic!  For now, I'm off.  The pain pills are kicking in, and it's time to apply ice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Use What You Have Menu Plan

In our home there is someone in charge of the budget.  It's that person's responsibility to make sure there is enough for all the bills and all the extras we may have planned each week.  Unfortunately, that person is an airhead, and sometimes I forget they forget things like fuel or prescriptions in that planning.

This is one of those weeks, so I created a menu plan that will use what we have in the house with only a few $'s spent at the store.  We have plenty of apples to snack on and for cooking.  We also received some more potatoes yesterday, so I may do something more with them.

Sunday: Breakfast Casserole
Monday: Spaghetti, marinara sauce, bread
Tuesday: Tacos, beans and rice (beans and rice are in the freezer, and shredded steak cooked in the crock for the taco meat)
Wednesday: Barbeque chicken, mashed potatoes, and fresh veggies
Thursday: Beans in the crockpot with homemade rolls
Friday: BBQ Pork and fried rice

What we'll need: dried beans, spaghetti sauce, and milk for a total of $5 at the grocery store. 

Lunches are bologna sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, salads, and cheese and crackers for Kaia and Dana.  I eat leftovers.  Breakfast is cereal for the kids and Dana eats cereal alternating with sausage and egg. 

On pay day, I plan to do some stocking up!  Our freezers are empty of meat!  I like to have at least a few pounds of ground beef, some inexpensive steak cuts and a whole chicken in the freezer.  But, as you can see from the menu, we have chicken thighs, 1 steak, and the sausage is in the fridge.  I'm hoping Wednesday's ads have some good prices!

What are you eating this week?