Archive | February 2013

Super Busy

No, I haven’t ditched the blog, although I admit I do think about it at times.  I have been super busy as a mom of 7 probably should be.

The baby seems to be going through a growth spurt and I can’t put her down.  She wants to nurse all of the time and I can’t seem to put her down without her waking right back up…not a happy mom here with that.  I hope it is short-lived as I have so much to do and even more that I want to do.

I have been thinking about my goals and I am doing okay with them except the food waste and the canning.  The food waste had a bad week as we went up to see my parents.  We weren’t home to eat up the leftovers and also, lent began which really changed our eating patterns.  We are back on a regular schedule now and have adjusted to lent, so hopefully it will be good again.

I did use my pressure canner to cook 20# of bone in legs and thighs that I got for $0.39 per pound.

I have been doing pretty well following the menu plan and when I fell off the wagon I just whipped something that I had on hand.

I am finding that I really do like cooking and baking.  I have also found that I enjoy being in the kitchen much more if I have a plan and a mission that I am trying to accomplish.  I am learning that I can make delicious meals on a budget!  My kids have done pretty well with trying all of my creations and I have to say that they have all turned out pretty well.

J is doing mathletes in school.  It is a math competition.  He is doing very well in school and is thinking of majoring in Biomedical Engineering.  He is very busy with school and just signed up for the ACT.  Where has the time gone?

M is doing his science fair project.  He has transitioned very well to high school.  He is a great student.

R is almost Star rank in Boy Scouts.  He just turned in his 5 page research paper and is working on his science fair project.

T is just learning this year about research papers and is going through it step by step with his class.  T crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and went on his first campout this weekend.  He will be getting back shortly.  I can’t wait to see if he enjoyed it.

S is learning multiplication.  He loves math.  He has been missing T, but after a fun day out with A it helped the time to go a little faster.  He is an awesome reader and a great student.

A is reading up a storm.  She loves Garfield.  She can’t read all of the words of course, but with the pictures, she gets the gist of the cartoon.

L is growing like a weed.  She is in 6 month clothes.  She is pretty happy when she isn’t grumpy…if you know what I mean.  She travels well, which is wonderful when you are in the car as much as we are.  She has discovered her hands and is starting to reach out for the toys on her play mat above her.

I am in a very busy time right now, but I really enjoy blogging.  I hope with Spring coming shortly, that I will have some fun stuff to blog about.  I will try to focus on the goals I set and stay with the plan!

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My Black Thumb Is Getting Greener

I have a black thumb with indoor houseplants.  I’m an over-waterer…there I said it.  I try not to, but I can’t help it.  Over the years I have gotten better.  I think it has to do with the number of kids I have.  When I got to kid six I got a plantar after my uncle passed away.  I was half-afraid to take it the day of the funeral because I didn’t want to kill it.  However, I didn’t want to NOT take it either.  So, I reluctantly took it.

Miracle of miracles, it is still alive 3 years later!

Here it is today.  Double its original size.

Here it is today. Double its original size.

Last year, when I was pregnant  with kid number 7, my mom and I bought orchids towards the end of their growing season.  They were only $1, so I wasn’t too worried about killing it.  The directions were easy.  Water with 3 ice cubes every week.  It worked like a charm until my ice-maker broke and I didn’t want to replace it again.  Our refrigerator is about 11 years old and we replaced the ice maker once already.  Anyway, I had to learn how to water it without killing it.

I did it!  Take a look!

The orchid today.

The orchid today.

So, if you have a black thumb because you over-water, you may want to consider having a few more kids to help keep you so busy that it cures your over watering tendency!

January–Review of Goals

I am pretty happy with how January went.  Here are my goals for this year if you forgot what I am trying to accomplish this year.  Let’s go through them one by one…

1. use up leftovers…we have done pretty well, but there is room for improvement.  I need to keep a list of the things that I throw out each month to be better aware.  Off of the top of my head, I know I threw out some spaghetti with sauce that didn’t make it into the fridge after dinner, a partial head of lettuce that got wilted, some diced tomatoes, a tangerine that sat too long in the fridge and got a bad spot.  That is all I can think of, but still wasteful.

2. try 2 new recipes…I have been trying a lot of new recipes and I blogged about two of them here and here.  I have definitely gotten out of my same boring 10 meals that I used to cook all of the time.

3.  make more stuff from scratch…I have been doing really well.  I have been making my own desserts instead of buying them.  I have cooked every meal except 1 pizza night at the $5 pizza place.  I have been making my own bread as a side for some meals.  I made homemade cinnamon rolls.  I am doing well with this one.

4.  learn how to can with the pressure canner.  I did can 4 quarts of chicken broth this month.  I didn’t get to any more this month.  I did use the pressure canner to cook chicken leg quarters and beans.  I loved how the chicken turned out, but I want to cook the beans less next time.

5.  keep track of some of the frugal things that I am doing…

  • I have been shopping at Aldi instead of Kroger.
  • I have been trying to plan ahead for the week and not go to the grocery more than once per week.
  • I used some leftover ham to make ham and potato soup.
  • I have used 3 of the 4 jars of chicken broth that I canned.
  • By using up the leftovers I have had meals that I didn’t use.  I carried them over to the next week to help cut the grocery costs for that week.
  • I have been staying home more.  It is amazing how much I can get done when I stay at home.  Not spending money forces me to be creative.  It also gives me the opportunity to be doing those things that I really should be doing such as cooking and cleaning instead of shopping and spending money.
  • Planning tomorrows meals today.  I really need to stay ahead of the game or I get caught off guard.  I have to be mentally prepared as my days are so busy with the kids.

6.  be able to run a 5k by the end of the year…I have been walking 1 hour or more 2 to 3 times per week.  My running partner and I are preparing to start running.  Hopefully, we will begin running on Monday, but my friend just started with a cold and she wants to be 100% before starting.  I don’t blame her.

I believe that I am doing pretty well with the goals.  It really helps to have them in print to go back to and see how it is going.  Here’s to another month of meeting my goals!