Friday, October 30, 2009


We've finally arrived at the end of the week. Most of the week was spent cleaning up in areas that don't get frequent cleaning, like behind the entertainment center, behind the huge TV that never gets moved, etc. I needed to have those areas clean because we were upgrading our computer/phone/TV systems - you know those packages that the phone companies give you to save money.

After all that cleaning, it ends up that the new wiring that was installed (down the street a couple of blocks away) doesn't reach to our house. The technician apologized, but I guess it wasn't really his fault. He's under the assumption that wiring is ready to go and he just puts things together to make it work. It's a good thing that I didn't cancel are current satellite programming.

At least I got some good cleaning in behind those hard to get to areas!

I also spent a lot of time during the week on attempting to sew Emily a costume for the school Saints Day festivities. She wanted to dress as the Blessed Mother, so we chose Our Lady of Lourdes. It looked like an easy costume to sew. I bought her an XL T-shirt for the gown and then sewed the veil. She wore a blue sash around her waist, a rosary hanging from her arm, and two pink roses as her feet. I based it all on this picture:

It was actually quite easy to sew. The hard part was trying to figure out where all my sewing tools were. I couldn't quite remember where all my bobbins were and where the pins were. My organizational skills are lacking in the sewing department. Oh, and then once I was ready to actually sew, my presser foot was missing! Who knows where that went. I used a different one that did the job.

Oh, Therese! I wish I could sew like you! I need to start practicing!

I hope I can post a decent picture of Emily wearing the costume. Steve was the assigned photographer and I haven't seen any of his shots. He's not home yet. I didn't get to attend the actual parade because I had to stay home and take care of Ryan, who's sick and didn't go to school.

Thank you all so much for keeping him in your prayers. I took him to the doctor today as he developed some flu symptoms that got me concerned. The doctor seems to think the stomach problems are just remnants from "irregularity". It can take a while for his insides to feel better. That was good to hear. And his flu symptoms are just that. He has the flu.

I asked if it was the dreaded swine flu. He said it was possible, but he didn't do any tests on him. He said treat it like any other flu - lots of fluids and rest. I'll be busy sanitizing everything hoping this doesn't spread! And my mother is here visiting! She better not catch this or I'll feel horrible!

Now it's time to wait for the girls to arrive home. I'm looking forward to hearing all about the Saints Day parade and checking out the pictures!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Got a B+!!!

I mean, er, SHE got a B+! Kathryn had to do a video project at school and neither she nor her partner knew how to put one together. They knew how to film it and upload it onto the computer, but no one knew how to make the actual video, putting it onto a DVD. According to Kathryn, no one else knew how to do it either, but I'm not sure that's the case.

So after all the filming was done, I thought I'd give it a try, not knowing the slightest thing about putting a movie together. It took such a long time, with trial and error, but I finally got it put together. Kathryn told me where she wanted the scenes to go and voila! Of course, it was pretty plain, no special effects, music, etc. But, I can say that we both learned a little about movie making! With a little guidance, I think she can handle the next one, if there is ever another one.

Ryan has been suffering from tummy problems lately. He's been having stomach aches and after about a week of dealing with that, I took him to the doctor where it's thought he may have constipation problems. Well, after giving him medicine and making changes in his diet, the stomach aches are still there, but seem to be getting better, so I guess I'll just wait a little bit more for any changes. He's still in great spirits and the discomfort doesn't seem to keep him from having a smile on his face and a kiss for mom! He's anxiously waiting for the Ice Age movie to come out on DVD tomorrow. He loves that movie and anything else that has to do with it.

So, I guess tomorrow I'll hit the store and get it for him. Hopefully, I won't get tempted to get something for me. Maybe since Halloween is just around the corner, I'll get a bag of Sweet Tarts! I love that candy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flash Forward Trailer

A new show I'm enjoying this Fall!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Making My Menu Plan

Taking the time to make a menu plan has really helped me in making sure that I'm using up my food wisely and providing decent nutrition for my family. When I don't plan, I tend to make up something quick and easy, and it's not as balanced as I would like.

I do have to say that I'm not a natural cook, meaning, I'm not very imaginative and I can easily get into a rut, having the same meals over and over. I don't experiment at all. I'm not good at combining spices together on my own, just to try it. I need to follow recipes.

Growing up, my mother cooked the same foods over and over because my father was a very picky eater and only wanted certain foods. Sadly, I never saw my mother enjoying herself cooking. When I moved out on my own, I only knew how to cook a few things, so I began to look for recipes that would expand my palate. I discovered lots of new wonderful foods.

So, on to how I make my menu plan. I usually start by asking everyone if there's something special they would like to have for the week. Most of the time, it's something easy like tacos or spaghetti. I try to incorporate something like that.

Then I check my freezer, refrigerator, and pantry to see if there is anything I can plan a meal around. For example, I have lots of chicken thighs in my freezer, so I look to see if I have any recipes that can use them. If not, I look up recipes online like Allrecipes or Taste of Home. I just plug in the ingredient and recipes will pop up using that ingredient. Then I just choose one that sounds good and doesn't have anything exotic or elaborate procedures. I do the same thing if I need to use up some cans of kidney beans, evaporated milk, or even some bottled sauces that have been in the refrigerator for awhile but haven't expired yet.

Once I've decided on my main meal, I decide on what sides could go with that. I find a starch like rice, potatoes, or noodles and then find a vegetable dish. A salad is usually included but not always.

Some people look at the sale flyers to see what's on sale, and plan meals around that, but I have to admit that I'm not in the habit of doing that. I get flustered having all those flyers around and then feeling like I have to visit these different stores to take advantage of the sale.

I also take into account if there are any days during the week where I won't have much time to cook, like school meetings, sports practice or anything like that. On those days, I plan on something simple that I can just throw together, leftovers or a slow cooker recipe.

And, that is how I develop my menu plans! Some helpful sites that I go to when I need some ideas are:

I'm an Organizing Junkie (she's the host for Menu Plan Monday where you can get lots of ideas from other people's menus for the week)

Diary of a Stay at Home Mom ( she hosts Slow Cooking Thursday's with lots of great recipes using the slow cooker)