Monday, March 31, 2014

Busy Monday, March 31

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Write this Blog
  • Groceries
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Return library movies
  • Get oil change in van
  • Dentist - I had a little spot on one of my front teeth that needs a filling. We've been watching that spot for 3 years now and it's just time for us to fill it. I've learned from my life that no matter what I will find a way for my children to see a dentist even in their 20's. I had a lot of hard, extremely poor years and my poor teeth saw the brunt of that but at least I still have them and I'm fighting to keep them. (Sorry little tangent there)
  • Then today also 2 different events:
    • Leadership Notebook: Where everyone in the elementary school shows up during the same hours and shows their parents their notebook and this is when you pick up grades. I'm not kidding they didn't slot times! This is going to be a mad house! My husband has been so wonderfully kind as to accept this responsibility. 
    • The Middle School PTO meeting where it is the 'student showcase' and kids that have parents that show up with them get a pass for an extra 10 pts on a daily in class assignment. Brielle can use this since her Geometry dropped. She has a problem with perception (which is my strong point) but she's excited to be moving into Trig in the next chapter (ugh Trig! I hated Trig!!)
  • Eat Out - With Peter and I being split up and everything going on we're just going to eat out. I could have perhaps figured out some quick grab and go meal bit I decided the stress wasn't worth it. 
  • (Undetermined) *
  • Lloyd's Pulled Chicken Sandwiches & Chips - Yes, preprocessed food but I had purchased it on sale and Wednesday seemed the perfect day to use it. 
  • (Undetermined) *
  • Calzones - I asked the family to pick a recipe we haven't tried before. This was Peter's request is for me to hand make bread for calzones (well hand make is make the dough in the bread machine).
  • Okay before I go into this day let it be known that Saturday I tasked the children not only to decide on a meal but it had to be at very least a main course that we've never had before and here's the kicker... they are going to cook it!
    So here is the kids menu:
    • Main: Honey Cayenne Chicken Tenders
    •  Sides: Corn, Oranges, Sliced Peppers
    • Dessert: Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding
  • Hormel Pre-Cooked Pot Roast, Mashed potatoes, Peas (yes, more pre-cooked food but it was on sale gosh dangit and I had a coupon!)
*This time it's on me since the girls and Peter both came up with a day this time now I'm just kind of blah on what I want to fit into these slots. 

This Week's 'To-Do' List

  • Wednesday I have to get Brielle to school by 7:15 so probably means leaving out the door around 7am! Ugh. She has an Orchestra trip where they are going around to different schools to show 5th Graders what they could do in Orchestra. 
  • Also, Wednesday I have a birthday luncheon with the ladies from work. We are celebrating mine that was earlier and then another ladies which is the 1st. Normally we'd separate it out but one of the ladies was out on funeral leave because her mother passed away and I thought putting things off would be a good thing and give the lady time to re-settle in at work after her leave. 
  • Then Wednesday we finish up the day with STEM club. I've been trying to get onto the kids about practicing with the Mindstorm programming and also they need to turn in their designs for their club T-Shirts.  -- I also need to get the information turned into the extension center for the 4-H Banquet. Peter and I would rather not go but we feel bad for always skipping school events and PTO events because we just don't want to do anything at work so we're going to try and push ourselves a little harder. 
  • Thursday, I take Brielle to school (I need to look up the exact time I shuffled the information packet away somewhere) and she leaves on an Orchestra trip far far away for the day to go see Izac Perlman perform. I'll be picking her back up at midnight! 
    • Goes into the song about 2:30 into it. Such a rare opportunity I'm glad we were able to fund this trip for her. 

  • And then Friday kiddos start their Spring Break and I think everything should be straightforward. Last Friday Katherine pulled some stuff at school basically she just was off in lala land and a bit too hyper so she didn't earn time with her friend so as long as Katherine does well this week then Friday we'll do the sleepover with her friend. 

Last Week

Have you seen this pin going around? 

Yup so I've started trying my own version. It's harder than they make it look but it is doable. 
I took a picture of a few of the flowers I've done but more are done and I've started working on the head band. No clue how it will turn out in the end for all my hard work but I hope the kids like it. I'd like to make 2 of them so that both the girls will have one but I think I'll be lucky to get 1 done by easter. 

I was inspired by Jean (So Not Organized) about finding the kitchen table again that I decided to work on finding mine. 

(hehe see my pickle jar? I like it. $1 for a bag of eggs and .50 for a bag of grass and poof decoration) 

The table is still cleared off but I don't expect it to last much longer. It never really lasts that long. 

So I alluded to it earlier this week when talking to people. Last Tuesday is officially called 'hiccup'. 
Here's how it all went down...
Tuesday morning I wake up and I notice daylight streaming through the window and I think to myself, "Boy the alarm hasn't gone off yet I wonder how much more time to sleep I have?" I roll over after much prodding at the cat which has decided to wedge itself in behind my back and I look at the clock. 7am!! The night before I had gone to bed earlier than my husband which rarely happens so I'm not used to being the one to turn on the alarm! So I fly out of bed and I run into the kids room and yell, "Get up, get up! We overslept!" The girls rushed to put on their clothes and then ran to get some breakfast. Needless to say my youngest had already missed the bus as her bus comes at 6:40am but my oldest had time since her bus comes around 7:25am. I drove my youngest, Katherine, into school. Tuesday was an interesting mess since I had to leave work early so that I could take Brielle to her dental appointment and then get her back to school which means the rest of the work week I was working longer hours to make up for lost time.
(Side note: Listening to the garbage truck right now realize my daughter didn't take out the trash last night from inside the house. *SMH* Oh well I guess we start the week with more trash in the trashcan.) 
Oh I didn't mention the dentist appointment for my oldest on Tuesday when I wrote out my schedule last week? It's because I didn't decide until Monday to move her appointment to before her Orthodontist appointment instead of after. 

Hmmm anything else? I think that's about it for the big stuff. I worked some more on the garden fencing but I ran out of staples and we worked some on spring cleaning Saturday since it was rainy but we still have a lot to do on that front. 

Oh and another happy thing. Now I've been around 202-205 lbs for awhile though when I started tracking 3 or 4 years ago I was around 194 lbs. Well I'm happy to say over the course of the last few months with some careful dieting and craziness from the doctors that I've lost weight! I still have a long ways to go but I'm getting there! 

Like I said. I have a long ways to go but Peter and I have been talking walks in the evening when the weather/temp permits and I've been opting for things like cucumber slices instead of munching on potato chips with the rest of the family. It's slow going but I'm getting there! This is the lightest I've been in probably 6 years. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Busy Monday, March 24

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Get this Blog up!
  • Menu
  • Groceries
  • Dentist
  • Renew Driver's License - Yes, I procrastinated this. 
  • Clean? - We'll see. 
  • Meatloaf, Potatoes w/gravy & corn
  • Tacos
  • Lasagna 
  • (Undetermined) *
  • Pizza
  • (Undetermined) *
  • (Undetermined) *
*Peter said he was going to come up with something and so I sat there and watched him as he sat in his seat with his flosser and picked this teeth and I sat there and he picked.... And then he said he'd think of something in a moment and then the moment passed and he ran off to work. So needless to say I'm still pondering the menu plan but I wanted to get the blog up to get that to be one thing off my shoulders. 

This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • ..... Amazingly according to the calendar there's no club meetings or other things going on. 

Last Week

Last week I was on vacation and remember when I said I was going to 'spring clean' yeah.... that didn't happen. I kept side tracking myself with fun things. I went out to eat a couple of times, I saw some people, I did some shopping but mostly window shopping.
I never did make that strawberry jam the strawberries I found out were going bad and FAST so I salvaged what I could and sliced and froze them I got about 6 cups up in the freezer now.

 I spent a lot of my time painting glass. Sounds weird but yup that's what I was doing.

Friday, I had my daughter and her friend again. We went to the Y. Oh and Monday I tried jogging with Peter with the Wii fit for 30 min and I was too stubborn to stop when I felt I needed to so my legs were gimpy painful all week another reason we went to the Y so I could soak.... Yes, up to Friday my legs were still killing me! It's not that I'm 'that' out of shape it's because jogging in place I tend to springboard off the balls of my feet when jogging in place which is horrible.

 Saturday, I took the kids down to the library, Peter's on-call this week so he opted to stay home so if he got a call we wouldn't all have to leave. The kids got reading material and I had my youngest pick out some cookbooks because I've been bringing her into the kitchen more. (I would my oldest, Brielle, too but she's been pound with homework on top of wasting time so it means she's spending even longer on homework. Ah the joys of figuring things out the hard way.) I also picked up some healthy cookbooks from the library to see what I might be able to figure out for this overly picky family.
 After the library I took the kids down to Jo-Ann Fabrics because the quilted material they needed for the next 3 4-H projects was on sale for 30% off and then I had a coupon I found on my phone earlier that week for 25% off your total purchase including sale items! It was still a pretty penny but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

 Yesterday I got stubborn I needed to work on the garden because it'll be planting season here very soon. I'm tired of the squirrels and the rabbits and the moles and.... Do I live in the city for the freaking nature reserve! Jeeze!
So I spent my day cutting boards. My first time with a circular saw! My husband was being grumpy with me so I got frustrated and grabbed my tape measure and pencil and his circular saw and drill and went to town. I have one more post I need to get in as you can see it was starting to get dark and dinner from yesterdays meal plan went to today because it got late too so Subway it was!

A friend of mine came over too and helped cultivate the ground and help shovel out old garden boxes and such. She really wants to help me with the garden this year hoping to get lots of produce from it and I'm really hoping this year I don't disappoint. (speaking of which after this I need to go water the seedlings and get the grow lights on)

Yup, nothing spectacular and my house is FAR from sparkling. Infact it's got dirt EVERYWHERE from me working outside LOL. Kind of counter productive to the whole spring clean thing.

ADDITIONAL! I almost forgot a very important thing! Brielle had her test down at the community college for her to take the engineering classes next year in highschool and she passed!!! She may be a procrastinator (wonder where she gets that from) but she's one smart cookie! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Busy Monday, March 17

So this week I'm on vacation. I had 5 days that if I did not use them by the end of the month I would lose them and not get paid for any of it so I wiggled in some vacation while one of the other Engineers was on vacation. I wish I could have taken this in April to spend Spring Break with the kids. 

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Get this Blog up!
  • Menu
  • Groceries
  • Look into making Strawberry Jam - A holdover from last week I have got to do it! 
  • Dr. B12 Shot
  • Chiropractor
  • Lunch with Husband
  • Plant Tomatoes
  • Hamburger Helper w/ Green Beans (We did actually avoid this one last week since we went out to dinner once)
  • Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
  • Meatloaf, Potatoes w/gravy & corn
  • Pizza
  • Salmon & Chicken (since Pete won't eat fish and Kat only eats a little fish) with peas and rice
  • (Undetermined)*
  • (Undetermined) *
*At lunch today with my husband I'm going to pester him to give up some ideas for dinners this week too. 

This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • 4-H STEM Club - Wed
  • COMPASS Test for oldest Daughter -Thurs
  • Meeting with Pest Control to just check up on things since we were treated for termites a couple years back so they want to see how everything is doing under the house and in the venting system. -Tues
  • Renew Driver's License
  • Lunch Date with a Friend - Tues

Last Week

Well we will start with last night when I made the Feta-Topped Chicken with Pasta with pesto alfredo ... the chicken wasn't bad but I'm bad at broiling chicken so it was 'dead' but the pasta we had some serious issues with. It uses a ton of olive oil and then that's all you can smell and taste. I'm going to have to find something else to switch that up with if I ever want to try that again. Maybe an olive oil based salad dressing instead.

I also tried a new recipe for 3 ingredient crockpot chicken tacos. This sadly did not go over very well it was often commented that there was an odd taste. We have decided we will try this again next month but instead of using taco seasoning like is suggested instead using fajita seasoning.

I did see the dietitian last week and she went over my tests and my history and decided that the low carb diet was going to far for me and that it what the doctor had told me actually was even a little extreme for a full blown diabetic which I am not in fact how she put it it's truly questionable if I'm pre-diabetic but with diabetes so strongly in the family it would not hurt for me to stay on a diet but instead of 'low carb' it is instead a controlled carb. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it but it does allow me more carbs and not to worry about the healthy carbs like I shouldn't be stressed out about the carbs in green beans. The other thing the dietitian did though was put down that I should go down to a 1500 calorie diet. This has been hard! I go from 'the calories don't matter' to suddenly the calories do matter. I go from a high meat and cheese diet to a diet where meat and cheese have high calories so I really have to watch how much I get. I very much feel like a pinball! The good news is that since starting all these various diets I have lost weight amazingly. I'm nearly 20 lbs lighter. I don't feel it but that is what the scale tells me. 

Brielle is all signed up for High School but we had to do a ton of shuffling with her schedule and there are several freshman classes she'll have to take other years because she is going into this Engineering program and wants to continue with Orchestra.  We are well on our way though and she goes down for her COMPASS test on Thursday. Right now I'm really trying to stress that she brush back up on her Algebra.
She was disappointed though it looks like she'll have to take Geometry a second year because she's only pulling an 81 in the class. Unless you're pulling a 90+% the teacher is making you retake the class. Brielle had really hoped to be done with Geometry and go onto Algebra 2 but I warned her not to let her grades slip but she got lazy there for a semester and that's all it took to mess things up. 

The girls went to 4-H Project club this past week and they made bags. Well Katherine is finished with hers. Brielle kind of lost her mind somewhere along the way and has to seam rip things out for the 3rd time! I'll have to get a picture up of the finish projects later. I'm hoping next weekend I can spend sometime with Brielle and help her get hers finished up. 

Friday was also the Daddy Daughter dance and while I was out at Walmart (I dislike Walmart but where else can you buy a plant light at 10 o'clock at night) I found this zebra dress and we all know how Katherine is about Zebras. 
Before you make a comment of my husband all in black... well yes he's that weirdo guy but also that is what Katherine told him to wear because for the Daddy Daughter dances the girls have always had complete control. 
I'm still jealous they can get him into a tie! I wish I could more often! 

That's pretty much it. Friday Katherine had her friend spend the night and then Saturday her Friend went home and then we headed out to buy a present for a friend of ours little boy who just turned 4 and we went to his birthday party. It was great because our friend came out with a little mini cake for me and they sang happy birthday to me too! It was totally unexpected and it really was great. 
We socialized so long I didn't have time to make dinner so we hit Arby's (which their wraps and side salads really aren't that bad for calories/carbs and portions!) 
Brielle was in charge later that night for a little bit so Peter and I could go visit with some friends who were having a St. Patty's Day party. I'm still a little antsy about leaving the kids though they've now proved on many occasions that they will be okay. It's like I told my husband though... If I didn't worry about my kids what kind of a mother would I be?

Well this blog is going up a little late and I need to start running again.... wait I thought this was my vacation week?! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Busy Monday, March 10

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Get this Blog up!
  • Menu
  • Groceries
  • Look into making Strawberry Jam - I can't promise I'll have the time to do it or not. I just bought 8 lbs of strawberries from a friend's kid who was doing it as a fundraiser. 
  • Air out the house - It is suppose to be 65 today!!
  • Start organizing Spring Cleaning List
  • Yard cleanup?
  • Grilled Hamburgers w/Beans
  • Royal Round Steak
  • Tyson Chicken Bites w/Fries (they are expensive but need a treat once and awhile)
  • Crockpot Chicken Tacos (Just because it uses salsa Peter won't touch it so I'm not sure what he's going to eat but I'm out of ideas since we've had so many crockpot nights and he's so darn picky)
  • Pizza
  • Hamburger Helper (I was trying to avoid this but I'm out of ideas. I have GOT to start forcing a family meetings on Sunday and don't just let people wander off! Trying to make a menu constantly on your own is really tiring.)
  • And now I'm out of ideas so it is their own fault for not helping me. The last meal will be:
    • Feta-Topped Chicken
    • Pasta with pesto alfredo
*One of these meals might be dropped off I just remembered my birthday is Saturday and we normally go out to eat to celebrate birthdays but with my carb limitations it does make it harder and with it being a Saturday and how busy the town gets on Saturday night it may just not be worth it. 

This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • 4-H Project Club
  • High School Schedule Meeting 
  • Appointment w/Dietitian
  • Picture Day
  • Daddy Daughter Dance

Last Week

So last Monday I had a bunch of patch jobs on my 'to do' list though I didn't get to them until later in the week and then come to find out part of my sewing kit is missing so I only got them mostly done. I'll have to go out to Jo-Ann's today and replace a few items that I will probably find later. I swear I went through every drawer and basket though! No clue where it went to. 

After reading Jean's blog over at "So Not Organized" I think it was Friday? Days are slipping past me. I decided to tackle part of my paper monster. I bought a new storage box for the kids art and finally cleaned off the fridge some other than magnant pictures and some other important documents. A few other odds and ends.... Okay my fridge will never make it into a magazine but now you can open the door without a cascade of kids drawings falling all over the place. 

Cleaning off the fridge brought me to the filing cabinet where I knew more kids drawings were stored. Which then lead me on a paper trail and I started shredding documents.
This bag is one of the big Family Dollar bags and I ended up shredding more later and this isn't counting what I could just toss!!
The sad thing is I feel like I have barely made a dent into the monster that is paper. 

Katherine had a friend over Friday and we first went to the Y so they could go swimming and play air hockey and in the racquetball court and then they wanted to come back to my house so they could play the Wii for awhile. 

My broccoli (which the seeds were old) took off! As did some other plants!
The greenhouse still gets too cold out at night for these plants so I have set up a grow light in my laundry room for them. 

On the schedule for this weekend too was continuing Brielle's chemistry project that was started last weekend. Brielle did most of the work but we had to help her out with a few things because it was just awkward. She's building a model representation of 1 atom of gold. 
One of the neat things during this is because of how she wanted to put it together Peter got to show her how to solder. 
The project wasn't due until this Friday but the weeks get so crazy that we wanted to make sure she got it done quickly so we didn't have to pull an all nighter with her which has happened before.
(I need to kick her onto her book report now .. or rather to read the book for the book report!!)

I went to the seminar at the Extension Service last week and learned a few things about raised gardening.
The parent meeting at the High School was last week and Peter and I elected just not to go. He was very tired and I don't do well with large groups of strangers all squished in together. I hate to put it this way but going to any meeting arranged by the PTO is generally a bunch of parents squished together, over heated and listening to a bunch of stuff that doesn't apply to them (though it applies to other parents) so they get bored, tired, irritable and I seriously try to avoid PTO events period. Must make me sound like an awful parent  but there are other things I really would like to do with my life than rush everyone home by 5pm, eat SUPER quick! and rush everyone back out the door by 5:15 to get to whatever school we are going to by 5:30  with the press of other parents who are also reeling from the time to get out by 6:30-7pm and head home and have to rush kids through showers and homework and getting ready for bed by 8:30! (we've moved bedtime a little later and are seeing how the kids will do). Okay I ranted. I just wish folks would do things on a Friday Night not a freaking Tue-Thurs night!

Last week I was able to reschedule Brielle's orthodontist appointment though she won't be able to get in until next month! I still can't believe they closed for that snow day! It really has messed things up! 

I also go Brielle scheduled for her placement exam at the Community College next week! We need to brush her up on her Algebra. Her head has been so stuck in geometry this year that a few things have slipped. 

Anyone else thrown off by this time change? I know it happens twice a year but it throws me off every time! I also don't like waking up to it being dark again!
Weather for Today and tomorrow look beautiful! Then we have a chance of a snow/rain mix and not as great of weather. It disappoints me because I have 5 vacation days I have to use before the end of the month so I took all of next week off. I had hoped the weather would look a little warmer. My personal goal though is during that week to work on Spring Cleaning. 

Saturday is my birthday and my husband said I can have $100 to go buy whatever I want because he was just going to get me a gift card to Lowes -- No I don't do a lot of household projects *rolls her eyes*

Oh speaking of household projects my husband installed a shelf for me in the cup cabinet! I was getting very tired of having very precariously stored coffee mugs in there. (I've actually asked for the shelf for a few years. I think he's just feeling guilty because he doesn't know what to get me for my birthday.) 

Oh I guess I've taken up enough of everyone's reading time! Have a great week folks!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Busy Monday, March 3

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Get this Blog up!
  • Menu
  • Groceries
  • Brielle's Orthodontist Appt
  • Girls have a Snow Day today
    • Help Katherine with studying Greek/Latin prefixes
    • Help Brielle get started on Chemistry project
  • Patch jeans (I noticed a pair of my work jeans has a small hole in a very unbecoming place so need to get a patch behind it)
  • Patch Brielle's sweater (she doesn't follow instructions it got a tear in the knit going to try and sew that part together)
  • Patch laundry hamper (part of it is all messed up since some folks don't put laundry into the hamper correctly and now I need to get it patched up so it'll stay in place properly.)
  • Plant seeds. I meant to do this Friday but glad that I didn't because my class on Saturday was very informative but then I haven't had a chance all weekend and I'm 2 weeks behind on planting cauliflower and broccoli so I need to do that today. 
  • Pick up around the house - I'm not putting any specific goals I just need to do what I can but I have a lot of other stuff going on so not going to get down on myself. 
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Tacos
  • Cheesy Chicken
  • Pulled Pork 
  • Pizza
  • Chili Dogs
This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • 4-H STEM
  • High School Meeting 
  • Raised Bed Garden Seminar

Last Week

It is hard to believe last week was only one week as it seems like it should have been two weeks! I'm sitting here trying to remember it all and it has become a total blur and last week was suppose to be an easy week for us.

Brielle had her Valentine's Day sock hop at school finally. A friend of hers took pictures and put them up on Facebook so I got to see my girl having fun.

I did get Brielle's application to the community college into the school district but we didn't get her Compass test taken care of. I'm not sure what is going on with that if they are suppose to contact us or not. I'll have to wait until the district is back in service since everything is closed today.

Monday, I ended up spending all day shopping and found out Walmart has a better selection of low/no sugar items though I still dislike going to Walmart because of a list of reasons. I won't even go to the BIG Kroger I like going to the little one but the problem with little stores is you have less selection.
Review of Heinz Low Sugar Ketchup ... it will do for Ketchup but not keen on it. I still plan on trying to make my own when I find more time.
I also found the Hunt's Low Sugar BBQ sauce but haven't tried it yet. It is something else I will have to learn to make though because it is just so darn expensive compared to normal BBQ sauce.
And then I went out for lunch with Peter and then back out shopping. Mostly window shopping as I try to get ready for the growing season.
Part of my shopping trip was buying fabric for the next Project Club 4-H project. I had a coupon for I think it was 20% off my total fabric purchase that was good for this past week only so I wanted to make sure to get the fabric then.

I did finally get things cleaned up around the house, the fish tank and the laundry caught up but it wasn't until pretty much the weekend. Once my Monday gets shuffled more than I expect then I'm pretty much SOL trying to get things done. Sometimes I regret working because I always seem behind but I know I'd go absolutely crazy if I was stuck home all the time.

I bought a light for my greenhouse and have you ever noticed how they never tell you how to chain those darn things up. Well I jury rigged something together. I still have a lot more to do and as we get the different weather I realize different things I need to do in my greenhouse. So far I haven't figured out a good heating option.

Last night we decided to do something different for dinner. You may have noticed I only had 6 days on my menu because I keep drawing a blank so my husband went by the store for me and got me some carrots and baby red potatoes and some cubed steak. He then later made the comment he wished we had some rolls so I set to work making bread.
I rolled the potatoes, carrots & onions in olive oil, put fresh ground sea salt and ground pepper on them and then roasted them in the oven. I thought they were a great change from our normal meals.
Peter and the girls were just happy to have yeast rolls.

Like I said last week is pretty much a blur. I had lots of deadlines at work and I feel like I'm just run ragged but I can't even remember why. I know Saturday was beautiful here so I was raking leaves, pulling limbs to the front for pick up, organizing the greenhouse, cleaned up the shed, worked on cleaning up the back porch too while the kids did what they were going to do they kind of left me after awhile and Peter left for the day pretty much after I got home from the transplanting class at the extension center.

Well I better get back to it getting late into the day and so much left to do!