Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

It's a simple week this week...kind of a clean out the fridge kind of week!

 Saturday: Easy Summer Salad
Sunday:  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Monday: Steak and Salad and bluberries
Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillias and salads and fruit (watermelon)
Wednesday:  Spaghetti, Salad, and fruit
Thursday: Travel Day
Friday:  Out to eat

A Summer Salad

This is a quick and easy salad that we had for dinner the other night. I was introduced to it from my friend and college roommate Erica, you can find her HERE.  We went to Sam's Club on Friday and I picked up some of their freshly roasted chickens from the meat counter...they are so good, hot, and ready to eat--if your Sam's Club carries them, they are definitely worth buying.  (I usually buy 4 or 5, de-bone them and freeze in 1 and 2 cup portions for quick meals)

I put all the different ingredients in bowls and we build our own salads...the ingredients are as follows:

Lettuce--I used a combination of Spinach and an artisan mix
Mandarin Oranges--drained, if you are using them from a can
Pineapple--Diced, fresh or from a can
Walnut pieces
Diced Chicken
The dressing you really need to use is Poppy Seed makes the salad.  They make low fat and regular can save a good amount of fat, etc. if you get the reduced version.

It is an amazing lunch or dinner, with or without the chicken. I actually think it used to be a Panera Salad...not sure if they still have it though! Enjoy!

I linked up to Marvelous Menus at Ask Ms Recipe here.

Blessings to you,

Linking up at Raising Olives

A little catch up!

I had lots of great intentions regarding posts this month and just never got around to them...because the weather has been too they are in pictures...enjoy!

 Our Garden
 Having fun in the garden and sandbox (that isn't filled yet)
 having more fun! you can see the trail from the house/sandbox to the garden...
 Our Starts for the garden
 One of the Garden related books we got from our TINY library...

Lydia...celebrating the royal wedding...with mommy's wedding tiara

Steel Cut Oats...$1.84 for over 2 pounds at the Amish Bakery I buy our bread at!

Adding a sticker station to our homeschooling centers

Cutie Levi posing for the camera

Hope you have been having a fantastic spring too!

Baby Food

This week I have been busy making baby food.  I made tons of baby food for the boys, but with moving I decided to delay the homemade baby food for a while.  I continued to give Lydia things that were quick like bananas, and avocados, and egg yolks in addition to the jarred baby food until we moved and shortly after.  I made a bunch of homemade applesauce and pear sauce last fall and still had lots of that in the freezer too.  But this week was my 2nd adventure making baby food for I made a half hearted effort a few weeks ago and used up some carrots and some sweet potatoes that I had.  This week I used afternoon nap time to focus on getting baby food made...because I really just don't want to buy any more.  My process for baby food making is pretty simple.  I peel my sweet potatoes and steam (not boil) them until they are tender. Drain, and use the potato masher to get them all soft and mushy.  I also used this same exact process for my carrots and squash.  With peas, I buy the frozen ones, cook them just a little until they are soft and then mash them too.  I usually have to add water to them to get them a little better consistency, but sometimes they are okay with none.  Green beans are totally different animal and I buy the frozen ones of these too...they seem to be fresher than canned and are not overcooked.  I generally steam them and in small batches use my food processor to get them to a decent consistency.  Lydia is 9 months now and has 2 teeth, so I don't need them super beans are incredibly hard to get that smooth anyway...without straining and blending a ton.  I usually do add water to my green beans, but that is it.  On a weekly basis, I cook about a half dozen eggs and feed her the yolks only (until she reaches 1 year) and use the whites as either salad toppings or in tuna salad.  I also buy an avocado weekly (they are God's perfect food) and use some all week.  They will get dark when you put them in the fridge, but I just use a butter knife and skim off the dark and it is still perfect underneath.  I always have bananas in my fruit bowl and buy about 2 bunches a week...I found some ripe ones clearanced out at a grocery store this weekend and bought a whole box for banana bread and baby food. 

(Just a note on this: After I filled the pan the first time, I had some left over...I put it in a plastic baggie and when it was time to fill the pan again, i cut the corner and "piped" it out of the baggie....SOOOO easy!)

When I made food for the boys, except for when they first started, I didn't use my ice cube trays much.  I usually made their food in snack cups and fed them both from the same cup.  (I love the ice cube trays linked up here. I am not so great at getting right back to the frozen baby food and don't want it to pick up the smells and tastes of other items in the freezer.)   This time I decided to try something a little different instead of having a freezer full of snack I use them constantly with the boys and didn't want them all used up. I used my large 12 serving muffin pan to do my flash freezing and then popped the food out and put the different kinds of food in different freezer gallon size bags.  It was so easy and I'll definitely do it again, if not with Lydia, then down the road. 

(this was my first Lydia freezing...about a month ago)

I have a baby food grinder and I have started to carry that with me again so Lydia can eat what we're eating, but I also have a little portable hand chopper thing that I love too.  I usually use one of these to grind/cut up what ever the meat is that we are eating.  Lydia loves cheese, so when we are going out to eat, I grab a cheese stick and pinch off pieces for her to gum.  I found some Baby Mum-Mum at Sam's Club at a great price and she loves them! I like how long they take her to eat too!

One last thing...I think making baby cereal is so super isn't necessary for me to repeat the directions that are so nicely written here. I hope you will try your hand at cereal too!

 (This book has a lot of good information in it and you can pick it up pretty inexpensively at Amazon...
see the link above!)

Blessings to you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Reading

 I am so excited...The Duggar's New book is out...can't wait to read it! I read the last one and it was such practical knowledge...anyway I hope you read it too!

I am also hoping to finish Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See. I am most of the way through and have cried a lot.  Their story is amazing and she is so open and honest about their experience with the death of their daughter Maria. 

Another bit of craziness is that I am looking into buying a wheat grinder for all of our flour grinding and hope
to continue to read up on it while I save up for the grinder I would like to read this....

If I get through all of these this summer it would be awesome! What about you? Anything you want to read this summer?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Exciting Reading!

I have recently been convicted about what I wear and setting a good example about femininity and modesty for my daughter and my sons.  I have really enjoyed these blogs in sorting out what I feel and the changes I want to make.  I hope you read them too and then let me know what you think...I'm just curious about how people feel.  Happy Reading! Click on the icon above to link to the blog articles!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Silas is my most vocal child...he will talk your ear off and loves to repeat himself.  He is Levi's best bubby and so protective of Lydia...he is such a great brother!  However, with my little talker, I often encourage him to practice his pronunciation.  You see...we have no shortage of V words in our world...we have a Violet (our dog), Levi, and a friend Ava. Silas pronunciation= Biolet...Veeli...Via...I try to encourage him to say VV, Violet...and he repeats "VV vbiolet" or Leeevi...and he repeats "LLVeeli".  He is such a funny boy!  Our other pronunciation practice often comes with the word sounds like "ninger"...I say FF finger and he repeats...."FF Fninger".  We'll keep practicing! His favorite phrase this week is "that sounds like a good idea, mommy...good idea" and of course his other signature phrases..."sure mommy, sure" and "actually, ...".  Such an awesome boy! I love him!(and of course, all of my littles)

A Biking Adventure!

Aaron and I both have made separate goals for this year.  Mine is to be more active and to loose weight--I lost 4.2 lbs last week.  Aaron loves to bike and has been doing it, and even dragging the boys in the trailer, for a few years now.  I have resolved to participate in these adventures this year.  This weekend we rode in our first family, organized ride.  Aaron's parents were here and did the ride too.  I didn't have to pull Lydia, Aaron's dad did that, thankfully!  We had a great was only a 20 mile ride, but it was nice...and I did it, not only did it...but did it with my awesome family! We have quite a few rides scheduled for the summer...and now I am a little more excited to do them! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

What a day!

Today I have a ton of things to I have been slacking this week in the blogging department, but right now...I won't share any of those things.  My mom is in town and Aaron and I went on a date tonight! We rode our bikes to the next town over....11 miles of rolling hills...ate dinner at one of my new favorite places....and attempted to ride home.  I ended up calling my was getting dark--and the ride took longer than expected, my bottom hurt like mad (and still does)...and my legs are shot! I'm not even sure I'll make it to the shower...though I need one. My bed is totally calling my name! 17 miles isn't bad...I'm actually rather proud! but pooped! Shipshewana tomorrow!