My Family

My Family

Friday, August 31, 2012

Batch Cooking

Everytime I look at Pinterest I see all of these pins about Batch Cooking.  This is where you spend a lot of time but end up with A LOT of  freezer meals to help make your life easier.  It sounds like a good idea so I finally took the time Wednesday to try it out.

Tuesday night I sat down and searched and searched for some good recipes to try this thing out with.  I came up with a few and put my grocery list together.  I wanted to try to make sure the main ingredients were on sale because I wanted to be as thrifty as possible.

Wednesday morning, Trevor and I headed to the grocery store.  I know when a lot of people do this they can shop around at different grocery stores to get the best deal on their meats, but since our bread and butter comes from Winn Dixie, that would be the one and only place we do our grocery shopping.  I never can understand people who work there but don't shop there - just doesn't make sense to me.

Here's the meat

I started the batch cooking around 3:00 with cutting up all of the onions and carrots that would be going in the meat.  This was actually fun because it gave me time to practice my knife skills - yeah I love to watch Food Network and watch them cut up things - man they are good at it.  I didn't last too long until I brought out the food processor - so much easier.

2 hours later I had 2 crock pot meals ready for the freezer, 6 bags of ground beef both Italian and Mexican style, 3 bags of shredded chicken, and about 8 cups of chicken stock both in bags and ice cube trays.  There were a couple of additional recipes I wanted to try but I forgot to take out additional chicken for it, so those will have to wait until next time.

Here's the website I found this recipe from.

Beef Burritos
(6+ servings)
  • 1 London Broil or top round roast (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – Use just 1 pepper!! (It’s in a can.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder (you can adjust this according to your taste)
  1. Add all the above ingredients into a freezer bag.
  2. When you are ready to cook the meal, dump the contents of the bag into the crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
  3. When the meat is cooked, you will need to strain the juices and add the juice back to the slow cooker. (You want to remove the peppercorns and onions.) Shred the meat and add back to the juice in the slow cooker for about 30 minutes. This is one of our favorite recipes. My kids eat it as long as we have leftovers.
It feels great to have so much beef and chicken ready to go in the freezer.  I plan to make a few additional meals, but I may try out the beef burritos first to see how that one goes.

Draft x2

Sunday morning as we were in our Bible Fellowship Group class with our Seniors.  Some of them saw a picture I had posted on Facebook about our draft the night before and were a little disappointed they weren't invited.  One thing led to another and the next thing we knew we were having another football draft at our house that night.  The house was still set up from the draft the night before so sure why not?

We were using this as a way of outreach for our class and try and get more students to join us.  It's amazing to see the differences in the classes each year.  This year we have a lot of guys who love sports so this seemed like a great way to think "outside the box" and get students who wouldn't normally come to a "church" event to come to a fantasy football draft.

We had 14 students and 3 of those were visitors so we felt it was very successful.  The kids had a lot of fun picking their teams.

And eating :)

So Jason and Randy have a team together along with the girls.  Well, we girls kept telling Jason and Randy they needed Tebow on their team.  Even though they already had 2 quarterbacks they made us happy and drafted Tebow on their team.  So, our team name is Somewhere over the Tebow - catchy huh?

Here are the girls who were dedicated and came out to a Football draft

Of course by having a party at our house means the kids' toys come out.  Trevor took to Crista and had her playing all kinds of stuff before the party started.  She has now become part of StormTrooper from Star Wars.

Wii time between Devin and Brody with Tyler watching.

It was such a great time and I pray that our kids have an awesome year and will always keep God first in all they do.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Are you ready for some 2012 football?

As our annual tradition goes around this time of year - Draft Party!!  Now most fantasy football drafts are guys only, but not at our house - everyone is welcome and it's one BIG party.  There are 10 teams so we had about 15 adults and 9 kids - yeah crazy times!!

I actually enjoy football, so this draft party is always so much fun to plan.  This year I had wanted to decorate a little.  

Our new wreath.  This was very easy - just a thing of black yarn and some teal ribbon and a few letters.    I was very pleased with how it turned out.

The dining room table all ready for people.

Football coasters.

In the past we have used a dry erase board to write all the picks on, but this year we were able to use an official CBS sports draft board with player stickers and all.

Everyone is so great to contribute to the food.  This year I decided to go with tailgate food.  We had TONS of food and it was all so great.

The guys serious about their picks

While the guys did their thing, us girls did what we do best - chat!

And the kids did their thing in the playroom - swords, shields, nerf guns and whatever else they could find.

Of course Trevor had to try out the sweets - Football whoopie cakes.

 The kids had so much fun running in and out and to the trampoline and play area.  Of course John had to join in on the kid fun.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Popcorn Wall

Brody is loving Kindergarten, which I am very thankful for.  So far he has had very good days, however, one day Mrs. Proffit asked him if he had a good day and he said no.  I think she was a little shocked and asked why.  Brody's response was "we did too much work".  Now this was on day 3 of school.  I was a little nervous about what was to come, but so far he has done ok.  Of course his favorite is recess, but with all of this rain we are getting, they aren't getting much time on the playground.

At the beginning of the year in Brody's folder was a list of sight words the kids would need to know for each 9 weeks - 4 each week so about 32 for each 9 weeks.  I asked him if he could read them to me and off he went to reading - all 3 nine weeks, so about 96 words - read with no problem.  Wow!!

Well, every Friday they are tested on the sight words for the week.  After the first week, I saw he made a 100 and he quickly said "this girl said the 2nd week's words".  I knew then he was the typical boy and wasn't speaking up to Mrs. Proffit that he knew them too.

Well, last Friday was the 2nd week's words test and during the day I had this picture on my Facebook wall:

Brody had made the Popcorn Wall.  This means that he said all of the words for the 1st 9 weeks and now he gets to have popcorn and a movie.  He was very excited and so was his mom.

We are off to a great start!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A day with Tate

Last Tuesday, Trevor and I had a little visitor for the day - Tate.  His grandma had some doctor appointments that day so Tara asked if I could watch him.  Not a problem, he would give Trevor someone to play with.

When he arrived around 10 he had fallen asleep in the car so we thought he might transport to the pack n play - no go!!  Oh well, he and Trevor played so well together.  Trevor showed him all of his toys and surprisingly was not greedy with them.

Trevor pulling Tate around on the train.

He was so happy

Not really sure what was going on here.

I was really hoping that since Tate is such a good eater that Trevor might learn something - uh not a chance!!

Mommy School

With Brody being in school from 8 - 2, it is just me and Trevor at home now.  After I drop Brody off in the mornings, the first thing Trevor says is "It's just you and me".  So sweet, I just love this boy even though he is CRAZY!!!

Since he isn't going to preschool yet, I knew I was going to have to come up with something to occupy part of his time during the day while at the same time taking advantage of the little ready to learn mind.  I found some great stuff on Pinterest - wow at the blogs out there that are dedicated to teaching small kids all kinds of stuff.  My favorite blog is  Mommy School.  She put together packets of worksheets and other GREAT ideas to teach your child about each letter of the alphabet.

I had decided to start off teaching him a letter of the alphabet each week as well as a number.  Wow at the information and great ideas out there for this.  He was so excited to start "Mommy School" a couple of weeks ago.

Our first lesson "A is for Apple" where he colored several sheets with different things that start with A

He learned how to write the letter A on paper and via a bag of finger paint (so less messy)

We made an Apple Jack necklace

We put apples on a tree using our fingerprint.

We worked on an alligator puzzle

We learned how to write the number 1 and learned other numbers by using candy on numbered squares

We try to do something everyday, but of course we have a day here and there of fun where we go off and help mommy with errands :)  These are definitely days I will miss when he starts PreK next year.  It just doesn't seem right that he will be that old next year.  Bring on the tissues!!

Homework - to like or not to like

School and homework go together, right?  Well, the first week of school Brody had a huge sheet to fill out to tell all about him.  Thankfully in Kindergarten they have all week to turn it in.  

I really wasn't sure how he was going to feel about the whole homework thing.  He has loved school so far, so I was hoping homework wasn't going to discourage him.  He started out ok with it but I learned a lot about him.  Sometimes he doesn't take his time and his work shows this.  When I try to correct him about something - he gets quite frustrated.  Quite an eye opening experience because I too have those qualities and realize that I need to work on those things.  

It probably doesn't help that Trevor gets to just lay in the playroom and watch tv while Brody does homework.

After working on a couple of pieces each night for the week, we had a finished product.  We wanted to do our best since it would be hung in their classroom.  Now I'm not really sure why he used certain colors in places - like black around his name.  Oh well.

This is one of the reasons I am thankful to be able to stay at home with my boys because I wouldn't want someone else to help him with his homework - even though this probably won't be my favorite part of the day all the time.

Finally a routine

We all love summer, but it is actually nice to finally get into a routine.  Brody has been in school now for a couple of weeks, so we are trying to get into our routine.  I knew I wanted needed Brody to help me in the morning so we can get out the door on time, so I searched and searched for ideas for a chore chart for him to use.  We have used ones in the past that we had to put stickers on, but that took too much time.

I finally came up with this one that is laminated and we just check things off.   I also make it pretty simple so we or Brody wouldn't get overwhelmed and we can try and stick with it.

Once he gets his weekly money then he splits his money between these 3 jars that I made.  He had something temporary in his room until I could make something that looked better.  These were so easy to make and FREE!!  These were old salsa jars that I spray painted the lid and used my Silhouette to put the labels on - so easy and the best thing is that Brody loves it and it is teaching him about money.

So you may be thinking yeah that sounds great but how in the world do you get the "sticky" stuff off of the jars.  I did some googling and found this great idea that actually worked - peanut butter on the sticky stuff and the natural oils breaks down the sticky.

Then you have a perfectly reusable jar.  Lately, I have been reusing jars quite a bit.  I used them at Trevor's party for the goodie table and it worked great.  I feel like it's such a smart way to save money.

Another way I have helped us get into a routine is to reorganize Brody's closet.  It wasn't TOO bad before  school started - I mean he had bins with like items in them, but they were a little flimsy and weren't labeled.

So, off I went to try and make his closet look better.  After 6 new bins from IKEA (haven't you read before that I LOVE this store) and a few labels, his closet looks better.

My favorite bin is the bottom left that is for his school clothes.  On Sunday, I pick them out for the entire week and put them in there which allows Brody to get dressed all by himself and help our mornings go smoother.

I hope we can keep it up because so far we get to school right on time.