Monday, September 29, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

To see what other people have on their menus this week, get tasty recipes or share your weekly menu and recipes, visit Lara at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Last week it was great having family favorites. As an aside, while I loved making homemade pizza with the kit, it doesn't work to use my pizza oven. But I do have a pizza stone and a regular oven that worked just as well.

This week we are crazy busy. Our menu probably reflects that. Oh, and I saw a wonderful recipe on Rachael Ray involving spaghetti squash which happens to be on sale this week. I just don't think I have the time to make this recipe. So if anyone has any ideas on how to store squash so I can take advantage of the sale this week and make the recipe next week.

Monday- Just Ryan and I as Brad is out on a huge install in Saskatchewan- pasta with tomato sauce, salad and garlic toast

Tuesday- Brad has another install after work so he wants to eat and go- omlettes (we have some ham to use up and I might put some salsa in mine)

Wednesday- Brad's staff meeting night so late dinner- oven roasted chicken breasts with rice and veggies

Thursday- Babies First meeting after dinner so eat and run night- waffles with bacon

Friday- Consignment Sale set up- Submarine Sandwhiches (I am not sure if we will eat out or make our own at home but we do have coupons for one of the local sub shops)

Saturday- Consignment Sale- left over Lasagna from last week that I froze

Sunday-Lazy day after this busy, busy week- Pizza

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wal-Mart savings

Normally, I am not a huge fan of Wal-Mart. Before the days of the self- check outs, I found that there was almost always a line at Wal-Mart that could not be conquered in under a 20 minute wait. If I went to Wal-Mart looking for something specific I could never find it. But if I went in with nothing in mind to find, I almost always left with something (not exactly the kind of shopping you need to be doing on a fixed budget). However, in recent months, I have been comparison shopping between my two local grocery stores, Zellers and Wal-Mart. I pay close attention to each stores fliers and I have a growing list of prices from each store of things I normally buy with some regularity. With Sobeys and Zellers being in the same "mall" and Extra Food on the way, as long as I have my list I can do the shopping in one trip. Wal-Mart is actually the closest to me and until it snows, as long as I don't need a lot of things from there, I can walk with the boys and the double stroller.

On Tuesday when our paper came, there was a Wal-Mart flier advertising an anniversary sale. As I looked at the flier I noticed quite a few things that were great deals and I would like to get. I even pointed them out to Brad that night. Unfortunately on Wednesday, Ryan and Adam both had congestion (a combination of teething and possible colds) and it was a cool day so I didn't want to take them out. Thursday was much of the same but once we finished supper I convinced Brad we should all go out to Wal-Mart and see what (if anything) was still available on these deals.

Imagine my surprise to be able to find just about everything. The only thing was that none of it was marked on sale. Oh well, I said to Brad, if the sale prices don't come up I will just show them the flier (because I was so well prepared that I had it folded in my purse with the items I wanted starred with black sharpie). Brad asked to see the flier and that is when I realised why I was able to find so much of what I wanted on what I thought was the last day of the sale... turns out the sale didn't start until the next morning. So we put the things back and Brad encouraged me to come back first thing in the morning.

But Friday is playgroup morning so I took the boys to playgroup first, where I shared my embarassment from the night before. When we left playgroup, I overheard a bunch of othermoms from the pre-school talking about the sale as well. A few had already gone that morning, some were headed there right away. I knew then that I had NO CHOICE, but I would have to go right away in order to try to get all the things on my list.

I came out with everything I wanted (plus a couple of other things as was lunch time after all and the snacks onsale were SCREAMING at me). I got:

3-pack handi-snacks (crackers and cheese) 5@ 97 cents
**plus two 50 cent off vendor coupons
Delisso frozen Pizza's 3 @ 4.97
Q-tips (500 count) 2 @ 2.45
4 pack Dove Soap 3.50
Dove Body Wash 3.50
Shampoo and Conditioner 5@ 4.87
**One for Brad that is a combo shampoo and conditioner and two each of shampoo and conditioner for me
Box Diapers for Ryan 26.97
Box Diapers for Adam 19.97
Box Wipes (7 pack refills) 2@ 7.97
**Wal-Mart and Pampers have a promotion on right now where if you buy a box of diapers and a box of wipes and submit your receipt you get a $15 dollar gift card to Wal-Mart. So once I submit my recipt I will get 2 $15 gift cards.
Household cleaning wipes 2@ 2.97
*70 count containers
Large bottle of Cheese Whiz 5.97
Hot Wheels cars (for the boys for Christmas) 6@ 68 cents
*we started collecting cars for Ryan when he was just a baby and are doing the same for Adam plus at this price they make great stocking stuffers (reg 1.22 each)
Little People Garage (for Ryan for Christmas) 19.93
*regular price is 39.97
Uncle Bens Chinese Fried Rice 6@ 88 cents
*we only just discovered that Wal-Mart sells this for less normally than where we usually buy it, but this price is a steal!
Tostidos Tortilla chips 2@ 2.97
*we bought two huge jars of salsa last week when they were 2 for $7
crunch n munch 1.00
Pringles twin pack 2.00
twix 4 pk 2.00
3 muskateers 4 pk 2.00
*the crunch and much is usually close to $2 regular price and a single pringles is again close to $2. Regular sized choc. bars are $1 or more in some places now. Only the little thin 100 calorie choc bars are under a dollar anymore. So those were good deals to have some munchies in the house

The total was quite high $172.03 but I will get two $15 gift cards for buying the diapers and wipes, I now have some Christmas gifts for the boys, we have stocked some personal care items and bought some food that we will not need to buy more of for a while (although I am tempted to go back and buy some more rice...and cars...) and maybe have a deeper look to see if there are more instore specials that are not advertised.

And just because:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learning for Little Ones- Learning about Fall

It's Fall! It is one of my favorite times of the year.

Most of last week was one of those glorious weeks where it wasn't too windy, cool or rainy in fall. The leaves were turning but hadn't all fallen yet (when they've fallen and the trees are all bear, I get a little depressed until they are draped in snow). I tok advantage of the weather and the great area we live in and took the boys on a trail walk.

We live close to a corner, in an area that is not finished being developed (or so we think). The house on the right is 5 houses from on on the left and is across the street from the house on the corner across the street from us. This is a zoomed in picture from the top of the hill. The first day we walked this trail I was crazy and pushed the double stroller up. When we went back the next day with my camera in hand, I wore Adam in the pea pod cuddly wrap and Ryan wore his Monkey harness and walked with me.

This is a zoomed out picture from the top of the hill. What a little trooper Ryan was making this hike with me. It was a little steep in places. Along the way we talked about fall. I pointed out the trees and the changing colour leaves. We listened to different nature sounds.

Ryan picked up some rocks at the top of the hill and threw them around. Here he is with one in each hand and I asked him which one was bigger.

I took a picture of Adam and I all snuggled up in the pea pod.

Ryan wanted to "go way Mommy".

When we went that way we found a bird to follow. Poor Ryan, every time he thought he was going to catch the bird, it flew a little further away.

We also found some unpleasantness (well in my mind at least).

It looks like some people (possibly local teens) are using this area as a party area. You can see their makeshift fire pit and there were many broken beer bottles and empty beer cans around and in the tall grass and bush in this area. At least we didn't find any drug paraphenalia out there as well.

It was a fun afternoon, it didn't cost anything, and the fresh air plum tuckered Ryan out. We even had to stop twice on the way back for a little rest.

I think Ryan was watching some ants go marching up the hill.

Learning, and teaching, sometimes it doesn't need any fancy tools or toys and is free as long as you are willing to take the opportunity.

Click here for more Learning for Little Ones. And while you are there, leave her a comment wishing her a Happy Birthday! It's on Saturday and it's a big one)!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just Because

I'll deliver

FOR SALE: One Little Brother

Too cute for his own good


I'll even deliver at no charge

***Disclaimer: The little brother is NOT for sale. Ryan loves his little brother. I just thought it looked like Ryan was trying to give him away yesterday as he thoughtfully pulled him in the wagon around the neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Talk about Toys

Today is the first day of the 2008-2009 DISCOVERY TOYS fall season. Last Thursday while Ryan was napping, my new fall product kit arrived. It was so much fun to open it up with him when he woke up. Sure some of the toys are much more advanced than he is, but the toys that are age appropriate (or close to it) were very well recieved.

Jungle Tower, Twisty Bug, Choo Choo Chase, Hello! Hola! Learning Phone

Inside Out Puzzle- at home, Bright Builders, Progressive Puzzles, English/Spanish Bilingual songs cd, I'm Going Green cd, The Potty Train book, Flip Flop Faces

Puzzle Island book, Gearopolis, Sticker Art Delux, Jawbones Starter set (has three other add on sets available), Mosaic Mysteries, Stormy Seas

Ryan's favorites:
Gearopolis- even though it is for ages 5 and up, Daddy just had to play with it and now Ryan asks for it all the time (he calls it "keys").
Progressive Puzzles- Ryan can do the 4 piece puzzles all by himself, he can do the 6 piece puzzles alone half the time, and likes to do the 9 piece puzzles with our help.
Hello! Hola! Learning Phone- he loves the phones.
Busy Builders- although he can't alwasy get them to stick together, he knows they are blocks and he wants to build with them. He likes to dump them out and sort them and when putting them back he will count. He can count to 5 unassisted (maybe just by memories) and repeats up to 24.

When I joined DISCOVERY TOYS I was not looking for a home based business (not that I really do much about it in that regard, although maybe I should), but I was just looking for quality toys for Ryan. I knew of Discovery Toys from one of my times teaching Kindergarten so I looked them up on the web to see if they made baby toys as well. Some people find the toys pricey but I don't mind paying the price for toys that have a quality guarantee and that are not only fun but educational and help me by providing me ways and ideas on how to play, learn and teach my sons.

If you would like more information about DISCOVERY TOYS or their products and you live in the US, please use the consultant locator to find an Independent Educational Consultant near you. If you live in Canada and do not already have an Independant Educational Consultant, feel free to contact me.

For more information on Talk About Tuesday or to see what others are talking about, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer.

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Menu Plan

For more information about Meal Plan Mondays or to see what others are eating this week, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Busy day yesterday so I didn't get this posted on time.

Monday- BBQ Steaks, baked potatoes with strawberry spinach salad*.

Tuesday- House Premiere- BBQ Hot Dogs with chips and salads.

Wednesday- Staff meeting night- Kraft Dinner (Mac and Cheese) with hotdogs

Thursday- Bistro chicken breasts (M and M Meats) with steamed rice and vegetables.

Friday- leftover love

Saturday-Breakfast for Supper (eggs, bacon, waffles, hashbrowns, toast, juice and fruit)

Sunday-Chicken Breasts with BBQed vegetables

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 bag of baby spinach
1 pint of strawberries

Wash spinach. Wash and thinly slice strawberries. Put in a bowl. Make Dressing.

1/2 vegtable oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of white sugar (I use splenda and sometimes use as much as 1/4 cup less)
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tsp of seasame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
Add ingredients in order listed (stir in sugar) and then stir/shake again at the end. Dress Salad and then toss. The longest part of the process is cutting the strawberries.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Learning for Little Ones- Daily Routines

One of the blogs I regularily check has this wonderful Thursday installment called "Learning for Little Ones". Being both a teacher and now a mother, this just speaks to me on so many levels. This is my first time joining her "Learning for Little Ones", so please be gentle.

Children love routines. It helps children who have developmental difficulties, it helps children adjust to changes in their lives. When I taught kindergarten, routines were established early in the year and within a couple of weeks, the children knew them by heart and would call you on any changes that were made.

Ryan loves routine as well. When my parents came for Adam's birth, my mom brought a Leap Frog Toy with her that we gave to Ryan in August. It is called "My Day with Tad" and it is a little like a clock with removeable pieces that allow you to sort of plan your day and stick to a routine. At first we just allowed Ryan to play with it as a puzzle but now I am using it as a clock like device to show him what is next in our daily routine. In the morning I take all the pieces out and he put's Tad in the centre first. Then once we have breakfast, get ready for the day and play, he puts those peices in the morning slots. Then just before lunch I let him put lunchtime Tad in place. Then it is quiet time, play time and clean up in our afternoon routine. Then he puts in Dinner time Tad and after dinner we have ready for bed, story time and sleep time to add to our daily routine. He is starting to realize when it is time to do certain things and I find it helps keep him controlled because sometimes he knows/remembers what is coming next.

For more Learning for Little Ones or to join us, please visit BabyChaser @ Stay at Home Mommy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Talk about Fun with Friends and Static Electricity

Fun with Friends is a playgroup I joined when Ryan was just a couple of months old. I heard about it from the Breastfeeding Support Group I belong to called Babies First. The Babies First memebers who are available on Friday mornings and who have younger than school aged children, joined Fun with Friends. Fun with Friends provided us with a space to gather from September to May. From May to September we gather (weather permitting of course) at the Lions Park.

Last Friday we went to the park. Ryan loves it. He loves the things to climb on, the slides and thw swings. He always brings a small sandbox worth of sand home in his shoes. I don't know if it was the drier air, his velour track suit, the plastic slide or some combination of all three but Ryan had a wild case of static electriity.

For more information on Talk About Tuesday or to see what others are talking about, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Menu Plan

For more information about Meal Plan Mondays or to see what others are eating this week, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

After a little break from posting my menu plan (although I have been thinking about meal planning, just not as detailed) I am back.

Monday- BBQ Ribs (from M & M Meats), baked potatoes and corn on the cob.

Tuesday- BBQ steaks with bbqed vegetables.

Wednesday- stuffed pasta shells (I have some in the freezer because I make a whole box at a time and that is about 3 meals for us) with Caesar salad and garlic toast.

Thursday- BBQ chicken breasts with rice, corn on the cob and strawberry spinach salad.

Friday- leftover love

Saturday- appetizer night: honey garlic wings, crudites and dip, nachos

Sunday- crock pot honey, brown sugar and pineapple ham* with mashed potatoes, and vegetables.

**Crock pot honey, brown sugar and pineapple ham
1 picnic ham
1 can of pineapple ring slices
brown sugar

Drain the pineapple juice from the can of pineapple rings into the crock pot. Keep the rings refrigerated for later use. Add brown sugar and stir (sorry I never measure but I would guess it is a cup or two) until the brown sugar all dissolves. Then add 1/2 to 1 cup of honey (again I never measure I just pour it in and stir until it gets thick). Add the ham. Cook on low heat for 3 hours or high for 1.5. If desired, each half hour, flip the ham and then spoon the brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice mixture over top the ham. (I actually use my turkey baster for this!)
After 3 hours cooking on low or 1.5 on high, take the ham out and use toothpicks to secure the pineapple rings to the ham. (Some people also use toothpicks to secure maraschino cherries to the centre of each pineapple ring). Put the ham and pineapple back into the crock pot for another hour, basting it now and then again flipping and basting at the half hour mark and again just before serving.

Picnic hams are already cured and cooked but I like to slow cook mine and for this length of time to let the meat absorb the flavour. I always serve this with mashed potatoes and often baby carrots. This is part of my Christmas Eve menu and I often make a bigger one, usually in my oven instead of my smallish crock pot, which allows me to have lots of ham to snack on. (with crackers and cheese Christmas day, with turkey leftovers on cold plates on boxing day, mixed in scrambled eggs or omelets on the 27th)

Bon Appetit! and have a tasty week!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Kathryn

Today is Kathryn's 3rd birthday. Celebrate with her by sharing some of Auntie's favorite 3's about Kathryn.

3 Favorite things about Kathryn:
~she is a good big sister and a GREAT cousin.
~she is super smart and sweet.
~she is such a girlie girl.

3 Favorite memories of Kathryn:
~Wearing her on my back in the Ergo carrier while I pushed an asleep Ryan to the grocery store down the hill from the house in Seattle. We sang songs and she played with my hair.
~Watching the video of her reading "The Monster at the end of this Book".
~Reading princess stories to her before she fell asleep while they were here this summer.

3 favorite photos of Kathryn:

Hope you have a wonderful day Miss Kathryn! Big Kisses and Hugs from Auntie Bobbi, Uncle Brad, cousins Ryan and Adam.