Sunday, December 12, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of December 13

Monday- Sausage, Rice, Black Beans, Corn

Tuesday- Easy prepped food from freezer....chicken nuggets, fries, hot dogs (Mom is out) :)

Wednesday- Ranch Chicken Parmesan, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Thursday- Enchilada Casserole, Rice

Friday- Baked Ziti, Salad

Saturday- Chili

Sunday- Brinner

Friday, December 3, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of December 6th

Monday- Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup, plus I add Black Beans

Tuesday- Baked Eggplant Parmesan, Rice, Salad

Wednesday- Potato Chowder Soup

Thursday- Creamy Pasta, Sausage

Friday- Enchilada Casserole, Rice

Saturday- Leftovers

Sunday- Omelets

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of November 29th

Monday- Turkey Pot Pie, Coconut Cream Pie

Tuesday- Stroganoff

Wednesday- White Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, Refried Beans

Thursday- Spaghetti, Broccoli

Friday- Chilli

Saturday- Knoephla Soup

Sunday- Leftovers

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 8th

Monday- White Chicken Chili ***recipe below***

Tuesday- Taco Bar

Wednesday- Beef Stew and Homemade Bread *I made this a few weeks ago and it is amazing! The only bread I've really gotten to turn out perfect here in CO. AND it's SUPER easy!!! Yay!!!*

Thursday- Leftovers (Renato is out of town the rest of the week...)

Friday- Mac N' Cheese, Hot Dogs

Saturday- Pasta

Sunday- Brinner :)

White Chicken Chili---From my friend Sharon.....YUMMY!!!!


2 med onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 4oz cans chopped green chiles (sometimes i do 2 larger cans for more of a green chili taste)
4 Whole Chicken Breasts
2 t ground cumin
1.5 t dried oregano, crumbled
.25 t cayenne or crushed red pepper (depending on taste)
3 16 oz cans, great northern beans not drained
1 Can of white corn
6 cups chicken broth


Combine all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours, give or take.
Shred chicken in crock pot with 2 forks.
Serve with tortilla chips, and cheese.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 1

How is it already November???? YIKES!!!! This will be a very busy month, but a wonderful month to say the least! I get to travel to Guatemala on the 16th for a very good friend's wedding. I haven't seen her in over 3 years so I'm getting very excited about seeing her and being able to be there with her during her wedding!

Monday- Crockpot Steak w/ Merlot & Mushrooms (ww #38), Rice, Veggies

Tuesday- Chicken Pot Pie (I'll cook up a whole chicken to shred the meat and make chicken stock)

Wednesday- Friendship Casserole (1 pan will go to a friend who just had a baby!)
And I also want to try these Pumpkin Scones....YUMMY!!!

Thursday- Nacho Chicken Casserole, Flour Tortillas, Refried Beans

Friday- Hot Dogs and French Fries (we'll be babysitting for some friends)

Saturday- Chili

Sunday- Brazilian Tuna Torta

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Oct.25th

Monday- Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff

Tuesday- Butternut Squash Soup, Homemade Bread

Wednesday- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Thursday- Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Rice, Green Beans

Friday- Chili Night @ a friend's house....making corn bread

Saturday- Freezer food

Sunday- Jack O'Lantern pizza from Papa Murphy's :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 18th

Guess I have to get back to menu planning with my husband and parents being here this week. (I got to take last week off because Renato was out of town....he gets back Thursday. Yay!) My parents are getting into town Tues. afternoon, so I better have something planned. :)

Monday- Leftovers

Tuesday- Aussie Chicken, Crash Hot Potatoes, Corn

Wednesday- Probably Dinner Out

Thursday- Chicken Enchilada Ring, Refried Beans

Friday- Pasta with meat sauce (Renato & I are out for a dinner at church)

Saturday- Turkey Noodle Soup (from turkey bones I have in the freezer)

Sunday- Leftovers

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recipe for Warm Caramel Apple Cake

This cake is absolutely a new Autumn favorite! Enjoy!!!

The recipe comes from Betty Crocker's 2010 Calendar.

Warm Caramel Apple Cake

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup chopped Pecans
2 Large cooking apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 1/3 cups)
1 Box Betty Crocker Supermoist Yellow Cake Mix
1 1/4 Cups Water
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1/4 tsp. apple pie spice

2/3 cup Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting
1/2 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
** Caramel topping if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 Degrees. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13 by 9 inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.

3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.

4. In small bowl mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzle with caramel topping.

****I don't do the frosting/whipped topping. It's good enough on it's own, but I'm sure it would be great with it too.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Oct. 4th's October? How in the world did that happen? Yikes!!! We are ready to enjoy the fall weather. It's still been pretty hot here, but we did have a nice fall day 2 days ago, so we're hoping for more soup/chowder/chili weather. :)

Monday- BBQ'ed Hamburger served over Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday- Slow Cooker Swiss Steak, Rice

Wednesday- Pasta

Thursday- Renato gone....Soup from Freezer

Friday- Renato gone....Mac' N Cheese, Fries

Saturday- Minestrone Soup, Homemade Bread

Sunday- Leftovers

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 27th

Monday- Daddy out....prob. Mac N' Cheese

Tuesday- Freezer Meal (I have a baby shower)

Wednesday- White Chicken Enchiladas, Rice

Thursday- Creamy Potato, Carrot, and Corn Chowder

Friday- Baked Ziti

Saturday- Grilled Steak, Potatoes, Veggies

Sunday- Gourmet Sandwiches

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 20th

Monday- Spaghetti with fresh Cucumber Salad

Tuesday- Saucy Mexican Chicken with Rice and Refried Beans

Wednesday- Cheesy Herb Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Carrots (from garden)
**Baking Day** Camden is learning about the letter Aa this week, so we'll be baking apple goodies. Applesauce, Apple Cake, etc. :)

Thursday- Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken, Oven Fries

Friday- Either Papa Murphy's Pizza or Chinese (I'll be busy pickin' fresh veggies at a farm north of Denver most of the day) Yay for fresh veggies!!

Saturday- Leftovers/scrape together what I can....Busy day today!!

Sunday- Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 13

Monday- Crockpot Roast with Veggies and Potatoes

Tuesday- Conference for us....Mac N' Cheese for the kiddos

Wednesday- Garden Vegetable Soup (from our veggies in our garden!)

Thursday- Dinner with Small Group

Friday- Zucchini Absorption Pasta, Grilled Chicken (from last week)

Saturday- BBQ's

Sunday- Gourmet Sandwiches

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 6th

Monday--LABOR DAY....Cook-out with friends

Tuesday- Glorified Zucchini Casserole, Rice

Wednesday- Papa Murphy's pizza....busy day

Thursday- Zucchini Absorbtion Pasta, Grilled Chicken

Friday- Crockpot Roast with Veggies

Saturday- Grill out Hamburgers, Potatoes, Zuchinni

Sunday- Brinner....Breakfast for Dinner

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of August 30

Monday- Inside out Lasagna from last week

Tuesday- Sherry's Aussie Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday- BBQ's, Cucumber Salad

Thursday- Daddy gone....Pigs in the Blanket

Friday- Daddy gone.....Mac'N'Cheese

Saturday- Daddy gone.....Spaghetti

Sunday- Grill Out, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potatoes, Beans (from freezer)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Aug. 23rd

Monday- Chicken Nuggets & Fries (boys) Fresh garden salad (me) (Renato is gone)

Tuesday- Grilled Chicken, Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Potatoes

Wednesday- Pizza Roll Up Burritos

Thursday- Inside Out Lasagna

Friday- Hot Dogs with Crestent Roll Wraps, Fresh Veggies

Saturday- BBQ on top of Baked Potatoes, Zucchini

Sunday- BLT's

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of Aug. 2nd

Monday- Taco Salad (we need to eat all the lettuce from our garden!) Yay!

Tuesday- Easy Lasagna Bake (from a cookbook my mom has....better than real lasagna)
*****soak and cook up beans*****

Wednesday- Mexican Chicken, Rice, Beans, fresh salad

Thursday- Grilled Steak, Potatoes, Baked Beans

Friday- Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Feta, Cheese Pizza for the boys

Saturday- Creamed Pasta, Cooked Sausage, Beans

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of July 26th

Monday- Black Bean and Chicken Taco Bake, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday- Daddy's gone....prob. Mac N' Cheese :)

Wednesday- Hash Brown Casserole

Thursday- Grilled burgers

Friday- We're gone to MN for a friend's funeral

Saturday- We're gone to MN for a friend's funeral

Sunday- Something from the freezer.... :)

Summer Days

Our summer has been full of all sorts of adventures and fun. :) Here are a few pictures to share our summer with you....

We just got back from our 2nd trip to ND to visit family. The boys of course had a blast on the farm. Dawson's new favorite thing is's also his favorite word. :)

Our 1st trip to ND we were able to stop by Mt. Rushmore in SD to see the presidents.

My birthday was in early July. We had a nice time celebrating as a family and with our neighbors. I had fun decorating my own cake. :)

Summer is supposed to be filled with WATER fun!! Here is Camden on our way home from the pool.....I think he was a bit tuckered out! :)

The boys at the pool eating some snacks.

And of course we had to put a little pool in our backyard.

Even Grandma and Grandpa from Brazil were able to come and spend June with us. We loved having them stay with us!

We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are!!! YAY for SUMMER!!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of June 28th

Monday- Creamed Chicken (p. 64 QC), Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday- Spinach Pasta Bake from last week....didn't get to it

Wednesday- Sausage with Peppers, Rice, Beans, Fresh Salad

Thursday- BBQ'd Hamburger over Potatoes, Broccoli

Friday- My birthday....hoping not to have to cook. :)

Saturday- Grilling

Sunday- 4th of July!!! My husband will probably be away for work.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of June 21st

Monday- Ordering Chinese (Renato's parents need to eat some good Chinese b4 they go home, and Chinese is NOT my best)

Tuesday- Grilled steaks and Salmon, Potatoes, and Corn on the Cob

Wednesday- Cavatini

Thursday- Taco Salad

Friday- Baked Spinach Pasta

Saturday- Grilled Burgers, Hot Dogs, and BBQ Baked Beans

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Menu Plan

Monday- Chicken Enchilada Ring, Rice, Beans

Tuesday- Herb & Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Salad (Doubled for Friends who had a new baby!)

Wednesday- Cavatini, Fresh Salad

Thursday- Pesto Pizza with Feta and Tomatoes, Pizza Crust Recipe

Friday- My cousin's Wedding Celebration

Saturday- Grill Out

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of June 7th

Monday- Grilled Steaks, Potatoes, Asparagus

Tuesday- Build Your Own Burrito

Wednesday- Turkey Casserole

Thursday- Bacon and Sour Cream Chicken, Rice, Beans, Fresh Salad

Friday- Cheese and Herb Meatloaf, Potatoes, Fresh Salad

Saturday- Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Coleslaw, Corn

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Menu Plan....end of the week

OK, whew. We're home from ND. It was a good trip, but very fast. A long way to drive in such a short period of time with 2 little boys, but they did great. Momma is the one who got over tired today. YIKES. I should have put myself in time-out. Ha! Anyway, Renato's parents are here and I'm trying to get a shopping list together and menu as fast as possible so it's ready to shopping tomorrow. I'll have new pics from ND up soon! Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

Thursday- Maple Rosemary Chicken, Rice, Beans

Friday- Crockpot Enchiladas with Hamburger,

Saturday- Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Bread

Sunday- Leftovers or french toast sammies from last week

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of May 17th

My goodness May is cruising along fast. By the middle of next week my in-laws will be here from Brazil. We're very excited to see them!!! Renato will be gone for a few days this week again, so we'll see how close I stick to the plan. But again, I'm SO GLAD to have a PLAN!!!! It saves my life everyday. :)

Monday- Glazed Salmon, Rice, Salad

Tuesday- Spaghetti ***Reminder to soak beans for recipe tomorrow!!***

Wednesday- Boston Baked Beans (I'm making these with the abundance of dry pinto beans I have, then I'll freeze for side dishes for Grilling Days), Hot Dogs

Thursday- Stroganoff

Friday- Grilling Steaks, Potatoes, and Baked Beans from Wednesday

Saturday- Penne with Chicken and Pesto (I'm going to add Spinach and pine nuts)

Sunday- French Toast Sandwiches (these look so yummy!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of May 10th

So when my husband got back from his Brazil trip, he got the stomach I still didn't do much cooking, and I definitely didn't make that turkey! Ha! So I'll save it a bit longer....maybe for when my in-laws come to visit. They don't get a whole lot of turkey down in Brazil. :)

Monday- Renato in Breckenridge, so leftovers for us

Tuesday- Grilled Chicken and Potatoes (women's night at church) & Grill extra chicken for Nacho chicken Casserole on Thursday

Wednesday- Chili (It's supposed to SNOW! Oy!)

Thursday- Nacho Chicken Casserole

Friday- Beef strips, Rice, Beans, Broccoli

Saturday- Pizza Loaf (Quick Cooking p. 192)

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Blessings of Friends

Wow, am I blessed! Today I was reflecting upon the amazing friends that God has placed in my life. I know they are not there by chance, but that God has placed them there with a specific purpose.

I am blessed by friends of old. Those friends who have been around awhile and seen me through many stages of life. Even some since childhood. Now that is special! I think these friends are so special to me because they've been with me through my whole process of transformation that God has put me on. Believe me, I know I'm not done with my "process" or that I'm completely transformed, but know that it's a continuous work in me. The friends that have seen me change and be molded to be filled more with Him, obviously cannot deny the goodness of God in my life. (Because there is NO WAY that I can deny His goodness in my life!)

And then there are the friends who have been on this "growing up spiritually" journey together. Some of my most precious friends are those who have "matured" spiritually together with me at the same time. It's been so great learning, growing, and just processing together what God is doing in our lives.

Then there are the friends that are just now coming into my life. Oh how precious they are too! I just spent about 2 hours over lunch, with a precious new friend. The whole time was spent sharing our "life stories", encouraging one another, and just plain ol' Praisin' God for His faithfulness. It is so sweet to meet new friends who are on the same spiritual road as yourself.

God brings these special friends into our lives to encourage us, strengthen us, bless us, uplift us, and challenge us. I love where friendship is true, "Iron sharpening Iron". Our lives are meant to be shared. I believe we need to be so very thankful for each special person God has brought into our lives. Yes, there are "seasons" of friendship, and sometimes it's just easier to have friends than others. But friends are worth investing in. Yes, we're busy. Yes, we don't seem to have enough time in our days. But we need to nourish our friendships, just like we would nourish other relationships in our lives.

So I say thank you to my friends of old, and of new, for being such special treasures in my life. I am encouraged by you and who you are. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of May 2nd

Yes, I've been MIA for a few weeks, I'll post more about it later. My husband has been in the Amazon Jungle and Brazil the past 2 weeks and he's getting back on Tuesday, so that means I need to start planning my menu again (and cooking....I've kinda taken a "break").

Monday- We're still on our own.....

Tuesday- Lunch for when Renato gets home: BBQ's Dinner: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Wednesday- Baked Ziti

Thursday- Baked Chicken, Potatoes, Veggies

Friday- Steak on the Grill and Corn on the Cob

Saturday- Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole (who says you can't have "Thanksgiving" and be thankful year round....especially because you got a GREAT deal on turkey at Thanksgiving!)

Sunday- Leftovers from our "thankful" meal

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of April 5th

Monday- Chicken Spaghetti

Tuesday- Tuna Melt Sandwiches

Wednesday- Beef Strips, Rice, Beans, Salad

Thursday- Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

Friday- Fish, Rice, Veggies

Saturday- BBQ's

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mini Bisquit Pizza

So have you done the great promotion at King Soopers this past week and gottena BUNCH of nearly free Grands Bisquits? What do you do with all of those bisquits?????Maybe I'm the only one who hadn't thought of this before, but I'm glad I finally did! The other night I was going to make pizza dough from scratch but, to be honest, I was kinda lazy and really didn't want to. Then I remembered the 4 cans of Bisquits I just bought at King Soopers and thought I'd make Mini Personal Pizza's using the bisquits as a crust. So here's how I did it....

So these are the ingredients I used and had on hand for the pizza. I actually had to make my own tomato/pizza sauce from home canned tomatoes, and I LOVED it!!!

Here is a before and after pic of the bisquits. Just flatten out the bisquit from the can, with your fingers or a rolling pin. I just worked them around by holding them and that seemed to work well.

Spread on that pizza sauce!!

Add your cheese and fixin's. And a little tip from my Italian Mother-in-law, sprinkle a little Oregano on the top of your pizza for a little extra yum. :)

Put it in the oven and bake for how long the bisquit directions tell you to....and....ta da!!! Instant Mini Bisquit Pizza! Easy Peezy!!

I think Camden liked it. :) Renato really liked them too, although I would prefer the "real" stuff, this was a great quick and easy way to whip up some dinner.....and use up those bisquits!!!

This is my Works For Me Wednesday post!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan March 28th

Well, we'll see how closely I follow this menu plan. Last week's plan was a total bust...I think I only actually followed through with my plan 2 days. But that's the beauty of a least you have SOMETHING ready to go, but if you want to be spontaneous, just scrap it for another day. :)

Monday- Renato's cooking! :)

Tuesday- I'm going to a coupon exchange, so easy Quesadillas for the boys.

Wednesday- Last week's Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken, Rice

Thursday- Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Friday- Spinach Mushroom Calzone

Saturday- Hamburgers on the grill (Foreman grill that is, until we can buy a REAL one.) :)

Sunday- Friends over for EASTER!!! YAY!!! We're doing the ham and Hot Cross Buns.

Find more Menu Plans at Organized Junkie!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Activities

***Here is Camden in Brazil dying eggs last can tell it was pretty hot! :)

Easter is such a great time to do so many fun and meaningful activities with your little ones. I love that it's such a wonderful time of year, just because it's the beginning of Springs, and that we get to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus! Instead of Easter just being about cute bunnies and colorful eggs, this year I wanted to start to teach Camden about the REAL meaning of Easter....along with doing lots of fun egg activites too. :) So here are some of the things I'll be doing with Camden this coming week to prepare for Easter.

The letter of the week that we're focusing on is "E e" for egg (and of course elephant, etc, but egg just fits in better this week!)

Monday- Letter recognition with finger tracing, along with some letter Ee worksheets to color and practice letter formation

Scissor practice-Draw a large Egg on white paper. Have child trace around egg with finger, marker, or whatever works. Then cut strips of paper in colorful "spring" colors. Then child snips at the strips to create little mis-shaped snip-squares, then glues the "snips" on the eggs to decorate it. (I did this on St. Patty's day with a shamrock, and Camden loved snipping the paper up and glueing it on the shamrock....great fine-motor skills and scissor work!)

Tuesday- Cooking activity: Eggs in a Nest (totally adapted from another recipe and then made it my own to go with this egg theme of mine!)
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 cups cereal (cherrios/corn flakes) chow mein noodles work best....
Jelly beans
Combine first 3 ingredients, then add cereal and mix to coat. Make balls, then make a "thumbprint" hole in the middle of the ball to shape into a "nest". Add jelly beans for the Eggs! CUTE!!! (can't wait to make these, then will post pics!!!)

Wednesday- Resurrection Eggs--a great way to tell about the "Easter Story"

Color sorting with Jelly Beans....matching the color of Jelly bean to plastic eggs.

Thursday- Color sorting with plastic egg halfs opened in a egg carton and small pom-poms. Using a tweezer, child pics up one pom-pom and puts it into the egg that matches the color of the pom-pom. (fine-motor skills, and color identification)

Friday- Dye Eggs!!! The best part of the week!!! We LOVE doing this!!!

All week we'll be reading Easter books from the library and talking about Jesus on the cross and His resurrection.

These are some great websites with tons of ideas for preschoolers:

DLTK's Printable Crafts

First School Preschool Activites and Crafts

Preschool Post--Bible Lessons

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What We've Been Up To

We've started our "garden"!! We planted our seed starters for our outside garden, but since the weather is pretty harsh here in CO, I figured I'd try to give my little seeds a head start. Where I'm from in ND, you just throw seeds in the ground and they grow......doesn't quite work like that here. You need to do a lot of preparation, and the soil doesn't work well for planting most veggies, so we're going to build up our own garden boxes, and hopefully that will help. It'll be an experiment anyway! :)

Soon I'll have to move the cucumbers to bigger "pots" because they germinated so fast! I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of different pots around the house until I can move them outside. YIKES!

Hmmm, what can I say about this little mess? Let's just say "someone" figured out that one of the door latches we put on our cupboards is broken. :)

This is the way I found him a day earlier, but obviously the next day he figured out how to actually open up the oatmeal. He thought it was fun! ***Note to self---Must FIX the cupboard latch!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I've had the Hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", floating around in my head and heart the past few days.....

Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see,
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord unto me.

God is so good and faithful. He continues to prove it over and over again in our lives. Our transition back into life as Americans has been relatively smooth, but of course with all transition, there have been some "stretching" times as well. Let's just say, we've been STRETCHED a whole lot in our finances the past few months, with getting settled back into a home and starting a new business. Don't get me wrong, we have been truly blessed with God providing all of our NEEDS, and I have learned a lot about how to spend wisely on our budget.

The one thing that I have been praying for is a second vehicle. We've been a 1 car family for about 2 1/2 yrs, but now that we're back in the states, and living in a suburban area, it's just MUCH more convenient to have 2 cars. Note I said CONVENIENT, not NECESSARY. Yes, it's a stretch for us to have just 1 car, but I've tried to be content with it....some days I've succeeded in being content....and others...well, let's just say I struggled with a bad attitude. But my heart's cry was just for a second car, that we wouldn't have to make payments on. So I knew, that I'd have to remain patient until we could save up and by a cheaper, older, car that met our needs for the time being.

I just had a feeling that God was going to take care of it. (I was just thinking we'd get a super great deal on a car.) But nope, not my amazing God and Father, He had other plans to blow that out of the water.

A friend of ours called us last Friday night, and said that they wanted to GIVE us their older Jeep. GIVE!!!! Like as in, NO MONEY!!! FREE!!!! They had been looking to upgrade and when they heard that we just had one car, they started praying about how they could help us, and confirmed that they should offer their Jeep to us.

Let's just say that we were (and are) blown away. We don't have it yet, because they are still looking for a replacement car, but we will soon be a 2 car family once again. And the best part.....God continued to show Himself faithful, and that He blew our socks off with how He provides for His children.

And that is why I am so incredibly Grateful today!!! Check out more Gratituesday posts HERE!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday-March 22nd

How in the world is it already the 22nd of March? It seems like the days and hours pass so slowly sometimes, but for some reason, the weeks and months are flying by. Here's my plan....we'll see how closely we stick to it....but at least I have a framework, and that brings me sanity. :)

Monday- We're on our own....Renato is gone tonight.

Tuesday- Build your own Chipotle Burrito (Pulled Beef, Cilantro Rice, Black Beans, Salsa, and Tortillas)

Wednesday- Caramel Apple Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Thursday- Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken, Rice

Friday- Homemade Pizza

Saturday- Brazilian Torta

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Go visit Organized Junkie for more Menu Plans!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Plan week March 15th

I'm looking forward to the new week. We have a great meal planned for friend's coming over Thursday night....YUMMMMMM!!! Then Saturday late afternoon I'm getting together with some friends and doing a Creative Cooking, Iron Chef type challenge, cooking/baking night. We have a common ingredient that we have to use in our recipe and then bring our ingredients with us and prepare our recipes together....and we keep our recipes a SECRET from each other, so we have NO IDEA what the other people are making until we get there! I'm so excited!! I'm sure there will be a lot of laughter, lots of chatting, and yummy food!!

Monday- Spaghetti with fresh Salad, Italian Cheese Bread

Tuesday- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings (LOVE this!)

Wednesday- Sliced Beef Steaks in Garlic Sauce, Rice, Beans, Broccoli

Thursday- Gyro-Style Lamb , Tabouleh, Pitas, Grape Juice.....We're having friends over for dinner and I CAN NOT wait to have this "Middle-Eastern" food night. YUMMY!!! (Actually Renato makes THE BEST Tabouleh EVER, so we won't follow this recipe, but I wanted to give an idea of what it is and how amazing it is!)

Friday- STILL haven't done Tuna Patty Melts....tonight's the night!! :)

Saturday- Pulled-Beef Sandwiches (from freezer!)

Sunday- Breakfast for dinner

Head on over to Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan for week March 8th

This is a very simple menu plan this week, which is a good thing. :)

Monday- Fresh Burrito Bar with Rice and Refried Beans

Tuesday- Baked Chicken, Garlic Pasta, Broccoli

Wednesday- BBQ Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Thursday- Spaghetti, Salad

Friday- I'm gone for a baby shower, so the boys get to eat that Frozen pasta dinner

Saturday- Tuna Melt Sandwiches, chips & salsa (never got to these last week)

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

As always, check out Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

OK, just stumbled upon this recipe and had to post it here. These look AMAZING....I may just go make these right now for an afternoon snack instead of breakfast. :)
French Breakfast Puffs.......mmmmmmmmm

Friday, March 5, 2010

Frugal Lacing Activity

Here's an idea I just came up with. I've been doing some homeschool activities with Camden just to keep him a bit more occupied then he would be normally. A great activity for preschoolers is lacing. I had looked in some stores and price checked some different lacing cards/activities online, and knew that I wanted to get some for Camden. He LOVES putting things into small holes/spaces, so I knew he'd love lacing. Well, I figured out a very cheap way to make my own lacing cards.

I just took a cheap paper plate, and drew on a shape. This week we're doing the letter Aa, so we've been doing a lot of apple activities. I drew a big apple onto the plate and cut it out. Then used a hole punch to punch holes around the trim of the apple. I used some markers to trace around the outside too, just to make sure it looked like an apple. :) I had Camden 1st color the apple. Then I used some yarn for lacing. (Make sure you put some tape around one end to make it harder, like a needle, and easier for poking through the hole.) I just tied it and knotted it, then had Camden lace through the holes in order. I was right, he LOVED it!

So my plan is to come up with some sort of a shape to do each week that goes along with the letter we're learning. I'm also planning on maybe using card-stock to cut out big Letter shapes, then have him lace around the letters too.

The apple we'll just use once, but you could just undo the lacing and the kids could do it over and over again....until it eventually falls apart. :)

Another thing he loves to do, along the same concept, is to make cereal necklaces. I do the same thing with the yarn, making a hard "needle" from taping around it, and at the other end making a bunch of knots. Then I just dump out a bunch of Cherrios (or whatever has holes), and he goes to town lacing through them to make a cereal necklace. Right now I'm just focusing on the fine motor skills, but soon I'll have him make color patterns with the cereal on the necklace too. And a fun snack for later! :)

So there's just a few fun, frugal activities your preschooler with love....well, mine did anyway. :) Check out more Frugal Friday ideas HERE!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr. Seuss's Birthday

I've been trying to do some homeschool activities with Camden, just for the sake of having an activity to do with him. Of course, he loves it, and I've had fun putting my Teaching Degree to use again. :)

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's Birthday. When I taught Kinder and 1st Grade, I always did fun activities that day. My first year of teaching (I'll refer to it as the teaching "year from Heaven"), where I taught at a VERY small school, in a VERY small town, and had a VERY small class of only 8 students, (See, told ya, HEAVEN!) I planned a whole week of activities, including making and eating Green Eggs and Ham. The local TV station even came out and did a story on it. ("Local" meaning, 50 miles away.) So I've always had fun celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday, and since Camden is old enough to enjoy it too, I decided to invite a friend over to help us celebrate.

We read Hop on Pop (because I couldn't find my Cat in the Hat book), and talked about Dr. Seuss a bit. Then we made Cat in the Hat hats!

Here are Ethan and Camden making their hats.

Here they are posing with their cute hats.

Then we read the book Green Eggs and Ham. So of course we had to make Green Eggs and try them!

Ethan was pretty sceptical about eating them. He kept saying, "I don't think I'm going to like them." So cute! Camden couldn't wait to eat his, and eventually, with a lot of coaxing, Ethan tried his too, and of course liked them! (Just like the book!)

Here's a "Works for me Wednesday" tip to make the GREEN eggs. Use a couple drops of BLUE food coloring, not green, because the scrambled eggs are yellow, so the yellow eggs plus the blue food coloring makes the eggs green. :) So you have a primary colors lesson thrown in with the fun of eating green eggs. :) And with St. Patrick's Day coming up soon, you could have Green Eggs to celebrate that day too!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan--March 1st.

Are you kidding me? It's March already? YIKES! OK, here goes another week. Nothing too exciting happening this week, except for Dr. Seuss's Birthday on the 2nd. (I know this because I was a 1st Gr. teacher for many years.) So we'll be doing some fun activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss and I'll post about it later. Have a blessed week!!!

Monday- Renato's out of town, so the boys and I will just scrape up what we can. :)

Tuesday- Broiled Steaks, Crash Hot Potatoes, Salad

Wednesday- Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup

Thursday- Crockpot-Cabbage Kielbasa Supper

Friday- Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Creamy Garlic Pasta, Salad

Saturday- Tuna Melt Hot Sandwiches, Chips and Salsa

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Check out Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

OK.....just saw this recipe and may have to substitute it sometime this week, or I'll wait till next week, but it looks like a keeper! Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Friday, February 26, 2010

Frugal Friday--Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans

If you happened to check out my menu plan and pantry challenge, you know I've inherited a large supply of beans....OK, a GIGANTIC amount of beans.....30 POUNDS!!! And as I stated before, thank goodness I lived in Brazil for awhile and learned how to make some very tasty beans, if I do say so myself. :) (My husband thinks so too, and that's pretty good because he IS Brazilian.)

Beans are a great source of protein, and of course VERY cheap...I mean FRUGAL. Ahem. Even though I got my beans free, I would still be buying them on a pretty regular basis, just because they are so frugal. (And because my huband grew up eating beans EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE...up until he married me. So he likes himself some beans!!) AND beans are super easy to make! They are a tasty side to go with just about anything. (That's the way Brazilians see it anyway.) :)

A friend then asked if I would post on how I make here goes!!!!

First, you need to spread out all the beans and pick out any "duds". Then rinse/wash beans.

Second, put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water, maybe an inch over the beans. Let soak overnight.

Third, cook up the beans! In the morning, you'll notice the beans have expanded, and soaked up most of the water. Put the beans in a big pot and again cover with water. (My husband measures everything in "fingers", so about 3 horizontal "fingers" of water over the beans.) :)

Fourth, boil beans. This is a LONG process of you don't have a pressure cooker. In Brazil it took only about 20 minutes to boil the beans with a pressure cooker, but if you just have a pot, depending on the amount of beans, it could take a long time. We cooked up about 8-10 cups of beans and it took over 2 hours of boiling.

Fifth, stir the beans periodically while boiling and add more water to keep it over the top of the beans. When the beans juice is darkening up and the beans are tender...they're done!

*****This is where I freeze the beans in smaller containers that are perfect for a meal at a time.*******

When you want to serve the beans with a meal, make sure you get them defrosted as much as possible beforehand. Use a medium sized pot, put in about 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (to cover the bottom). Heat up the olive oil and then add about 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.

Cook up the garlic for a few minutes, then add the defrosted beans. Also add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Add salt to taste. Then just boil/cook the beans until the juice thickens up a bit. DONE!!

You can also add any other spices to the beans that you like. My mother-in-law always cooks hers with onions too, but we don't eat onions. For example, last night we were eating a Mexican themed dinner, so I added some chopped green chillies and lime. They turned out great! Just serve over rice or as a side!! I also have blended them up and cooked them for re-fried beans. Much better then out of a can!!

I'm just so thankful I started eating beans a few years before I got married, or it would have been pretty hard to get used to "Brazilian Style" food!

So there you have a frugal and tasty way of eating your beans!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Oh my goodness. I am SOOOO incredibly glad I had enough sense to combine both Camden and Dawson's birthday's into ONE party. I was exhausted after it was all said and done, but it was super fun! As I've told others, since they're b-days are only 2 weeks apart, they're going to get "combined" party's until they are old enough to complain. (which I'm hoping is...ummm....NEVER!) I should be good for a couple years or so. :)

My parents were also able to come and visit the week before so that was great! The boys loved having Grandma and Papa around. (And they totally PACKED-OUT their van with stuff we had left in ND, so it was like Chirstmas all over again!)

Back to the party.....I didn't have any games or anything planned, knowing that the kids would be happy just playing. (And since most of the kids were boys, they did a lot of wrestling, screaming, and fighting over toys, but there was no blood least that I know of.) ;) Fun times people, fun times.

OF COURSE I had to make the cakes. (I still can't believe that decorating cakes is actually a stress-RELIEF to me....totally amazing.) Camden's was a Diego themed cake, although my colors were slightly more "Broncos" colored. Then I found a cute Teddy Bear cake for Dawson.

I totally know what you're thinking, and "YES, of course I'll make a cake for your next party!". No really, I would love to.... give me a call.

Of course we had to let Dawson eat his first taste of sugar and get messy. :) Although he didn't really like it very much and had more fun with his hands being sticky then with tasting the cake.

I think the coolest thing that we did was have Renato's family down in Brazil on video Skype to join in the celebration. We first sang Happy Birthday in English, then in Portuguese. And how cute is this.....Renato's mom invited the whole family over for cake so they could eat cake with us too. Isn't that just so sweet!?! :) I know that they really missed Camden that day for sure, since this was his first birthday that wasn't celebrated in Brazil.

And here's a picture with Grandma and Papa.

Camden wasn't so thrilled with the picture idea....ha!

For party favors, I bought plastic cups and wrote the kids' names on with puffy paint, then filled them with cheap, *ahem*, I mean FUN little trinkets.

And of course the gifts....oh the gifts. Let's just say that I'll be rationing the new toys a little at a time. The boys would go into complete "overload" with all the new stimulation. Ha! :)

It was such a great time and thank you to everyone who showed up in the yucky/icy weather to help us celebrate our boys! I can't believe they are 3 and 1!!! Thank you Lord for such healthy, loving, and amazing little boys. My life is so blessed!!!

Menu Plan Monday-Feb. 22nd

Whew! Last week was a whirl-wind! My parents were here, which is always great. Then we had a double b-day party for the boys on Sat. (pics and post to come....) So today I'm just trying to play catch-up....maybe all week I'll be playing catch-up, we'll see. :)

Monday: FINALLY doing the crockpot Chicken Spinach Soup (told you last week was nuts!)

Tuesday: Lamb, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie

Wednesday: Salmon in Red Pepper sauce, Cilantro Rice, Black Beans

Thursday: Chilli, homemade bread

Friday: Chicken Alfredo (free family frozen dinner....we'll see if it tastes good....I'm sure mine would be better, but's free!)

Saturday: BBQ Sandwiches (Sloppy Joes)

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner

Visit Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan for week Feb. 8th

Wow, we've got a busy week I hope that means I get some-sort of a break from a full week of dinner making. Yay! :) That's always exciting. :)

Monday- Super Bowl Leftovers.....Ha! (I'm so serious about this though...yikes!)

Tuesday- Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (I'm out for a Women's Night at church.)

Wednesday- Crockpot Soup: Chicken Spinach Soup

Thursday- Swiss steak with Mushroom sauce, Pasta with Alfredo sauce,

Friday- We have a dinner with our Church so I'll just prepare some basic Mac-N-Cheese or leftovers for the kids. Thanks for babysitting Laura!! :)

Saturday- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Sunday- Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon.... My parents are coming in for the week so we'll start them off with our famous Breakfast for Dinner menu. :) Although I'm sure my dad will want REAL bacon, not TURKEY bacon like we eat. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cute Kiddos!!!

Not too long ago we went to visit our good friends the Chu's in Castle Rock. The kids love playing and they had a great time playing "dress up" for winter. :) (And of course the adults LOVE to see each other too....even though it's hard to have an actual ongoing conversation with 5 kids (4 and under) to keep track of. It's always a bit chaotic! Ha!)

And since it's been a long time since I posted any pics of the boys and I'm sure the Grandparents and family are going a bit nuts, I thought I'd do a quick photo shoot this morning while the boys were still in their jammies. When they are in their cozy footie jammies, I just want to EAT THEM UP!!!!

It's amazing to me how close in size the boys are, considering they are 2 yrs. apart in age. We've got some strong, healthy, growing boys on our hands!! :) Thank you Lord!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get Your Kleenex's Ready

I just saw a friend post this on Facebook, and I wanted to share it here.

Jared Anderson, the awesome Christian Recording Artist, is a good friend of ours. (He actually sang at our wedding and we joked with him that he was the "Wedding Singer" that year because he sang at a BUNCH of weddings. He was such a good sport and such a blessing to many as he was super busy just starting his recording career and leading worship at our church. Thanks again Jared!) ANYWAY, he just wrote this song, Carry Me, and dedicated it to his neighbors who were involved with the Haiti Earthquake. I wish I knew how to post the video right on my blog, but I'm not that tech savvy. So please follow the link and listen to this annointed and amazing song.

Jared Anderson's-Carry Me

It's so heartbreaking looking at all the pictures from the devestation of Haiti. It kills me to see those precious little children suffering. But the One comfort we have is that God is in control, and that He loves those children more that we can even imagine.

As the media coverage is starting to fade away from Haiti, please don't let these images fade from your heart. Please continue to pray for all of the people effected by this disaster and for the country of Haiti.

I'm so grateful for all the miraculous stories that are coming out of Haiti, and of course heartbroken by all the stories of tragedy. But let's thank God together for amazing stories of LIFE and HOPE coming out of Haiti right now. Thank you Lord for these glimpses of HOPE!!!

There are more stories of gratitude over at Heavenly Homemakers GRATITUESDAY.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Menu Plan

Well, I've got 2 "extra" meals left over from last week that I didn't get to, so that's kinda nice. :) It's a pretty exciting week with the start of my Mommy Small group starting this week, which I'm super excited about. And of course, the Super Bowl...not that I care that much, but it's fun to watch anyway and it's a great excuse to eat "snacky" food for dinner!! Enjoy your week!!

Monday- Pasta, Fresh Salad, and "maybe" the bread sticks from last week....we'll see if I get them done

Tuesday- Crockpot Roast beef, Potatoes, Carrots (Prepare goodies for tomorrow's Mommy small group I'm hosting at my house, Pudding/choc.chip/Oatmeal cookies, and Granola Bars)

Wednesday- Corn Flakes Baked Chicken, Mac-N-Cheese, Fresh Salad

Thursday- Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Garlic and Parmesan Pasta, Fresh Salad

Friday- Salmon with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce, Rice, and Broccoli

Saturday- Baked Knoephla and Saurkraut

Sunday- Super Bowl Snacks, Tortilla Roll-ups, Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip, with chips and bread to dip! Check out more great Super Bowl Recipes at: The Finer Things in Life

I don't know when I'm going to make the Rice Krispy Roll, but I want to try it sometime this week. Rice Krispy Roll
Check out tons of great menu plans from Organized Junkie!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Obviously Don't Get Out Much

The other day I was having "one of those days". I had a wicked sinus headache, and I had to go to Walmart. Oy. AND I went to a Walmart I'm not familiar with so I ended up wandering around quite a bit trying to find what I needed. (Which didn't help with the sinus headache.) Double Oy. It also took me longer than expected so I didn't have time to run home to get my dinner made. So I called Renato on the way home to suggest we use the 2 free chicken burger coupons we had for Chik-fil-A for dinner. Great idea!!!

By the time we were ready to leave the house it was a little after 6pm. Camden was so excited to find out what the "surprise" was. (He LOVES Chik-fil-A.) We opened up the garage door and Camden was stunned. He said, "WOW. It's dark outside." Which kinda made me chuckle because he just doesn't get outside at night much to see when it's dark. We spend most of our time at home, and RARELY go outside the home in the evenings. So his observation was pretty cute.

When we got to Chik-fil-A, I took him out of the van and as we were walking in, he said, "Wow, I've never seen it like this before! Look at the moon!". I just giggled because he was just so amazed by seeing his favorite place all lit up in the night sky with the moon and stars in the background.

All this to say, yes I guess my children are a bit sheltered and don't get out much. But they sure do have an appreciation of the "little" things in life, that most of us don't even pay any attention to. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Chili

Tuesday- Swiss Chicken Casserole, Rice, Beans, Fresh Salad****The Swiss Chicken Casserole turned out great and VERY easy!!****

Wednesday- Turkey Noodle Soup (made with frozen turkey bones from 2 weeks ago)
Coconut Cream Pie ****This was the 1st time I ever made Coconut Cream pie, and I'm sorry it took me so long. This was AMAZING!!!! And so much easier than I thought it would be!!****

Thursday- Soft Shelled Beef Burritos with Rice and Beans

Friday- Crockpot Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots, Homemade Soft Pretzels

Saturday- Spaghetti, Bread Sticks

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eat from the Pantry Challenge-Week 3

Well, week 3 was a challenge, that's for sure. :) I didn't do as well as I did the past 2 weeks. Last week I spent a total of $41.67, which is right on target with my goal. Yay! This week I spent a total of $54.54. A bit over my goal of $40-$50 per week. This is where I shopped:

~Sunflower Market: $25.44 (they had great deals on fresh produce this week....and maybe I bought 2 bags of Kettle chips that were on sale and with my $1off coupon, paid $.79 for those weren't in my budget, but it's good to get a "treat" every now and then, right?) :)

~Walmart: $29.10

I don't necessarily think that we're eating any differently from our pantry than before...I'm just using up a bit of the stock pile I had. SO that means in February....or whenever I see a good deal, I'll need to stock up again.

I also think that I'm just getting a bit better at really making my Menu Plan from looking and KNOWING what I already have....which is a big step! Overall, I'm glad that I'm participating in the challenge and that I'm learning more about menu planning and sticking to a budget....or close to a budget anyway. :) How about you? Do you menu plan or try to stick to a budget for groceries? (It's always fun to see what other people do...and then get good ideas from them too.) :)

Check out and for more about the pantry challenge!