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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Books I've Read: September 2014

The bottom book is a phonics/reading curriculum I'm planning on using next year, The Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading.  I read through the information in it, aside from the actual lessons, and it looks like a keeper!

Secrets Of A Successful Homeschool Mom by Jamie C. Martin.  I got this short ebook for free for subscribing to Simple Homeschool.  This was a quick read, but full of good advice and encouragement for just starting out to homeschool.  My favorite part was actually the Appendix, which gave a short description of each of the main homeschooling styles, all in one place, plus resources to read more about each one.  I will definitely be referring to that again to find more to read (you know, in all my spare time).

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.  I read a paper copy of this book from the library.  The theme of this book was that reading aloud to kids will save education.  The book was divided into two parts.  First was the "why", all the studies and reasons reading aloud is good, mixed in with interesting anecdotes.  My favorite story told how there used to be "readers" in cigar factories, whose entire job was to sit and read to the rest of the workers who were rolling cigars - anything from newspapers and magazines to novels.  This section was a good mix of facts and stories, and everything was backed up with end notes, if you wanted to see where the information came from.  Really really thorough.

The second part of the book was a bunch of lists of what the author deemed "good" read-aloud books for various age levels.  I actually didn't find this section as helpful as I expected to.  I wrote down a few suggestions, but overall I didn't necessarily find a lot for right now.  Maybe when my kids are a little bit older?  Since I agree with the idea that reading is really important, overall I thought this was a good book.

I also started reading Gone Girl and then went to renew my library copy and someone else had placed a hold on it. Bummer! So I'm back on the wait list for that again. The first sixty pages or so have me intrigued.

Book Total for this month: 2 books read. Total this year: 21 books read.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quick Project: Organizing Homeschool Supplies

Now that we've been doing school for about a month, I've been figuring out what works (and what doesn't), and what we need in terms of storage.  I also got some new baskets and bins for my birthday, so it was time to organize the homeschool supplies! First I gathered everything on our bed.  I like to gather things for projects here because it forces me to deal with them before I go to sleep...
I had started sorting some of the things out into the new colorful baskets already, so this actually only took about 20 minutes to get everything figured out.  Most of the bins and baskets found a home on top of my craft supplies (where hopefully Hannah won't be able to dig in them too much).
The big red bin holds my planning stuff, extra folders, and little workbooks.  Some of the file folders also have different categories of manipulatives in them, like laminated play doh mats, or letter disc mats.
Next to my laminator is the stack of bins.  The red one on top has some of my extras that I'm working on, as well as some extra school supplies like note cards.  Red is the color for "Mom's stuff", meaning the kids stay out of those ones.
Green has different manipulatives for learning letters, like our foam alpha builder blocks and the milk cap letters I made a few weeks ago to go with our disc mats.  Blue has math manipulatives, including some shape blocks and dry erase number tracing cards.
On the floor is a box of extra art supplies.  These are special supplies, so they stay in our bedroom.  We also have a large box of papers, markers, and crayons in the living room, which are always free access.  The bin with the white cover has all the paints.

Peeking into some of these pictures is the stack of library books.  I try to order books a week or so ahead of time for the letter we are studying, so I always have some for next week stacked up, and then a stack of the ones we're done with until the next library day.  That way we have current ones in the green bin in our living room.  These are the ones we pick from every day for reading time.
Now that everything is at least somewhat organized, we only have the everyday stuff on the dining room table, which is nice for me, since I prefer a cleared-off space.  That's just our calendar folders, my lesson plan binder, a Bible, our read-aloud book (currently James and the Giant Peach), and anything I've pulled out for that day.  Everything else is put away.

I think this organizing went so fast because I've been planning it out in my head for the past few weeks.  I'm glad to have a spot for everything!  What quick projects have you done lately?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I'm Reading...

We took our first homeschool field trip this week, to Lake Michigan, to finish up our science unit on oceans.  This is as close as we get.  The kids had lots of fun playing on the beach, which we had mostly to ourselves!

Your Resources For A Natural Health Season.  Links to lots of good posts with information on how to treat illnesses naturally.  Pinning this one for sure! (Kitchen Stewardship)

The Homeschooling "String Theory".  "Imagine that you are connected to your child with an invisible string.  When things are going well, you can let that string out..." (Simple Homeschool)

Christianity And Minimalism. This post got me at the line "I've been an aspiring minimalist for about seven years now" because I am very much an aspiring minimalist. The author went on to make several good points about how to live in a world of "stuff" as a Christian too.  (Holy Hen House)

15 Strategies For Eating Well And Avoiding Take-Out During Busy Seasons.  We are definitely in a busy season right now. (Keeper Of The Home via Life Your Way)

I Need To Stop Measuring Success By How Many Friends I Have.  I don't have a lot of real-life friends right now.  And I'm mostly okay with that.  But it's weird.  (Offbeat Home And Life)

When Your Day Is Hi-Jacked.  I've had several days like this recently.  What a perfect reminder to turn to God when the days get hard. (Kari Patterson via Simple Homeschool)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Homemade Granola: A Recipe Update

I first posted this recipe way back at the beginning of 2011, and it's time for a few updates.  This is still our family's favorite granola recipe, and I usually make a batch every other week or so.  Since then, I've tweaked the recipe a bit, although the basics are still more or less the same.  

  • 6 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts (we almost always use almonds, because they're the cheapest)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed (optional - this was in the original recipe, but we don't usually have it so I usually do without)
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 cup melted liquids* (see  below)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional - I leave this out a lot and can't really tell much of a difference)

*For the liquid part of the recipe, use any two of the following:

  • Melted butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Peanut butter
I usually do about half and half, and it truly is whatever we have at the moment.  Butter and honey is my go-to combination, but the others are also tasty, and each ones gives a slightly different variation on the flavor.

Directions: Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In microwave safe dish, melt liquid ingredients together.  Stir into dry ingredients until coated.  Pour onto two cookie sheets, and bake at 300 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so (once you get to 25 minutes, start checking every 5 minutes so it doesn't burn).

We love this granola and have it with yogurt for breakfast once a week, plus for snacks.  One of my recent favorite ways to eat it is with a handful of craisins and some milk, like cereal.  I think it tastes like Kashi GoLean Berry Crunch, one of my favorite kinds of cereal!  Only, you know, much cheaper...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weekly Coupon Shopping

I think I need to change the name of this post, because coupon shopping is not so much a weekly thing any more.  I still use the occasional coupon when it's something we're buying anyways, but the massive deal shopping I used to do has become pretty much a thing of the past.  The reality is that most of that stuff was extra.  It was fun, we used it or ate it, but it was extra.  So it doesn't happen too often any more.  Still, I do occasionally find deals on things we need.

 I bought a few other things on this trip for school, but I got two packs of diapers, since we'll be spending a few days out of the house in about a week and a half and we don't do cloth diapers away from home.

I went to CVS this week solely to spend some of my birthday money on coffee.  Because I could. And it was definitely a good deal! Coffee is my favorite thing to splurge on.

  • 2 Starbucks Frappuccino 4-packs: $4.99 each.  Used $4/2 printable = paid $2.99 each.
  • 2 Starbucks Iced Coffees: 1 free with each 4-pack purchased, will get $1 SavingStar deposit back.
  • 1 Starbucks Refresher: $1.50, get $1.50ECBs.  Used $1/1 printable = paid $0.50, got $1.50ECBs.
  • Used $3ECBs from previous trip = paid $3.56, got $1.50ECBs and I'll get $1 SavingStar.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How I Menu Plan

I have been doing some form of menu planning ever since we got married, a little over seven years ago.  But my menu planning has evolved quite a bit since those days (think a list of three or so "helper" dinners, split between beef and chicken, with a random recipe thrown in).  Here's what I do now.  This might seem complicated, and it kind of is, but I know myself enough to know that if I don't write everything down, I'll miss something or forget to buy something, so this is what works for me right now.

The first thing I do is figure out the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners we will be eating for half of a month (the top half of the page above).  While I'm doing this, I check out our family calendar so I know if we have any appointments or special plans that might affect the food prep for the day.  Like Sunday lunches, for instance.  I know that we don't get home from church until lunch time, so I usually plan leftovers or sandwiches, or I know we'll end up going out to eat because the food isn't already done.

Once the meals are filled in, I list some of the repeated ingredients at the bottom of the page, and the amounts needed for each recipe they appear in.  This is the most recent addition to the menu plan, and it has helped me a ton in making sure we don't run out of eggs or cheese especially, but also all the other ingredients. It also lets me know if I'm going to end up using too much of a pricier ingredient, so I can adjust the menu if I need to.

After I list the repeated ingredients, I use another page to do my weekly prep lists.  This list is all the veggies I need to chop for each meal, meats to portion out, and extras to make, like granola or birthday cake.  Anything with a star next to it means something I can do right away and freeze.  I love this method of freezer cooking, because it means 2 hours or so of work in the first couple days, and a lot of "dump and cook" meals later on.

The third page of my menu plan, which I didn't take a picture of, is the actual shopping list.  I divide it into sections like the store - produce, meat, dairy, etc.  I copy the totals from my repeated ingredients section, and then add everything else I'll need.  We almost always have a second smaller grocery trip about a week in to get some of the fresh produce and eggs, so I write that down right away too.

It's complicated, yes.  It's not fancy and electronic, but I'm definitely a pen and paper list girl.  But this is what works for me.  It means we have food for every day planned out, plus the same rotation of snacks we usually have around.  It means I know what has to be done, and when.  And it saves my sanity when I can't remember where I put my shoes, much less how much cheese is supposed to be in tonight's dinner.

How do you menu plan?

Iron Craft Challenge #19: UFO

This is the challenge I have been waiting for: the unfinished object challenge.  My nesting pregnant brain of course immediately thought of about seven different things I could be working on, but I thought it was only fitting to finish the unfinished Iron Craft project from way back in January, challenge #2.

Behold, the finally finished plastic canvas magazine holder!  Even with working on this project for the past week or so, I still didn't quite finish it by the deadline of yesterday for the challenge.

But after spending all day yesterday celebrating my oldest's fifth birthday, I was tired.  So I finished it this afternoon.  All told, this project probably took me 40 hours.  That's crazy.  Most of it was while I was either watching tv at night with my husband, or, in the case of this week, listening to several hour-long online seminars about various aspects of healthy living.  Those came with an ebook bundle I bought last fall, and they were from January-February of this year.  I guess that's another unfinished project checked off the list?
The magazine holder isn't quite as sturdy as I had hoped, but my magazines are also all wonky because they've been shoved all folded together in a tiny nook under my side table, so I'm hoping that as I get more recent issues, that problem will fix itself.  The magazine holder fits nicely next to our library book bin in the living room.

Now to continue to work on my knitted blanket (in the red bag in the picture above), which I started when Matthew was still in my belly (he's three).  A crafter's work is never done!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What I'm Reading...

We had some excitement this week, when the wood cabinet warehouse across the street caught fire.  The boys were thrilled to watch several fire trucks come to put the fire out.  Luckily, no one was hurt!

I actually didn't get a lot of blog reading done this week.  Between school, food prep, and a wedding this weekend, I just ran out of time.  Still, there were a few good ones that I managed to find.

Use For Apple Peels.  This might come in handy if we end up going apple picking.  I'd like to do that and make a bunch of applesauce.  Now I have something to do with the peels too! (Little House Living)

Why Memorize Scripture? I know the point of this post was about memorizing Bible passages, which is awesome, but all the talk about memorized piano pieces from years ago made me happy too. (Holy Hen House)

3 Things To Declutter When You're Finished Decluttering. Good advice for if and when I ever feel done...(Organizing Junkie)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Using The Dishwasher Helped Me Change My Perspective

I have had a dishwasher for the past two years.  Before last week, I could count on one hand the number of times I actually used said dishwasher.  And before you think I'm crazy, I'll add a little bit more.  Doing the dishes is one of my least favorite chores, second only to cleaning bathrooms.

So why didn't I use the dishwasher more often?  I think a lot of it is that my mom, who likes doing dishes, rarely uses hers.  I grew very accustomed to seeing her finish dinner and go right into doing the dishes, so that's what I've always done.  And for a long time, there weren't that many dishes, so I figured it would be just as easy to wash them by hand.

But slowly, we started going from a small sink full of dishes to overflow on the counters and stove, to the point where I was washing dishes twice a day just to keep up.  Not fun.

I've felt really busy lately, like I have way more to do than I have time.  And Elizabeth isn't even born yet.  I know how life with a newborn is.  I can only imagine what life with a newborn and three other kids will be.  Plus homeschooling, cooking food, cleaning occasionally, and keeping up with church activities.  There's already too much on my plate.  My metaphorical plate of course.  Never mind the one in the sink.

I knew something needed to go.  So I started to evaluate.  I can't give up playing organ; I'm the only person who plays.  I can't stop cooking food; my family might revolt after about three hours.  I needed to save some time.  And so, as I was scrubbing yet another pot at the sink, it hit me.  Use the dishwasher.

Does it magically take all my busy-ness and stress away?  No. Not even close.  But aside from the rinsing and loading, which I don't mind that much, it saves me time.  It's one less thing I have to worry about.  And as a bonus, by loading dishes after every meal, I don't have cluttered counters or an overflowing sink.  Visual clutter gets to me, so anything that helps with that is wonderful.

I still have to hand wash a few things at the end of the day.  But what once took a long time now only takes a few minutes.  So this has me thinking: what other things have I been doing differently than I need to?  Where else can I save myself time and sanity? Just because I've always done things one way, doesn't mean I need to keep doing them.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quick Project: Organizing My Side Table

One area of our house that I have claimed as my own is this side table next to the couch.  It's kind of my command center for hobbies, devotions, homeschool planning, and whatnot.  And it was kind of a mess.

Here's how it looked a few weeks ago.  Pretty typical, stacks of books and stuff, with overflow onto the couch.

In the middle, a week or so later, not much had changed, except a few of the books got switched out for new ones.  Also, my devotion book always ends up near the bottom of the stack, which is a minor annoyance when I want to pull it out at night.  And I usually knock some of the books down when I turn the light on.  One of the big rules of organizing is to look at how things work well (or don't) and fix the problems.

Okay, so not too much has changed.  But I put away some of the extra stuff, got my book stack down to one pile of to-be-read books, and my devotion book has its own spot so I shouldn't run into issues there any more!  Also, my red bag on the floor, which keeps migrating slowly around the table in these pictures, is a blanket that I'm knitting.  I work on that at night while Jesse and I watch random tv shows on Amazon (currently watching season 2 of The Wire, which is not as good as season 1).

And the green bin is library books that fit with our homeschool studies for the week.  More about that in a post later this week!  What quick organizing projects have you done lately?

Menu Plan September 16-30

I went shopping on Sunday afternoon.  It was nice, because I got the luxury of going by myself, but it was crazy hectic, because everyone shops on the weekends.  I like shopping on weekday mornings much better.  The good news is that I'm on track to be under budget this month!  Yay!  I haven't been for the past few months, but I've been very intentional about it this month and it's working.

Tuesday, September 16
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: BLTs (we have these a lot during tomato season because they're so good!)
Dinner: Gluten Free Spaghetti

Wednesday, September 17
Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Cobb Salads
Dinner: Crockpot Ham and Bean Soup, Baking Powder Biscuits

Thursday, September 18
Breakfast: Yogurt and Homemade Granola
Lunch: Cobb Salads
Dinner: Leftover Ham and Bean Soup and Biscuits

Friday, September 19
Breakfast: Winter Squash Hash and Eggs
Lunch: Chicken Enchilada Chili
Dinner: Oatmeal Pancakes

Saturday, September 20
Breakfast: Leftover Squash Hash and Eggs
Lunch: Leftover Chicken Enchilada Chili
Dinner: Crockpot Beef and Broccoli

Sunday, September 21
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftover Beef and Broccoli
Dinner: Pinto Bean and Ground Turkey Taco Salads

Monday, September 22
Breakfast: Eggs and Sweet Potatoes
Lunch: Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions, served over rice
Dinner: Taco Salads

Tuesday, September 23 (Jonah's 5th birthday!)
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Leftover Italian sausage
Dinner: Fried Chicken (from the grocery store deli), Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (with gluten free pasta), and Chocolate Cake, at the birthday boy's request

Wednesday, September 24
Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Baked Potatoes with Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers

Thursday, September 25
Breakfast: Yogurt and Homemade Granola
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Apples, Carrots
Dinner: Black Bean Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries

Friday, September 26
Breakfast: Zucchini Apple Carrot Muffins
Lunch: Pizza Smashers (pizza sauce, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and cheese between 2 slices of bread in our sandwich press)
Dinner: Chicken Fajitas, Refried Beans (from the freezer)

Saturday, September 27
Breakfast: Leftover Zucchini Apple Carrot Muffins
Lunch: Refried Bean and Cheese Tortillas, Apples, Baby Carrots
Dinner: Crockpot Jambalaya

Sunday, September 28
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Leftover Jambalaya

Monday, September 29
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Chicken Barley Soup, Biscuits
Dinner: Fish Fillets, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday, September 30
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Leftover Chicken Barley Soup and Biscuits
Dinner: Planned Dinner Out

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What I'm Reading...

It's been a busy, busy week for us.  We had our normal school and daily routines, along with my birthday on Thursday, lunch with friends on Friday, and a few extra meetings and errands to top it off.  Combined with some growing pains with Jonah about having school time before playing, I'm kind of glad the week is done!  Here's what I found to read this week...

Ten Strategies For Staying Motivated Toward Your Financial (And Other) Goals.  These are all really good tips. (The Simple Dollar)

Nursery Decorating Tips From A Mom Who's Done With Babies.  My favorite was the tip about the floors.  You don't realize how much time you spend there until you actually have the kids. (The Happiest Home)

Can Children Still Run Free In 2014.  I think the answer is no."What does it mean about our culture when I am more worried about whether something bad will happen to ME (for letting them go to play unsupervised) than I am about whether something bad will happen to my children?" (The Art Of Simple)

7 Important Things Slate Misses In Its Attack On Home-Cooked Meals.  There's a nice Luther quotation in here that I hadn't heard before, but it describes the role of serving your family really well.  And overall a really good response to an article that I just can't relate to at all. (The Federalist via Life Your Way)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What I'm Reading...

This week we started school!  The boys were very excited to see what I was doing the night before, when I started hanging a few things up.

Two Questions You Need To Ask If You Want To Make The Most Of Your Life. Basic, but good. (Money Saving Mom)

The Four Stages Of Financial Independence.  This reminded me a lot of Dave Ramsey. (The Simple Dollar)

Starting The Year Right. A good reminder for the start of the school year. (Simple Homeschool)

How To Homeschool With Little People In The House.  We're still working on this one.  Sometimes they want to be included, sometimes they want to be distractions. (Vita Familiae via Simple Homeschool)

Our Year Without Groceries.  This sounds really cool! You would definitely need an ample supply of local sources though. (Let's Gather via Money Saving Mom)

When You're Tired Of Being A Stuff Manager And Want To Enjoy Living. I like the description of being a "stuff manager". (A Holy Experience via Organizing Junkie)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September Goals

With school starting this week, and a lot of other things popping up to take care of, I've had a goals list in my head, but not typed up.  And with how scatter-brained this pregnancy is making me, I should really get my goals written out before I forget them all...


  • Figure out a good order for homeschooling subjects.  We've tried a couple different ways, and there are some subjects that are more of a "fun" time or "break" time than others, so I'm trying to alternate those with the more structured ones.
  • Continue to teach Hannah to use a spoon.  Slow going with this one...
  • Make sure to spend some one on one time with Matthew.  Between Jonah getting school time and Hannah making sure she as the youngest gets her own "mom time", Matthew sometimes gets left out.
  • Read three books for fun.  After all the reading I did this summer, three might be an ambitious number unless I really focus on setting aside time for it.
  • Clear whatever doesn't sell on the garage sale sites out of our bedroom by the end of the month.  I can only trip over the pile for so long.
  • Stay on budget!  The first half of the month is looking pretty good so far.
  • Decide what foods to compromise on and how to do it.  I've been making things like tortillas and crackers from scratch the past few weeks, and I appreciate the cost savings and the health factor, but it takes time.  It makes messes.  It's not exactly fun, especially with everything else I have going on.  So I need to figure out what is going to stay part of the food routine and what is going to have to wait for now, especially with Elizabeth coming soon.
  • Find a good homemade specialty coffee recipe.  I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to coffees and drinks, and I want to try several to see what's yummy and what's not so good.

Friday, September 5, 2014

On The First Week Of Homeschool

We did it.  We made it through the first week of homeschooling.  And I have mixed feelings.

I want to be more excited than I am.  In my mind, we were going to spend a minimum of 3 hours each day learning.  Jonah would happily go from subject to subject, completing all of his work, asking questions, and wanting to learn more.  I know, I know, that was all very silly of me, but sometimes I get so carried away with my plans of how things are going to be that I forget that reality rarely follows plans.

The first day we finished our lessons after just over 2 hours.  I asked some of my homeschooling friends, is this right?  Should we be done already?  Did I miss something?  2 hours is fine, they said.  You're still learning throughout the day, even if it's not as structured as that specific time you sit down and call it homeschooling.  Besides, it's kindergarten.  Most of the learning happens just from living life.

Jonah was not as curious or as excited as I expected either.  He did the work, some of it begrudgingly, and tried to get out of some of the things he didn't like as much.  "Maybe I'll just finish this later, Mom."  I let him get away with that, once.  I don't want to push too hard and make him dislike the things he already dislikes even more.  But the work still needs to be done.

I forgot math today.  We got through the rest of the subjects, and later on, while I was at a doctor appointment, I realized we skipped math.  The one subject Jonah is the best at and is flying through, and makes him feel super smart right now, and we skipped it.

The kids have always loved doing projects, and we had two days this week with projects that involved painting.  Yes, painting.  With a three year old and a four year old, while the one year old runs around trying to grab things off the table.  I don't know why I did that to myself this first week.  Maybe because I thought it would be fun for the kids and that would be worth it.  They lasted for two minutes the first day.  The second day they made it seven minutes.  That's less time than setup and cleanup took me.

All this to say, the first week had its challenges.  But we also had good moments.  Jonah can count to 30 with no problem.  He can hold a writing utensil correctly now, something I thought was going to take weeks if not longer to correct.  The kids love to read.  They know the first 12 books of the Bible by heart.  Jonah can remember the basic plot from our chapter book from day to day.

These are the successes I'm holding onto.  This is not going to be easy.  I'm still figuring out how to include teaching and preparing in my day to day life, along with all the other household things.  Most days I feel like there's not enough time for everything I want to do, and I have to remind myself that my free time doesn't always win.  It doesn't always lose either, though.

We are learning the balance, bit by bit.  Who knows what we will learn next week?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Menu Plan September 1-15

I made these Vanilla Cheesecake Baked Apples (and pears too, in my case). They were delicious! I may have eaten the entire plate by myself in one sitting...

This past week I also attempted to make tortillas for the first time using this recipe.  It actually went pretty well, and I plan on continuing to do that when we need tortillas, since it's pretty easy and a lot cheaper than buying a pack from the store (plus the ingredients list is a lot shorter!).

Here's the plan for the first part of September.

Monday, September 1
Breakfast: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and Apple Zucchini Muffins (made with all oat flour so they're gluten free)
Lunch: Leftover Mushroom Barley Soup and Biscuits
Dinner: Black Bean Taco Salads

Tuesday, September 2
Breakfast: Leftover Zucchini Muffins
Lunch: BLTs
Dinner: Black Bean Taco Salads

Wednesday, September 3
Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Homemade Mac and Cheese
Dinner: Chicken Pepper Bake

Thursday, September 4
Breakfast: Yogurt and Homemade Granola
Lunch: Turkey Bacon Wraps
Dinner: Coconut Chicken Soup

Friday, September 5
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Turkey Bacon Wraps
Dinner: Coconut Chicken Soup

Saturday, September 6
Breakfast: Eggs and Sweet Potatoes
Lunch: Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions over Rice
Dinner: Oatmeal Pancakes

Sunday, September 7
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftover Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions over Rice
Dinner: Chicken Fajitas, Crockpot Refried Beans

Monday, September 8
Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon
Lunch: Taco Soup, Tortilla Strips
Dinner: Chicken Pasta with Peas (using gluten free pasta)

Tuesday, September 9
Breakfast: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftover Taco Soup and Tortilla Strips
Dinner: Cobb Salads

Wednesday, September 10
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: BLTs
Dinner: Cobb Salads

Thursday, September 11 - my birthday!
Breakfast: Yogurt and Homemade Granola
Lunch: Chicken, Black Bean, and Mexi Rice Bowls
Dinner: Cheeseburgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Black Bean Brownies with Frosting

Friday, September 12
Breakfast: Southwest Frittata
Lunch: Leftover Rice Bowls
Dinner: Chili

Saturday, September 13
Breakfast: Southwest Frittata
Lunch: Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes
Dinner: 7 Layer Casserole

Sunday, September 14
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftover 7 Layer Casserole
Dinner: Chili

Monday, September 15
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Sandwiches, Soups from the Freezer
Dinner: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on Biscuits

I took a look at all of the recipes we've eaten lately (plus a few we'd forgotten about) and tried to find the cheapest ones that still fit with our diet nowadays (aka gluten free or gluten free adaptable, lots of veggies and protein).  Since we're trying to save money, I'm really trying to stick with my grocery budget, something I haven't done very well with the past few months.  We'll see how this month goes, but so far we're on track!

I'm linking to Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

August Goals Update

My goals were very school-oriented this month, and I managed to get everything ready in time to start!

  • Start teaching Hannah how to eat with utensils. We've started, and she's willing to use them when I feed her, but she has no interest in picking them up herself.  
  • Get rid of Hannah's pacifier. Done!
  • Continue weekly library trips. We go every Thursday afternoon!
  • Plan my first 3 Science Units. I planned my first unit, which will take us through September.  I haven't planned anything beyond that yet, but I do have other unit ideas and resources saved. It's just a matter of putting it into my weekly lesson plans.
  • Order my math curriculum and plan the first two months.  I opted to use the free math resources through Wittenberg Academy, and I have the first month planned out.
  • Plan A through D in Letter of the Week. Done! I'm excited to see which activities Jonah likes best.