Friday, February 21, 2014

{Seven Quick Takes} iPhone Photos

— 1 —

What a week! I'm so glad it is finally Friday!  I have so much I had been hoping and planning to blog about - last week's baby shower, a State-by-State post that keeps getting postponed, an update on how our curriculum choices have been working out this year along with the few changes we've made, an updated "schedule", and a few other topics -  but our days have been filling up quickly leaving me very little computer time.  Wednesday we were in town all day for the required State testing all morning, four orthodontist appointments in the afternoon, and then a couple additional errands.


Snuggles had helped Bud get dressed and I didn't realize until I was buckling him in his car seat that he was wearing a pair of his sister's size 3 capris.  Whoops!  Our girls don't wear pants very often and someone must have put them in his drawer.  Oh well.  I don't think anyone noticed, though they were really short!



Captain is ahead of schedule and should be getting his braces off sometime this summer.  Two more of the children will need to start braces sometime within the next six months.  I guess they all inherited my teeth... Ranger will need full braces and Chiquita will need to start the first of (possibly) two phases. So thankful for dental insurance this year to help offset the cost!
  

— 2 —

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

 We've been talking about getting a bunk bed for the little boys for awhile.  In fact when I had that smoke scare a couple weeks ago I had my brother take down the light fixture so I could rearrange the bookshelves to make room for the bed when "someday" arrived.  I told Snuggles that afternoon that I would work on selling some books we no longer need and save that money to buy him a bed.  That was on Monday.  On Tuesday I had a notice from Paypal that I had received an affiliate payment of $129.42 from All About Learning!  (All About Reading and All About Spelling are such excellent programs!  THANK YOU to all who purchased from my links! Snuggles thanks you too!) On Wednesday I had a phone call from a friend of my mom's asking if we by any chance were looking for a bunk bed.   She was having lunch with a friend who had one to sell.  She was only asking $125 for the bunk bed (originally from Costco) and a like new Sealy twin mattress! The bed was only used occasionally by her grandchildren and she had recently converted the guest room into an office. What a blessing!  They even delivered it that afternoon!

 


— 3 —

 

As Sean and the boys were assembling the bunk bed we realized we needed a little hardware, so Sean and I turned the quick trip to town into a little date for the two of us.  After stopping at the hardware store and then JoAnn's for a few birthday party supplies, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant and shared steak fajitas.  Yum!! 

 

We've been trying to spend a little time together, just the two of us, each week and on St. Valentine's Day a friend kept all the children after the party and skating while we went out to our favorite Asian restaurant.   We split a delicious order of Bulgogi (chopped steak sautéed with veggies and mushrooms, which came with tempura vegetables and rice) and a sushi roll of some sort, though I did have to fight the hockey game for Sean's attention. ;) (Hockey at the Sushi Bar on Valentine's Day?)  Even though we split the meal, we still had leftovers for the boys! 


Last Monday, on President's Day we went to see the matinee showing of The Monuments Men (using $13 of a $25 Christmas gift card!) and then split an "Imperial Stout Burger with Pub Fries" on our way home.   We've found that splitting meals and just ordering water to drink makes these little dates much more affordable, which allows us to go out more often than in the past and not feel guilty for overspending. It is usually still plenty of food and has been such a treat! 


— 4 —


Hauling wood from the wood pile to the house.  
He does the same thing when he is washing dishes and stacking them in the drain board...


— 5 —


We've been having lots of steak, potatoes, and veggies lately!  We purchased a 1/2 beef in Nov 2012 and I finally ran out of ground beef this past November.  Since then I have been forcing myself to learn how to cook all the random packages of steak and roasts that had been hiding in the back of the freezer, before picking up this year's order.  


Snuggles was so excited when I mentioned that I had "bought 1/2 of a cow" and very disappointed when he found out that our 1/2 was not going to be alive.  It took the older boys a little while to convince him that cow=hamburger, though there was no denying it when we picked it up from the butcher on Wednesday afternoon. 


— 6 —


After spending most of this month's grocery budget on the cow and restocking the freezer, our Costco rebate checks came at a perfect time.  My total at Costco yesterday afternoon, after this year's rebates, was only $40.27!  As I said on Instagram, gone are the days of buying something fun with those checks, especially with teen/preteen boys in the house!

And, apparently, I stack groceries like Sean stacks wood! ;)
(I had already removed another box and 5 dozen eggs before letting go to snap the picture.)


— 7 —


We were up at 4:30 this morning, bathing a sick little boy and keeping a bucket nearby. Poor baby!
I think this is the first time he has had a stomach virus (other than the usual infant spitting up, etc) and he just doesn't understand what is going on.



This afternoon it was time for yet another bath and another load of laundry...  So thankful for the Cold and Flu Aromatherapy Bubble Bath (LOVE this stuff) that finally put a smile back on his face, and that so far he is the only one that is sick.  

 

Baby Shower Bonus: 


Rascal's Godmother is due next month and we had a baby shower for her last weekend!  I helped with a few of the decorations, a couple games, and one of the appetizers. Thankfully I had some help sorting all those M&M's!   It all turned out so cute and colorful! 


Today is the last day to enter the Jesse Tree Treasures giveaway.  Be sure to check back sometime this weekend for the next giveaway sponsored by Sew Many Booties!

For additional Quick Takes visit Conversion Diary.

22 comments:

  1. 2014-02-22

    We buy 1/2 a cow from my BIL each fall and I love knowing exactly where our beef has come from. We even get to "meet" the cows during the summer before they are butchered as my BIL raises them in a nearby state. Do you like to you use your slow cooker? My favorite pot roast recipe is a roast. -Marie

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    1. 2014-02-22

      This really is a great way to go for purchasing meat! I love that we are getting local organic grass fed beef at an affordable price! I didn't have a slow cooker for about a year (after the last one broke) and just got a new one in November! I do love it and it is what I used for the roasts. They were okay but I think I might have overcooked them... Do you have a favorite recipe?

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    2. 2014-02-22

      Ugh...I just reread my comment and realized I accidentally chopped off the recipe. It was supposed to say "my favorite pot roast recipe is a roast atop potatoes (I like to use the smaller red potatoes and quarter them as I think they get more tender) and some carrots. Then mix 2 packets of Lipton onion soup mix with 3/4 cup of water and pour over the roast. Put the cover on and cook on low for 8-10 hours (if thawed out ahead of time) or 4-6 hours on high (if frozen). This is actually the instructions off the back of the Lipton box and it has served us well over the years. But again, the times are just approximate, we have a meat thermometer and I just make sure the meat reaches at least 160 degrees. The resulting liquid is very nice poured over the rested roast and I don't thicken it for gravy, but you could do that if you wanted something thicker. I love using our slow cooker and probably use it for various types of meats at least 2-3 times a week.

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    3. 2014-02-22 04:06:10

      Thanks, Marie! Sounds delicious! I've never used Lipton onion soup mix, and have been making an extra effort to avoid msg with our oldest son's health issues. Have you ever tried making your own? I wonder how a recipe (copycat-lipton-onion-soup-mix-no-msg)like this one
      would work as a substitution? I've been using our crock-pot about once or twice a week, but really need to start using it more frequently. My biggest challenge with the beef is that I always forget to take it out to thaw! I love that your recipe includes instructions for cooking it frozen! :)

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    4. 2014-02-22 18:37:47

      I haven't tried making my own, but now you have inspired me! The recipe ingredients look similar to the onion soup mix, so I will have to give it a try. Here is another favorite in our house - using chicken. I am not sure if the cream soup has MSG in it, but I think there are substitutes out there that you could use. We are having this tonight, paired with green beans and popovers. http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/03/slow-cooker-swiss-chicken-recipe.html

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  2. 2014-02-22

    When I see those precious smiles I want to shower God in thanks for each of those precious children! The best masterpieces are people radiant with His love. Feel better soon sweet little Bud.

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    1. 2014-02-22 04:07:04

      Thank you, Cherise. It is so nice to hear from you! Hope you are doing well! <3

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  3. 2014-02-22

    I hope Bud is feeling better soon. It's great how well things worked out for you with the bunk bed. I love when things fall into place like that. I really like that picture of Rose

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  4. 2014-02-22

    Great post! I love all the pictures. It is so important to get out with our husbands, isn't it? And think how good it was that you got that time before everyone got sick! That bed is a steal!! If you hear of anything else that good, let me know! We need one too, lol... ever growing! I am also going to be looking into the baby bath! Hope everyone is better soon.

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    1. Yes it is! It's important to get out with friends every once in awhile too! I had so much fun visiting last weekend. Let's try and do it again soon! :)

      2014-02-22 04:28:34

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  5. 2014-02-22 04:06:10

    Great pictures! I'm amazed how organized you always are! That is amazing how you were able to save at Costco! Now tell me, how many M&Ms did the boys sneak while sorting?! :) One blog question - when I open your page (always on my cell phone), I no longer see your blog displayed in blog format, but rather as your website. Do you have any idea why? I find it easier to read in the blog format.... Thanks and God bless you and your lovely family Jessica!

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    1. 2014-02-22 04:19:32

      They had permission to "sneak" all the broken M&M's! :) Yes, I turned off the mobile template permissions this week, when I installed the new commenting system. For some reason if a comment is left through the mobile template it will override the new system. :( I have been searching for a solution, but haven't found one yet. I'll keep looking. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience!

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    2. It's fixed! I just found a way to enable the commenting system on mobile devices using the mobile template. :)

      2014-02-22 04:25:10

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    3. 2014-02-22 17:54:30

      Oh wonderful, thanks so much!

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  6. 2014-02-22 04:15:11

    My husband and I had a date last night. We went out for dinner and found at Chili's that they have a dinner plan for 2 for $35. It includes 2 margaritas, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees (you need to select from a particular menu area but the entrees they present are all delicious) and 1 dessert to split. We came out happy that our pocket books were lighter than what we thought they might be and we were not over stuffed :)

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  7. 2014-02-22 06:04:00

    I loved the comment from your son about the 1/2 cow! Loved just seeing the everyday life stuff today...our costco basket gets filled equally high.

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  8. 2014-02-22 13:23:16

    I just luv visiting with your family :) QT # 4, if I was your neighbour I would be calling out "watch your back eh"!!! ;) for roasts I used to just throw them into the crock pot with a sliced onion, sliced garlic cloves put into the meat, salt and pepper and let it cook away until it was cooked. (I dislike eating rare meat). when it was cooked I would make a gravy, slice up the meat put it all back into the crock pot to stay warm until supper.

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  9. 2014-02-22 19:19:07

    What beautiful photos...I make our pot roast much like TheresaEH. I just usually add broth, then when it's mostly done, I puree the onions and garlic to make the gravy. It's thick enough for us and no crazy chemicals or additives! Sometimes adding saute'd mushrooms is a treat, too! I hope your little one feels better! We use activated charcoal in our house to help prevent and stop the vomiting. Hopefully it'll pass without anyone else getting it.

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  10. 2014-02-22 20:14:44

    Delightful Pictures and captions..enjoyed reading all with my afternoon tea...hope precious boy feels better soon.... God Bless! Rosalie

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  11. 2014-02-22 23:22:14

    Lovely post. What did you think of The Monuments Men?

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  12. 2014-02-24 01:10:48

    First, I love the pictures you get of the kids together. I can never seem to get the hang of that. It's like photographing a flock of chickens! Second, we have those Robeez! Love them! My children can never wear anything but Robeez (or some other soft shoe) for the first couple of years, their feet are just too fat! Third, love Rose's dress, that is precious. Fourth, steak looks yum! I think that's it? lol

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  13. 2014-02-25 16:42:31

    What a great group pic! Looking forward to your curriculum and schedule posts!

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