Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Better late than never, right?

Monday
Cereal, yogurt
Pizza, salad, fruit
Leftovers

Tuesday
Oatmeal, fruit
Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday
Muffins, yogurt
BBQ chicken pizza, salad
Spinach artichoke ring, veggies

Thursday
Scrambled eggs, toast, fruit
PB&J's, crackers, salad
Leftovers

Friday
Cereal, fruit
Soup, PB-stuffed celery, crackers
London broil, baked potatoes, veggies, rolls

Lisa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A brief internet break

I am back after a brief break from the internet. It was involuntary, because our internet went down after someone from the cable company came and buried the cable line (it was installed in the winter, so they had to wait until the ground was thawed to bury it). Then, we had to wait 2 days to get an appointment for someone to come back out here to fix the mistake.

It was actually kind of nice being internet-free for a couple of days! I got so much done around here. I am supposed to be working on the master bedroom and bathroom this week. I did get them cleaned, and since I pretty much got them de-cluttered last month, I decided to go back to work on the older boys' room. I got it completely done yesterday, including the closet! We have FIVE garbage bags full of stuff to give away and we ended up using an entire garbage bag for the stuff we needed to throw away. It feels SO nice to have that done!

I started on the baby's room today. Since we got rid of so many toys from the older boys' room, they had a whole toy rack (the rack that you put the different colored containers in) that was going unused, so I moved that into the baby's room, as we were still using bins for his toys. When Isaac wakes up from his nap, I will go in there and finish up his room and get started on his closet. Since we have Awana today, I probably won't finish it, but who knows? It's definitely not as bad as the one I did yesterday. We'll see. ;)

We also sorted through all of our board games and puzzles today and managed to fill 2 bins to get rid of. So, yes, our house is losing some weight! :D I am just amazed that with all the de-cluttering we did before we moved, we are still getting rid of this much stuff. Hubby's also going to go through our shed sometime within the next couple of weeks and de-clutter in there. So, we will have a LOT of stuff to bring to wherever hubby decides to drop it off. :)

I will probably be taking some of these breaks more often!

Lisa

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekly Cleaning Rotation

My weekly cleaning schedule is one of those things I picked up from flylady.net that I keep in my routines. Every month, I follow the same cleaning rotation:

Week 1: Front hall, dining room, and yard
Week 2: Kitchen
Week 3: Main bathroom and one other room (which I rotate the older boys' room, the baby's room, and the laundry room)
Week 4: Master bedroom and bathroom
Week 5: Living room

The one thing I don't follow from Flylady is that I do detail cleaning in each area, even if it's not totally de-cluttered yet. Clutter bothers me, but leaving things dirty/unclean bothers me even more. So I basically make sure the area is picked up, give it a good cleaning, then de-clutter here and there as I feel like it.

I also do the "Home Blessing" every week, although I have modified that to fit my needs as well. I don't necessarily have a set day every week for it, I just fit things in where I can, and as needed...sometimes I need to do certain things more than once. Here are the components of my "Home Blessing," which is the weekly cleaning that stays consistent every week, all month long:

Change sheets (I do mine & hubby's bed and Isaac's crib; the boys do their own)
Dust (yes, I have Flylady's feather dusters, bought them quite a few years back and I *love* them!)
Glass-I run around with the bottle of glass cleaner and a rag and clean any glass surfaces that need it, including windows and mirrors. This doesn't take very long if I'm keeping up on it and am only doing spot cleaning.
Vacuum carpets
Mop floors (the sweeping is done daily)

Most of the time, this will not get all done at once, or even all in the same day. Although I do like to try to keep the dusting and glass cleaning together, and vacuuming and mopping together, if time allows. If not, oh well! I've learned in the past, I am not the type of person who can stick to a list strictly, even though I *do* need those lists! At least for awhile. I tend to rely more on just *knowing* my routines, and I'm more of a do-it-as-you-see-it-needs-it kind of person. It works for us! And it helps to train my kids to listen more to me, instead of them getting too used to a strict schedule and then saying, "But Mo-om, we NEVER do this thing on this day at this time!" when I need to change things a bit.

Lisa

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Morning Routine

Wake up, get dressed (have the older boys get dressed while I am), fix hair and makeup
Make bed and pick up bedroom (have the older boys do the same in their room)
Pick up bathroom and do a swish & swipe (have Vincent do the same in the main bathroom)
Vincent unloads the dishwasher while I do laundry
We all pick up the house together
Vincent gets breakfast for himself and Andrew while I get Isaac up, changed, and fed
I eat breakfast and check email and such while the boys play
A little play time with the boys...if it's nice we may go outside for some fresh air and exercise
Isaac will usually go down for his morning nap (I am so thankful he still takes these!)
If hubby's working during the day (most times he's not), we do school at this time
If he's not working like most days, we just do whatever we end up doing.

And of course, this all goes easier and faster if we completed our evening routine the night before, especially the dishes and laundry part. If dishes were not done the night before, we easily tack on another half hour--at least!--to our morning schedule.

Lisa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Evening Routine

I thought I'd start by posting one of the most important routines of my day, in keeping my home.

This starts after dinner and a time of relaxing a bit. Baths don't happen every day, but I've put them into their normal spot on the days they do happen.

Load dishwasher and start-Vincent
Wash dishes that don't go in the dishwasher-Mom & Vincent
Pick up kitchen-Mom
Pick up dining room-Vincent
Sweep kitchen & dining room-Vincent
Keep laundry going if necessary-Mom or Vincent
Make sure Isaac's room is cleaned up and everything is put back-Mom, Vincent, Andrew
Isaac's bath-Mom, but Vincent and Andrew help sometimes
Feed Isaac-Mom usually does his bedtime bottle
Put Isaac to bed
Andrew's bath-Mom helps, although he can mostly do this on his own
Make sure Vincent's and Andrew's room is cleaned up and everything is put back-Vincent while Mom is helping with Andrew's bath
Vincent also gets his bath stuff ready so he doesn't have to go in his room while Andrew's trying to fall asleep
Bedtime prayers
Andrew goes to bed-Mom tucks him in
Vincent takes his bath
Go through the rest of house and make sure everything is picked up and put away, and for the most part clean-Mom and Vincent (he joins in after his bath on bath nights)
Mom and Vincent relax for awhile while we wait for Andrew to drift off. If Vincent tries going to bed before Andrew is asleep, Andrew will start talking away. So for now, we just wait until he's asleep, then Vincent goes in to bed.
This is when I usually check email and do online stuff, if I didn't do it after Andrew went to bed. I also pull out my bible and read along while I listen out loud on BibleGateway. For some reason with me, I have found that I retain what I read more than when I just read or just listen. So, I do both. A lot of times I'll read until Nick comes home, either the bible, or another book I'm reading...but I always try and get some bible reading in first. I also have a flashlight in my nightstand that I use to read before I go to sleep if I have energy to stay up a little longer. Usually I'll read until I fall asleep, hence the flashlight. That way, I don't have to get up to turn the light off (we don't have lamps in our room...yet). I'll usually wake up, turn off the flashlight, put it and my bible down, and go back to sleep.

Sound like a lot? Well, it does get a lot done. I definitely like having the house all ready when I get up in the morning. But in reality, once you get used to doing it, and especially if you get the kids involved (I think this is key!), it doesn't take long at all! On non-bath night, I would say 45 minutes, from the time I start the routine, until the time I put Andrew to bed. And that includes putting 2 kids to bed at separate times and a feeding for the baby.

So, that's our evening routine.

Lisa

Starting Over

Just starting a new blog...coming over from Xanga. I like that I have a lot more options here at blogger without paying for "premium."

Lisa

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally, a morning routine!

Well, we have been doing pretty good on our evening routine, so I started integrating a morning routine for our family as well.

Wake up, get dressed (have the older boys get dressed while I am), fix hair and makeup
Make bed and pick up bedroom (have the older boys do the same in their room)
Pick up bathroom and do a swish & swipe (have Vincent do the same in the main bathroom)
Vincent unloads the dishwasher while I do laundry
We all pick up the house together
Vincent gets breakfast for himself and Andrew while I get Isaac up, changed, and fed
I eat breakfast and check email and such while the boys play
A little play time with the boys...if it's nice we may go outside for some fresh air and exercise
Isaac will usually go down for his morning nap (I am so thankful he still takes these!)
If hubby's working during the day (most times he's not), we do school at this time
If he's not working like most days, we just do whatever we end up doing. 

And of course, this all goes easier and faster if we completed our evening routine the night before, especially the dishes and laundry part.  If dishes were not done the night before, we easily tack on another half hour--at least!--to our morning schedule.

That's it, so far.  It may get tweaked here and there, but for now, it works well!  Next, we will be working on our weekly stuff. 

Menu plan Monday

Menus for the week of 4/13/09

Monday:
Cereal, yogurt
Turkey sandwiches, chips, leftover tuna salad
Homemade chicken nuggets (from the freezer), mac n cheese, salad

Tuesday:
Scrambled eggs, toast
Salmon patties, raw baby carrots, crackers
Leftovers

Wednesday:
Muffins, yogurt, fruit
PB&J's, soup, crackers
Sweet & sour kielbasa, rice, salad

Thursday:
Oatmeal, fruit
Ants on a log, crackers
Leftovers

Friday:
Cereal, yogurt (or fruit if there's no yogurt left)
Toast pizza, salad or baby carrots
Stuffed chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, veggies, rolls

Monday, April 6, 2009

Menu plan Monday

Menus for the week of 4/6/09

Monday:
Cereal, yogurt
Leftovers
Spaghetti, rolls, salad

Tuesday:
Bagels, fruit
Leftovers
Beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, veggies

Wednesday:
Oatmeal, yogurt
Grilled cheese, tomato soup
Leftovers

Thursday:
Muffins, fruit
Mac & cheese, bread or rolls
Pizza burgers, chips, baby carrots

Friday:
Cereal, yogurt
Leftovers
More leftovers (if there's any left), or fish (salmon or tilapia, whichever I can get to the easiest LOL), fries, and veggies

Weird math

In case I haven't said it before, I LOVE the Grocery Game!  Take a look at my wonderful trip to CVS today.

Transaction #1:

2 packs green tea supplements
1 tube toothpaste

Shelf price:  $16.25
What I paid:  $1.20

Transaction #2:

6 boxes tissue
2 cans infused air freshener spray
2 bottles of *nice smelling* dish soap
2 things of popular name eye shadow
2 packs good lip care sticks

Shelf price:  $45.46
What I paid:  $1.00

And, I still have $2.00 in CVS Extra Bucks for next time.

Then on the way home stopped at Sonic and got a couple of cherry limeades for hubby and myself.

Total spent there: $4.70  More than double of all of my CVS stuff! 

Seriously, check out the Grocery Game!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

How much really changes?

I stepped out tonight onto our deck, much in the same way I stepped out our deck at the old house many times before we moved.  I looked up at the sky and saw the almost full moon, the thin, wispy, scattered clouds passing over, the stars.  As much as life has changed for my family in the past year, when I look up at the sky from my new deck, it's pretty much the exact same view as from my old deck.  Two totally different places with the same view.

It reminds me of how no matter how much life, this world, or whatever else has changed, when you look to heaven and to God, He hasn't changed.  Not one bit.  Just like when I look up at the sky in the midst of all the change in my life, I'm comforted by the familiar view.  In the same way, I know that no matter where the storms of life take me, I can look to God, and be comforted in who He is...the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  He will not ever go back on His Word or His promises.

Never give up

I'm currently reading in 1 Samuel.  Today as I read, a particular verse stood out to me.

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:  1 Samuel 12:23

Samuel had just appointed Saul king over Israel.  He did it reluctantly as he knew God was their true king, but the Israelites wanted to be like "all the other nations" and have a king over them.  He showed them what a horrible decision they were making by replacing their Lord with a king.  But they insisted.  So, God told him to go ahead and give them a king, in spite of what both God and Samuel knew what would happen to the nation of Israel under the rule of a king.  Samuel was giving an address to Israel after anointing Saul king in front of all the people, and the verse above was toward the end of his speech.

It was another one of those verses (aren't there many??) that I haven't seen/noticed before.  He said that ceasing to pray for the people would be a sin.  He was to keep praying for Israel even though the Lord had already revealed what would happen to them in the time ahead.  Even though it looked bleak for them and it seemed praying for such a stubborn people would be useless.

Woah.  Do you have anyone like that in your own life?  Someone you just "know" is never going to change?  Maybe at first, you prayed for them fervently, but after awhile, you felt it was a waste of time.  You give up on any hope for change in them.  I know there's people in my life I have felt that way about.  But here it is right here in 1 Samuel.  If it was a sin for him to cease praying for a people who desperately needed to get right with God, wouldn't it be the same for us?  If there is someone you know who needs prayers, and the Lord puts in on your heart to pray for them, don't shove those thoughts away thinking it's useless.  Even if we don't feel like it, we need to be on our knees for those in our lives who need our prayers.  It doesn't matter if *they* are receptive to them or can "feel" them.  What matters is that GOD hears our prayers.  Keep petitioning Him and He will answer...maybe not when or how we *think* He should, but in HIS own way and HIS own time.

So, please join me in re-committing to praying for all in our lives who need prayers, but especially for those who we feel like giving up on.  Someday, you may just be surprised...and GOD will be glorified.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Last night I made BBQ chicken pizza for dinner and it turned out so yummy, I thought I'd post a recipe.  A while back, we had one by Bellatoria and I really liked it.  But, I haven't been able to see them anymore at the wonderful price I got them for, so I thought I'd make up my own.  I browsed online for different versions and wasn't really happy with any of them, so I made up my own.  WARNING:  If you must have exact measurements, this recipe is NOT for you!

Start with your favorite recipe for pizza dough.  I rolled mine out (I so wish I could toss!) onto my pizza stone. 

Pour some of your favorite BBQ sauce onto the dough.  I used Famous Dave's, as it's what was open in my fridge at the time.  Now, like I said, I don't have exact measurements, so you'll just have to use your own judgment.  I would go with a little less than what you would normally put on for pizza sauce in a regular pizza.  I think I put on about the same this first time, and that's about the only thing I would change, is to go a little lighter on the BBQ sauce. 

Next, sprinkle on some cooked, shredded or cubed chicken breast meat.  I had a small bag of pre-cooked grilled chicken breast strips in the fridge, so I went with that...just tore them up as I went along. 

Next, cut a red onion from top to root and peel one half and put the other half in the fridge for some other time (it will last longer if you leave the outer peel on).  Thinly slice the peeled half and disperse those over the top of the chicken.  Now, you can skip right to the cheese.  But, I had some broccoli and cauliflower pieces in my fridge that were just this side of going bad, so I chopped those up roughly and threw them on.

Next, I sprinkled just a light amount of grated Parmesan cheese, then a mixture of shredded colby/jack over everything. 

Pop it in a *preheated* 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  I have a gas oven, and with the pizza stone, 20 minutes made the crust absolutely perfect.

I wish I would've thought to take pictures, but it disappeared fast!  I think there might be one lonely piece left in the fridge that will most likely be gone before the day is over.   I won't bother the poor thing with the camera. 

Enjoy!