Monday, January 31, 2011

New a month!

I know I say this quite a bit...but I'm sorry for not being a better blogger.  I've got reasons and excuses....Trojan Virus took over the computer....not much happens in the winter on a farm (like anyone believes that!)...I've had new health issues rare their ugly head, deadlines that apply to January only...power outages at being used to typing on a netbook and ending up with 4tijdhsguiv epiuarci....blah..blah...blah.

So, here on the last day of the first month of 2011, I'm going to start off again.  For my birthday coming up, there is a shiny (refurbished) new computer being delivered to our door....TODAY!  Woohoo.  It's faster and more memory for pictures. 

First has not been the best year so far.  We found out on the 1st that DH's fishing buddy passed away at a fairly young age.  On the second, a good friend and co-worker (and the Eskies puppy sitter when we went to Arkansas a few years ago) unexpectedly passed at the age of 43.   I discovered on the 7th that my earache/toothache/headache is none of the above and is likely a degerative thing that I will need to take meds and figure out.  DS has been fighting school even though I've tried to do some different things (like a unit study on Pizza, of all things)

I try to take a picture a day...and if not that...then a few a week.  For 2011 so far, I've taken 3 pictures total.  So to say it needs to get yes, please.

With all that being said....I'm back.  My resolutions for 2011:
  • The typical, lose weight & get fit.  This time I've got more realistic expectations and bigger motivators with my new health issues.
  • Pay down debt (goal is 1/3-1/2)
  • Blog 3-5 times a week.
  • Examiner article 1x weekly
  • Get organized...really or I (and DH) will lose my mind.
  • Homeschooling caught up.
Along with those's opened up new topics for the blog now that there is not a lot going on outside.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

February's Plan...

Now...I'm flexible enough to realize that when you make a plan like this...SOMETHING...will happen.  But this is the plan and it may be tweeked as the month goes on...This is actually starting as of tonight because with the whole excitement of the Angel Box we're going now! *items are from the Box

30-*Minestrone Soup and Grilled Cheese
31-Chicken Nuggets*, Waffle Fries* Salad, Homemade Ranch Dressing
  1. Chili & Corn Bread, Salad
  2. Leftover Night
  3. Homestead Chicken and Noodles
  4. Homemade Pizza (Homemade Dough)
  5. Anniversary-Steaks (in freezer since summer), Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Salad, Brownies (made by Boy!)
  6. Baked Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Homecanned Green Beans, Homecanned Applesauce
  7. Speghetti & Meatballs*, Salad
  8. Veggie Lo Mein
  9. Bean Soup* with Ham, Salad
  10. Chicken Nugget Cassarole*, Homemade Bread, Salad
  11. Baked Fish, Broccoli, Salad
  12. Stuffed Green Peppers with Hamburger and Rice
  13. Macaroni & Cheese with Ham Chunks, Cauliflower and Broccoli, Cole Slaw
  14. ?
  15. Fiesta Jalisco Take out!
  16. Sloppy Joes, Waffle Fries, Carrots&Snap Peas*
  17. Pork Chops with Apple Dressing
  18. Out with Friends!
  19. Chicken Nuggets*, Waffle Fries*, Salad
  20. Crockpot Beef Roast* with Carrots, Celery, Onions& Potatoes
  21. Baked Chicken*, Baked Potatoes, Peas (Evening with the Presidents-Boy giving speech)
  22. Leftover Beef made over into Stroganoff with Noodles
  23. Baked Beans and Sweet Italian Sausage*, coleslaw
  24. Shepards Pie with Green Beans & Mashed Potatoes
  25. Homemade Pizza (homemade dough)
  26. Turkey & Stuffing, Smashed Pototoes, Cranberries
  27. Meatball Subs*, Waffle Fries*

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Angel Food Boxes and the Month of (almost) Nothing

Have you ever heard of Angel Food Boxes?  If not, let me tell you about it.

From the website: Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 45 states. Angel Food Ministries crosses denominational lines and has spread the good news of the gospel of Christ through salvation tracts that are placed in each food order.

Blessings by the box

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

A friend told me about them a few years ago, but I always seemed to miss the cut off date. As one of my New Year Resolutions to be more aggressive about debt, I decided to do a month-of-almost-nothing at the grocery store.  It seems like that is the only place you can really try to cut back.  I have done a pretty good job in recent months of "Grocery Gaming" and doubling up coupons so that the pantry is fairly full.  The deep freeze is also in good shape and we still have most of the chickens butchered from the homestead.  I was looking for menus and recipes in my anticipation for February being "the" month and came across the Angel Food site again.  It just so happened that the night I was looking at it was the cut off night.  SO, I quickly ordered a box to be delivered to the church down the road from us. (OK, it's about 9 miles...)
So here we are.  I got the box today.  I sat down and did what I've always said I wanted to do and planned out almost ALL the meals for the month of February.  (I was bragging that I had planned out all the meals and challenged Man to ask me a day and I'd tell him what we were having...and he picked one of the three days I HADN"T planned....that will teach me to brag!)  We have a few "special" days in February, that's why it is the month of ALMOST nothing.  Our 18th Anniversary is coming up, as is Valentine's Day, and my dreaded milestone know the one with the 0 at the end.  So we've planned a night out with dear friends of ours on the 19th.
Here's what is in our box this month:
  • 1.5 pounds choice beef netted roast with pop-up timer
  • 2.5 pounds IQF split chicken breast
  • 2.5 pounds breaded chicken breast assorted pieces
  • 1.5 pounds fully cooked meatballs
  • 2 pounds fully cooked ministrone soup
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound sweet italian sausage
  • 1 pound yellow squash and zucchini
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas and carrots
  • 5 pounds waffle fries
  • 6.9 ounce beef-flavored rice and vermicelli
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 25 ounces pasta sauce
  • 1 pound Northern dry beans
  • 18 ounces quick oatmeal
  • 32 ounces 2 percent shelf stable milk
  • Dozen eggs
  • One dessert item-Sugar Cookies
After picking up our box, we went over to Kroger and picked up 2 bagged lettuce, 1 of coleslaw, tomatoes, and dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese) and 10 boxes of tissues as Boy was sick most of this week and now Man is getting it.  Oh, and cold medicine.

Come along with us...on this adventure.  I'll post our menu tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mixing Bowl Academy

Let's start the New Year off right! With a giveaway!!

On this blog, in cooperation with Currclick, Ami is having not one but two giveaways. The first is for a one time "Mixing Bowl Academy Class." These classes are held "virtually". Some are pre-recorded and others are at a set time weekly. The second giveaway is for a month long class. You can see what they have to offer here .

Go to Ami's Blog to sign up!

"Reprint of my Examiner article"