Menu Planning Monday

We will start to get slight more busy this week and by next week, I bet we will be full on busy!  I have started a list on the side of our dinning room board to include a list of the meals I know I want to include in the rotation.  Still waiting on cooler weather before we add a soup a week. Zach and Kendall are eating half school lunch and half lunch from home most days.

Breakfast– Saturday- Steak breakfast bowls to use up some ingredients from the fridge. Sunday- Biscuit King    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets.

Lunch-  Saturday–Left-overs Sunday- Panda Panda   I have 2 days of salads, 1 day of leftovers and 2 days of eating out this week. I did make Zach and Kendall mac and cheese one day which was a huge hit.

Dinner-  Saturday- Left-overs   Sunday-Left-overs  Monday- Sour cream and cheese chicken enchiladas casserole. Tuesday- Spaghetti and Meatballs  Wednesday-Hamburgers and french fries . Thursday- Beef and Broccli in the crockpot    Friday-Ballgame food.

Corn Basil Tomato- Recipe

Yesterday, Saturday I realized that I could not buy any more food to freeze, everything is full!   This is an awesome problem to have but it also means I need to be very diligent about using up items we have and not letting things (veggies and fruits) go bad.  This recipe is the perfect fit.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I used the inside pieces of a red onion that were left in the bottom of the fridge) 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped ( Used 2 small zucchini that I had purchased last Saturday) 
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (Used several tomato from the garden that had bad spots.  I ended up using 1 cup of diced tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs (The bread hill and another piece of bread)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh basil (Us
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Additional minced fresh basil, optional
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and condensed soup until blended. Stir in vegetables, bread crumbs, basil, salt and onion. Transfer mixture to an 11×7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional basil.

This actually turned out very good. I added a piece of grilled chicken to mine but everyone else ate without!   This is definitely a keeper!

Monday Meal Planning

I am finally catching up on life around here. I have been doing some reading over the last several days. What I am seeing is that food prices are going to continue to rise.  Here are some thing I am doing to stretch our food budget.  For lunch made a box of pasta salad added tomatoes, chicken, cucumbers and peppers this was divided up for 4 lunches.  Purchased a rotisserie chicken, used for one meal, then add some to pasta salad and remained for sandwiches.  Cooking with what is on sale. I found cabbage for eighteen cent a pound. I bought one head, made cole slaw and will use the rest in egg roll in a bowl.  And of course the biggest money saver MENU Planning

Breakfast– Saturday-Pancakes (left-overs frozen)   Sunday- Cinnamon Rolls from Costco  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets.

Lunch-  Saturday–Bad Daddy’s for Matt’s birthday   Sunday- Long Horn Steak house.    I assembled salads, a pasta salad  and hamburgers on Sunday. The kids will eat left-overs  on Wednesday.

Dinner-  Saturday-  Chicken from Costco, slaw and cresant rolls    Sunday-left-over or muffins . Monday-Steak ums and French Fries   Tuesday-Pizza  Wednesday- Egg Roll in  a bowl   Thursday- Chicken pot pie    Friday- BBQ Pork.

Square Foot Garden Update

We (yes all five of us) spent 8 hours working on the garden redo on Saturday. I am so excited to see all the changes finally coming together and starting to look like a neat and organized attempt.

First we started by putting down landscape fabric to help eliminate some weeds.

We added 3 new beds, 2 are 12 feet long and 2 foot wide while that third is 8 foot long and 2 foot wide.

Finally on Sunday, I started some green peppers, rainbow peppers and cucumbers inside  by the back door.


I am so excited to get this started!


This week we are again focusing on re-doing our square foot garden.  I am so excited that we have been able to save all of the dirt that has been ordered and put in our previous beds. We also have 2 large tomato beds, a sweet potato bed and 2 strawberry beds that have cost us absolutely nothing.  Our demolish phase is complete and next week we hope to build out all of our new boxes and get place and the garden part completed. This will allow us to plant the first few weeks of May!


Zach wanted his picture with all his hard work. He has even been working after school.

5 Things Friday- COVID 19 Edition

Did you ever think to yourself- why might could happen if you decided to buy a new car on Friday the 13th 2020?    I am so glad I am not the only one and I do have the definitive answer- COVID!

  1.  We decided to go ahead and trade the 2016 Honda CVR that I have been driving in for a 2019 Chevy Equinox on Friday November 13th.   We actually were going to shop on Friday night and planned to purchase on Saturday but we ended up finishing up all the paperwork and driving away in the new to us car around 9pm.
  2. I am going to share the reasons we decided to trade cars just for future reference and so I can prove to myself that we did think this through and not regret the purchase. First- neither Matt nor I really enjoyed driving the Honda CVR, it was not a car that we would have purchased. It was under powered and although the gas mileage was better than the van, not enjoyable to drive. Next- the payment was extremely high. I actually had to split the payment in half in order to make it fit our budget.  After doing the research, I realized that we could likely reduce our payment by trading even with our upside down status. Finally- Matt has been employed at his job for over a year. Which allowed us to improve both of our credit scores at the same time. By trading and placing the new Equinox in Matt’s name, we reduced my debt ratio and improved his rating with consistent payments.  We have accomplished all we set out to do. Car payment is $100 less, Equinox is a car we both enjoy driving and credit will improve in the next six months.
  3. Sunday, the kids arrived home from spending the weekend with Haley and we took them for a drive in the new car. We ended up eating outside at the Salisbury Cracker Barrel. Matt and I had skipped church that morning because he was not feeling well and we did not want to expose any one to our germs. After eating on Sunday, Zach became sick and threw up.  It was a one time thing so I did not worry about it as this can happen.
  4. Monday- Matt says he is staying home from work so I decided to take Zach to school. He does not have a fever at home or at school. I honestly thought he had a case of the “Mondays”.  I dropped him off at school and headed to work where I was schedule to see 3 kids back to back a 30 minute break and another 5 kids back to back.  I get a call from Matt that his boss suggest he go test for Covid, because he is positive and has exposed the whole office all week. I finish the third kid and as I am checking my phone to call Matt back, Zach school is calling he threw up!
  5. Matt did test positive. By Friday (today) his symptoms are very light and he is only taking medicine at night.  We suspect that Zach had food poisoning – I ate some of the spinach dip that he had on Sunday and it was bad. I threw it out after one bite and had a horrible stomach ache.  By Friday, Zach is completely better! I have had what feels like sinus stuff to me. I have not had a fever, but runny nose and wet cough.   Lily has had a sore throat but feels much better today. Kendall ended up with a headache. Everyone is currently on quarantine. We have not left the house since Monday.  We are praying for two specific things- no one else get COVID and we can have a small family Thanksgiving. We have been told that 3-4 days without symptoms can end Matt’s quarantine and if no one else has symptoms especially a fever before then. We should be safe. the health department is suppose to call  on either Thursday or Wednesday to officially release us as well.

5 Friday Facts

  1.  I am super excited because today, I received our electric bill for the month of October. It is $146.70!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the lowest our electric bill has EVER been!  It is actually $120 lower than our September bill.  We have been without heat and air for all of the month so I was expecting it to me lower but this just blows me away!  One interesting fact and the only difference from previous year is that in September we had our meter replaced. It now reports directly to the Energy company instead of being read by a person.
  2.  We are continue to enjoy our new “Alexa” purchases.  I am actually hopefully to start changing over several different items to make it more convenient. Zach has even gone so far as to request a echo dot for Christmas.
  3. The weather is continuing on the mild side with temperatures in the 70 and close to 80.  I am enjoying this which allows us to continue to use less electricity. My current goal is to not use heat or air until November. Another benefit of the weather is that we are still getting tomato, pimentos  and green peppers from our garden.
  4. We ended up purchasing a pressure washer last weekend and Matt has been able to clean both the drive way and the siding. We also have finished our entry way remodel. I am planning to share pictures tomorrow.
  5. I had debated making this is  own post but decided it was not long enough.  Next week is looking to be our busiest week of the fall season.  Monday- I am scheduled to work at least one extra hour but I am going to plan on 2 or more additional hours. Kendall starts cheerleading try outs that end at 5pm and Zach has a baseball game at 7:30. Tuesday- Kendall has cheerleading tryouts and Zach has a ball game at 7:30. Wednesday- Ball game at 7:30 which means no youth or kids club.  I am also scheduled to work for 2.5 hours. Thursday-piano at 4. I am scheduled to work at least 3.5 hours.  Which brings us to Friday……..YIKES!

5 Things Friday

  1. I am full and over the top full in Guam.  I am currently serving 15 schools in Guam and attempting to attend all OT related IEP meetings. What this means is 10-12 hours a week currently.  I have been told that i should be able to reduce my hours by January. I am waiting to decide if this is something I want to do or just continue at the rate I am at.  Currently, I am able to handle most of it but my leisure time and blog posting will be very limited for the next month.
  2. Lily, Kendall and Zach are spending the weekend in Durham with Haley. This is the first time in YEARS that Matt and i have had a free weekend.  Last night we went on a date to Applebee’s  Today we are going to attempt to update the front door.
  3. We are definitively in Fall.  My goal is to go without heat until November 1st.  Our October electric bill was significantly higher than usual due to the summer heat lasting well in September. So far so good as the house is currently sitting at 70 and the outside temperature is 47.
  4. I did a fair amount of shopping on Amazon prime day. Since we are updating our front door including a new keyless entry, we decided to go ahead and start moving toward a smart home. I purchased several echo dots which came with a couple of smart plugs and smart light bulbs and  2 echo flexs (one in my office and one in the kitchen). So far we are enjoying the novelty of them. I also purchased several Christmas gifts and cheap ear buds.
  5. Our December trip will include Braxton, Haley, her boyfriend David and his kids!  We are currently at 60 days!