Menu Plan Monday-1st Week of Lent

It’s that time again…time for a new Menu Plan. This week holds Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day and the first Friday of Lent. My goodness…could we pack anything else into this week?!? And if you are Catholic like we are you woke up to some pretty incredible news coming out of the Vatican this morning. I am shocked to hear about Pope Benedict XVI stepping down! I am not a huge fan of Pope Benedict (I have a very soft spot in my heart for JPII) but it’s incredible to see this happening! I believe they said the last time a Pope resigned office was in the 1400’s! But, if the reasoning behind the resignation is accurate I have to have a lot of admiration for him. He is the oldest Pope to be elected in decades (elected at the age of 78). I can’t imagine the toll it takes on one’s mind, body and spirit to be the religious leader of 1.2 billion people around the world. And over the last few months he seems to have aged rapidly. I hope he will be able to take care of himself now. Our prayers are with him! And how exciting is it to think we’ll get to witness another conclave in a matter of weeks!?!? And a new Pope by Easter…kind of fitting I think! Anyways, enough of the religion lesson! On to last weeks recap!
Monday’s Corn Chowder was filling and delicious like always. I didn’t get that recipe up last week, hopefully I can get it up for whoever is interested in it this week.
Tuesday was Paula Dean’s Pot Roast. Now, this one I screwed up big time! I added WAY too much of the house seasoning in the recipe to the roast. Like I mean, I coated that puppy both sides! I didn’t read that you were supposed to use only 1/2 tsp of the house seasoning to season the roast. Whoops! But that was totally my fault. The roast itself was really good but the gravy was inedible! Kind of bummed too because the gravy looked AMAZING!! But we will try this again and this time I will follow the directions! lol
Wednesday’s Hawaiian Pork Roast was fantastic! One of my favorite meals. I cook it in the crock pot and we end up getting three meals out of it! What’s not to love about that!?! This was my first time making roasted sweet potatoes and they were so yummy! I set some sweet potatoes aside and made baby sweet potatoes for Eli. He LOVED them! Not exaggerating either. Saturday I was shopping with my mom and Steven called to tell me that Eli had eaten an entire Baby Bullet jar of them! Success!!
Thursday was dance night. Hello Chick-Fil-A! lol
Friday we had the sweet and sour meatballs made from the sauce of the pork roast. I made the meatballs with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. Added some garlic powder, minced onion, parsley, soy sauce and egg. Yum! I’m loving experimenting with homemade meatballs. Why did I pay for those at the store?!?
Saturday was supposed to BBQ sandwiches but Brianna had a friend over to spend the night and my mom offered to order pizza. Hello Papa John’s! We’re glad you came to visit! lol
So the BBQ sandwiches got moved to Sunday. We put the shredded leftover pork in the crockpot, added some Sweet Baby Rays and let it work its magic! Add some coleslaw and fried onion rings (which we bought at GFS! ;-p) and you’ve got a perfect lazy Sunday dinner. The neglected goulash gets moved to this week!
OK! Enough wrap up…onto this weeks eats! Thank you Pinterest! You inspired out of this weeks 7 dinners! What would we do without you!?!? ;-p
Monday: Goulash, Salad, Garlic Toast
Tuesday (Pancake/Fat Tuesday): Peanut Butter Cup Banana Pancakes and Bacon….LOTS of bacon!!
Wednesday (Ash Wednesday): Tuna Pot Pie, fruit
Thursday (Valentine’s Day and Dance Night): maybe Steak and Shake for burgers and shakes??
Friday (1st Friday of Lent): Southwest Rice and Beans Burittos, Chips and Salsa (and maybe margaritas…virgin of course for this children! wink!)
Saturday: Steven and I plan to go out for Valentine’s Day (since he works nights and won’t be home Thursday til after 9!) and then we have tickets to go see a play at church. Normally I would be in this show but I took this year off. Maybe next year!
Sunday: Crispy Chicken with Creamy Italian Sauce, California Veggie Mix
So there it is my friends. Another menu plan. Be sure to check out Org Junkie for hundreds more if you need more inspiration! Happy Eating!

Valentine’s Day "Mantel"

If you read any one of the million and one crafty blogs on the Internet these days you know that one of the biggest trends is decorating your mantel for holidays and seasons. Well, I don’t have a fireplace, and therefore I have no mantel. But I’m such a wannabe that I’ve turned the top of our entertainment center into my “mantel”. I decorated it for Halloween and Thanksgiving and loved it so much! It just added some fun to the living room. So I decided I wanted to decorate it again for Valentine’s Day. But, we don’t have any Valentine’s Day decorations. So I decided to get my crafty on and make it happen!
I found a box in the garage that held the decorations for our Valentine’s tree from last year. Since we weren’t doing that this year I thought the garland and ornaments needed to be put to good use. So I started with those as a base. I added in several projects inspired by Pinterest (where else!?!? lol) and ended up with this:

I LOVE how it turned out! I feel like it’s not too much, just enough that when you walk in the room you say “Oh, it’s Valentine’s Day!” (insert smiles!) Let’s take a closer look at each section.

On the left side I have a Valentine’s Day Subway Art that I framed in a poster frame from Walmart. I had bought a different frame at the Dollar Tree but it cut off most of the words on the sides. Luckily my mom had some extra frames laying around (never know when you might need a frame for a cute project you found on Pinterest!) I added two Glade Soy Candles I had which I sat on top of two glass candlestick holders which my mom found at Goodwill forever ago! Since I had practically everything already the cost of this project is pennies for the cardstock and the little ink it used. $0.50 maybe! Yippy!

The LOVE art in the center is one of my favorite parts. It started when mom found natural wood frames at Michael’s for $1.00 a piece. The wheels started turning and we thought why not use them for something cute? Turn them into a L-O-V-E collage with the heart standing in place of the O. Here’s a quick tutorial!

Step1: I painted the natural frames white to make them pop. A quick coat of acrylic paint (which we already had..cost…$0.00!)

Step 2: Using the mats inside the frames as guides, cut new mats out of pretty, sparkly scrapbook paper. (Cost: $0.89, it only took 1 page to cut all 4 mats.)

Step 3: Adhere vinyl letters to the mats. I used my Cricut Expressions and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. The vinyl was part of the package with the first Cricut I ever bought. (Cost: well, pennies but since I’ve had everything for so long I’m chalking this part up as FREE!!) Place letters in frames. (And this is where my computer got stupid and I lost the last 2 pictures of the process…but I think you can figure it out! lol)

Step 4: I added some 3D felt flowers from Jolee’s to the top left corner of the L frame and the bottom right corner of the E frame. I thought it added a nice touch and a little pop of color. 

 The right side of the display holds two Conversation Heart Topiaries. But, my stupid computer lost the photos of that process as well so I don’t have any to show you. It was super easy though! I just took two Styrofoam balls (two different sizes), attached them to dowel rods (wrapped with Valentine’s ribbon) cut into two different lengths. Then we put them into foam floral bases and put them into two terracotta pots. The comes the most tedious part…gluing the conversation hearts onto the balls. It wasn’t hard it just took a while. I had to take a few breaks during the process to feed a baby, etc so Steven took over. And I mean he literally took over, finished the smaller ball and did the whole larger ball by himself. He was pretty proud of himself but my stupid computer lost that picture too! (Grrr…I am hating our computers right now! None of them want to work right and it’s making me lose my freakin’ mind!!!) The final touch was to add a little bow to each dowel rod and put more conversation hearts inside the pots to finish it off. They were super cute! I think this whole project cost less than $10. (Styrofoam balls are expensive man! But I did find the floral foam bases at the Dollar Store. I bought 2 but only ended up using half of one so that part only cost me $0.50 and I have more sitting around for future projects! Yippy!) Here’s a closer look at the finished product.

I love them! I need to spray them with something to preserve them before I put them away this weekend. Any suggestions on what to use?

One other little touch that I found at Michael’s are my Lovebirds.

Aren’t they sweet?! They were only $1.99 each AND they were marked down 40%. AND they were in the color scheme of my living room so I just had to have them. I’m thinking they may stay up permantely after Valentine’s Day. They’re just too cute. They are sitting in the open cabinet on the right side of the entertainment center. In that cabinet we keep a picture frame that holds a baby picture of both Steven and I and then a wedding picture, my wedding bouquet and a family Bible. This Bible holds death notices, birth announcements and has a spot for family history. We don’t read from this Bible, it is purely for show (and believe me, we have plenty of other Bibles in the house that can be read from that I don’t mind having a pretty one just for show!)

The open cabinet on the other side holds another wedding photo of us with our maid of honor and best man, a custom candle made using one of our wedding announcements and our cake topper. I absolutely loved my wedding and I feel like keeping these things out and visible at all times gives our children a chance to see how much that day meant to us as the beginning of our family.

So here’s one final look at our Valentine’s Day “faux” mantel. I’m looking forward to changing it up for St. Patty’s Day! Happy Valentine’s Day week everybody! I hope you have someone to hold onto and love!

You can see the posts that inspired these crafts at Naturally Estes (Conversation Heart Topiaries) and Free Word Art Valentine Printable Cards (V-Day Subway Art).

I am linking this post to Motivate Me Monday over at my friend Kaysi’s blog, Keeping It Simple. Look Kaysi! I’m finally posting something 🙂

That’s a Wrap! Week one

So I was thinking that each Friday I will start to write a weekly wrap up post. I hope it will make me more intentional in taking pictures of things that happen during the week (with my camera, NOT my phone!!) and give me another reason to write on the blog until it becomes a habit again and I don’t have to think about what to write about! 😉 Some weeks will be way more exciting than others. This was one of those not so exciting weeks. But next week holds Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent. What’s not to get excited about!?! 
This week I spent most of it sick with a cold. I got very little done around the house but I did get my food storage container cabinet organized, cleaned out my cooking utensil drawer and experimented with my first batch of homemade dishwashing detergent. 

Once I decide whether or not I like this recipe and will continue making it I will share the recipe with you. And I’ll also make my container cuter…I have some ideas to put my Cricut and some vinyl to work! I also started getting order back into the Master Bedroom but the cold totally sidelined that one. Hoping to finish that up this weekend, and maybe even get our paint on! (Thank you Federal Tax return!!!) If we do get some painting done I will totally take before and after pictures and show you!
Brianna had a great assignment at school a few weeks ago. They had to use recycled materials and create an animal. She wanted to make a penguin! So we used a coffee creamer bottle, some cups of an egg carton, some newspaper and recycled boxes. A little bit of paint and this is what we came up with:
Cute, huh!?!? She did such a great job! It came home from school on Monday with a note from the teacher that said “Awesome!” and a 100% written on it! She was pretty excited and we were really proud of her!
Jonah is our gamer. For Christmas the kids got Skylanders Giants for the Wii. There are over 100 different characters that you can collect and use to place on the portal while you are playing the game. Yesterday was a big day for Jonah. We went to Walmart while Brianna was at dance and the boys were being so good I let them each choose a new character for the game. And Nina bought them a case to hold all their characters. (They started with 3, they now have 10! lol) If I could tell you how many hours a day this boy will spend playing this game I’d probably be ashamed! As it is, I can’t, so I’ll try not to feel too ashamed!
Micah is a little obsessed with pirates right now. It all started with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Now his obsession is Treasure Planet. It gets watched every day around here. (We are on the 2nd play rotation just today!! Ooooh….bad mommy!!!) While he watches he runs around the house with his Jake and the Neverland Pirate Ship and makes it fly through the air like Treasure Planet. He has such an imagination and I love that he uses it to entertain himself, especially when his brother and sister aren’t around to tell him what to do! (As I write this he has the Skylanders pieces on the ship and is using them as his crew! lol- Jonah would be proud!)
I swear my TV didn’t look that dirty until I was editing the picture! Guess I need to get out the Windex! lol
This week Eli discovered a new (to him) toy. We bought this walk-about from a friend when Brianna was a baby and it’s still going strong! 
He’s been in this quite a few times but only this week did he decide that he really likes it. He even spends almost an hour at a time in it without making a peep except to squeal when he gets something spinning. He has even figured out how to turn the seat around to get to other toys AND gets the whole thing moving in circles on the floor. Yup, it’s my new go to toy when I must get something done around the house and have him some place safe! 
And like I shared in his 6 month post this week he really decided to sit up unassisted. He can’t get himself into the sitting position but once he’s there he has decided that sitting up is pretty cool.
Go me! Go me! Go go go Me!
This week Steven was busy with Confirmation for our 8th graders. They had a rehearsal on Tuesday evening and then a retreat most of the day Wednesday before Confirmation Wednesday evening. We got to spend some extra time with him on Wednesday after the retreat before he had to leave again. It was nice to have him home for the afternoon, especially since that was the day my cold hit really hard. So now Confirmation is over, nothing really big for him til 1st Communion in May. (As far as his church responsibilities go that is!) Other than that he has spent a lot of time working overtime. I can’t complain too much, at least the pay is worth it! But boy I will be glad when tax season is over and the overtime slows down a little! 
Well, that was our week! Looking forward to a slow weekend with nothing scheduled (except PSR on Sunday morning)! Have a great weekend everyone!

Baking Bread

One of the things that I knew I was going to have to do when we decided to change our eating habits and go to eating more whole foods was make my own bread. Bread is so simple, 6 ingredients or less for a basic bread. The most time consuming part is mixing it, you don’t have to do anything during the rising stage, and that’s the longest part, aside from the actual baking of it in the oven. So have you ever asked yourself why even the “healthiest” breads on the market have upwards of 30 ingredients?!? Sounds like a lot of crap and fillers to me and I just am not sure I want to be eating all of that! (Don’t believe me, go pull your bread out of the cabinet. I have an older loaf that I’m going to be turning into bread crumbs. Looking at the label it has 32 ingredients on it, most of which I cannot pronounce!)
When I was growing up we never had store bought bread in our home. My mom was a stay at home mom and she baked bread every day, to every 2 days (she also ran a daycare from home so we could easily go through 2 loaves a day!). I had never had store bought bread until I started school. And my mom clearly remembers me coming home and telling her that I wanted to start eating the “gooey white bread” like we had at school. What was I thinking!?! Clearly I didn’t know I had a great thing going!! lol
Now, let me take a minute to make a little disclaimer here. I have a few friends who read my blog who work outside of the home. I think I make them feel bad when I write about these things that I’m doing (like baking my own bread, or making my own baby food) and they think they must be failing somehow because they aren’t doing those things too. Well, let me just say this: if I worked outside of the home, I can promise you I wouldn’t be doing any of this stuff!! I wouldn’t have the time or the energy! And when I was at home I would want to be spending time with my kids and my husband, not be in the kitchen baking bread or mixing up my own laundry detergent (post coming soon!) But, being a SAHM this is my job! My job is to save as much of my husband’s (and mom’s) hard earned money as possible. My job is to put made from scratch meals on the table. My job is to keep the house clean, the laundry in check and the kids happy. I know for a fact I couldn’t do all of that and do what you do! Know that you have my respect! Because being a working momma is hard! And I am so grateful to have a husband (and mom) who provide for us so that I get to stay at home with my kiddos!

And for those of you wondering if making your own bread really saves you money, I’m estimating that I make this bread for about $0.75 a loaf. Not too shabby seeings that the bread I used to buy was over $3.00 a loaf!!(Again, why so expensive?!? It’s bread for Pete’s sake!!)

OK. So onto the bread! This is a recipe I found in my mom’s recipe box. It is delicious and makes two loaves. And just in case you’re wondering if it’s any good (besides the fact that I just said it’s delicious!!!) take a look at the recipe card. At some point it got torn in two pieces and was stapled back together! Now that is a well loved recipe!!

And this is a recipe card from the ’80’s if I’ve ever seen one! lol

4 C white flour (I use All Purpose flour that we have started buying in 25 pound bags from GFS. Have I mentioned my love of GFS lately!?!?)
2 C Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. It’s made from white winter wheat instead of red winter wheat which my family prefers. It makes a less dense bread. And it has more of the texture of store bought bread that they are used to. It’s also very good with the red winter wheat. I actually prefer that, but that’s what I grew up with!)
4 TSP salt (Here comes my disclaimer…if you use salted butter like I do at times you will want to reduce the salt by half. Or else you end up with a salty bread. And I don’t know about you but I don’t like salty bread!)
2 1/2 TBSP yeast (I use instant active dry yeast which I keep in a bag in my freezer. I’ve had this yeast for over a year now and it’s still going strong!)
2 1/2 C warm water (be sure it’s warm…too hot and it kills your yeast, not hot enough and your yeast won’t “bloom”.)
sugar (I don’t have a measurement for this…you’ll see why in a minute.)
1/3 C honey
1/4 C butter, softened (salted or unsalted, your choice! Just remember what I said about the extra salt!!)

Alright, here we go!! Put on your apron (no, I’m serious! Making bread is messy, messy work!!) and let’s get to work!

In your mixing bowl add the 2 1/2 C warm water, 2 1/2 TBSP of yeast and a few pinches of sugar. The sugar isn’t 100% necessary but I find it helps the yeast to “bloom” by giving it something to “feed” off of. Another trick I have found: before I add the water I run warm water into the mixing bowl to warm it up. Adding warm water to a cold bowl seems counter productive to me. Just don’t get the bowl too hot or you’ll warm up your water even more and kill your yeast! 

While the yeast is blooming (about 5+ minutes) mix together your dry ingredients. I usually add my white flour (running it through a sifter to get rid of any lumps), my wheat flour (again, running it through a sifter), and then my salt. Then I mix it together with a spatula and set to the side.
Depending on how long it takes you to measure and sift and mix your dry ingredients your yeast may now be looking like this:
See how it’s looking foamy, especially around the edges of the bowl? Perfect! If it isn’t doing this your yeast might have died. Try again with cooler/warmer water (depending on the water temp the first time around). If it still doesn’t bloom your yeast might be too old.
Now’s the messy part. Put on your dough hook and make sure you add your splatter guard to your mixer if you have one…you’ll be really glad that you did! Trust me! (And I wasn’t kidding about that apron!!)
My mom’s beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer! She doesn’t have room in her kitchen for it and I was always going downstairs asking to borrow it so she just told me to keep it up here. It maintains a permanent spot on my counter! I love it! She’s had this thing for almost 20 years and it’s still going strong!! Love Kitchen Aid!!!
Add half of the dry mixture to the water and yeast and mix on medium low. Add in your honey and your butter. Continue mixing on medium for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the dry mix and continue mixing until fully mixed together, scrapping down the sides as needed. I know it’s ready when it starts climbing up my dough hook and out of the bowl! lol Don’t forget to use the lock feature on the mixer head! It’ll keep the mixer from shaking and banging around!
Dough climbing the dough hook! See, I wasn’t kidding! It tries to escape!
Perfect! Nice and doughy!!
Now comes the most time intensive part of making bread: letting it rise. This part really does take the most time. Luckily it requires no work on your part. So go do some laundry, clean a bathroom, organize a cabinet, make some phone calls, pay some bills, feed a baby…you get the idea. 
The first rise can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes (depending on how warm your house is.) You know it’s ready when the dough has doubled in size, or has pretty much filled up the entire bowl. My bread hardly ever takes 30 minutes to rise, but we keep it at 72 degrees during the day in the winter, so it’s pretty warm in here.
Put that apron back on because here comes another messy part. Sprinkle flour on the counter:
Plop the dough in the middle of the flour:
Roll around a little and then cut in half. (I use my Pampered Chef bread knife to cute my dough. It works perfectly every time!!)
Shape each half into a loaf:
Place into a greased bread pan:
And get ready to let it rise…again! I wasn’t joking when I said this was the most time intensive part! Go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When the bread has reached the top of the bread pan it’s time to go into the oven. (This second rise can take anywhere up to 50-60 minutes. I’ve never had it take that long before, but again it depends on how warm your house is.)
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. I immediately run a stick of butter over the top of my bread to give it that pretty glossy glow!
Allow to cool for a little bit and then take out of the pans and put on a cooling rake to finish cooling. But don’t let it get too cold before cutting a piece and slathering it with butter and honey! That’s your reward for all your hard work!

**Linking up to the Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers**

What a Difference 6 Months Makes

This little guy turned 6 months yesterday!
It is amazing the difference that 6 months can make! The little thing above that surprised us a month early, gave me the scare of his life by deciding he wasn’t going to breathe after birth, who didn’t like eating, spent time in the NICU, who made me wonder if we were going to have to worry about brain damage or developmental delays has turned into this:
And over the past 6 weeks he started doing this:
Rolling over!
He grabs anything that gets in his reach!
Forget it mom! You’re camera strap is not safe!
And over the past week or so he has decided that he likes doing this:
Look at me!
I know I’m starting to tip sideways mom, but no worries! Everyting is gonna be alright! (My FAVORITE Super Bowl commercial!!! lol)
 Eli has brought so much to our family and our home. I literally cannot imagine our lives without him in it! I was snuggling him the other night and I looked at Steven and said “I love this baby so much! Thank you for not letting me give up before we tried again. I can’t imagine my world without him!” Steven just smiled and nodded like “I know right?!!?” He really is just what our family needed! (But babe, don’t get the wrong idea or anything! We really are done now!!! 🙂  )
He really is a super baby! And we are looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months will bring!
Elijah’s Favorites at 6 months:
– His swing
– His play gym that he got for Christmas
– All of his owl toys
– Sleeping…he is a very good sleeper!
– His brothers and sister. He will smile and laugh whenever they come near.
– His daddy. He will turn from whatever he is doing when he hears Steven enter the room. 
-Grabbing onto anything and everything that gets into his path.
– Snuggling. Especially if you have boobs! 😉
What is he eating:
– Still mostly breast milk. 
– He’s tried rice cereal (not impressed) and bananas (thought they were OK, but he was also coming down with RSV when we tried them so eating wasn’t much fun at that time.) 
– His fingers, your fingers, everyone’s fingers!!
Things that make me mad:
– When he cries and you don’t get to him right away!!
– Being on his belly too long during tummy time. He can only roll back to front right now, still working on the other way. So he just gets good and ticked when he’s been on his belly for too long and doesn’t want to be there anymore!
– Being hot! He hates to be hot!!
Who do I look like?
– Right now he’s looking just like Brianna when she was this age. It’s almost scary at times! I hope he keeps his dark hair though! I have two blondes, I’d love to have two brunettes!
Happy 6 month birthday sweet baby boy! We love you so much and are loving watching you grow!!

Menu Plan Monday- Tuesday Edition!

It’s time for another weekly menu plan. And as some weeks go, I’m just getting around to posting it today. I wrote it yesterday, but yesterday was one of those days. And last week was one of those weeks when you get to the end and the plan just falls apart! That’s what I get for not paying close attention to my calender when making my plan! So without further ado, last weeks recap:
Monday’s chili made with ground chicken instead of ground beef was yummy. I love chili!
Tuesday the Kielbasa and Potato Bake was a hit like always. This is a standby that I almost always have the ingredients for, Kielbasa defrosts quickly if you forget to take it out the night before, and it’s cheesy, so the kids go to town! Win! Win! Win!
Wednesday we had the Paprika Chicken. I first tried this dish when a friend from high school gave me a recipe she had been making that she loved. I remembered seeing a recipe similar to it on one of my new favorite websites Global Table Adventure. I went there to try Sasha’s version this time and it didn’t disappoint! One of our new favorite dishes, and because of it I am now out of paprika! 🙂 Spend some time browsing Sasha’s site…you will not be sorry!
Thursday was dance night so it was the McDonald’s drive thru for us!
And this is where things started to fall apart! The kids have been wanting tacos for a while now and while Brianna was at dance on Thursday mom and I took the boys and went price comparing at GFS. Have I mentioned lately how much I love GFS? It is my new favorite place to shop for bulk items especially since you don’t need a membership and everything has been such good quality. While we were there I found soft taco shells on sale for $0.99. So I picked some up. Mom bought a huge thing of ground beef which she broke down into pounds and put in the freezer. So Friday we had tacos. I think we might start a new tradition: Fiesta Fridays. Anything Mexican/Latin complete with Sangria! Sounds good to me! lol
Saturday I forgot we had a dinner date out with some very dear friends, one of whom was celebrating his 50th birthday this weekend. So the kids went to grandma and grandpa’s and we went out for some amazingly good food and great company! 
Sunday I totally had forgotten was the SuperBowl. So we made pizzas, potato skins, hankie pankies and had carrots and celery, strawberries and chips and salsa. I don’t know if that turkey dinner is ever gonna happen! lol
So, onto this week we go!
Monday: Corn Chowder and garlic bread- this recipe is orginally from but I’ve made some adjustments to make it more us. I will share it later this week and come back and link it up. If you like a good (and easy) Corn Chowder come back and check it out!
Tuesday: Paula Dean’s Pot Roast, mashed redskin potatoes and gravy, steamed carrots
Wednesday: Hawaiian Pork Roast, Roasted sweet potatoes, Broccoli, Hawaiian Rolls
Thursday: dance night- hopefully Chick-Fil-A this week! (I have a coupon for a free chicken sandwich!!)
Friday: BBQ Pork Sandwiches (made from the leftover pork roast), Cole Slaw, Onion Rings
Saturday: Sweet and Sour Meatballs (using the leftover sweet and sour sauce from the pork roast) over Rice
Sunday: Goulash, Green Salad, Fruit, Rolls
So, that’s our menu this week! Be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie for more menu plans. Happy eats! 

How to Survive Teething

Our poor little Eli is teething! I hate teething! It is so miserable! It’s so hard to see your little in pain! But after going through this with 3 others I have learned some things that make teething a little easier on baby, and the rest of us! 
Baby Orajel and Ibuprofen. Let’s be honest, when you have a headache, a toothache, any kind of ache, you just want the pain to go away. And at night, when baby wakes up crying and all you want (and need!) is to get some sleep, Orajel and Ibuprofen can save your sanity!

Keep the favorites handy. I try to keep Eli’s favorite blanket and toys nearby to distract him. He loves his owl toys that he got for Christmas! He can chew on them and they make noises! Who wouldn’t love that!?!? This blanket was given to us when we had Brianna by a distant cousin of Steven. Eli loves it because he can wrap his fingers through it, making it easy to hold. Plus, it’s super soft!!
Teething rings! Keep it in the fridge! Pull out when particullarly cranky! Get some peace at least until it’s not cold anymore! 
Lots of these:
To put in this:
And you might just get lucky enough to have this happen:
Poor sweet baby!! 
When all else fails I nurse him to try to relieve the pressure on his gums, and because he associates nursing with soothing it helps a lot! Somedays it feels like I’m nursing all day!! And sometimes it feels like I’m turning into his chew toy (can we say ouch!?!?) But if it makes it all better for him then that’s what we do (except for the biting! He gets told no very firmly, which he doesn’t like, but this mama don’t play like that!! lol)
So that’s it! My tips for surviving teething! What did you do to survive teething with your little ones? Anything I missed that you’d suggest?