Sunday, March 14, 2010

The system is down

Ok, so I just wanted to check in to let you know I have not abandoned blogging. My internet was down for 3 days completely and now my laptop is still strugling which leaves me with my sad desktop that is almost ten years old and just can't keep up. It takes so long to post on this thing I could snail mail all of you. So, while I miss it so I am breaking a bit from blogging for the sake of my sanity. One of our friends who is amazing with computers is planning on coming over today to hopefully bring back the laptop from the dead. Pray for it's resurrection. I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Freezer cooking day- Let's get it started

Ok, so randomly I decided it was time to just attempt a full day of freezer cooking. I was looking at my very full calensar and decided today was just as good as any. So, it is 8 am and I am already started. Last night I put some beans on to soak. I have tortilla soup in the crock pot and chicken in the oven. All my recipes this time are chicken because Kroger had a great sale last week so I stocked up. So I have Some in the oven and some cut up for dump recipes.

Right now my challenge is that I have run out of pots. So until the beans are done we are kind of at a stand still. With my Laptop down for awhile I can't post any pics, butI will try to update through the day as to how the progress is going.

Well, time to get back to the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Home school for preschool

Yesterday I talked about how Isaac goes to Tuesday school. Which is great for socialization and also some basic learning. But we do a lot more at home too. Today we worked on writing the letter G. Also, learned number 2.
We are focusing on learning how to hold a pencil with Isaac. He struggles with some small motor skills. 
Using scissors is another way to help build small motor skills. This is a cutting worksheet.

While Isaac works on his lesson, Asher has his own work. Today he was working with beads. First stringing them. Then we played sorting games with them. Asher sorted by color and shape.

Isaac also used the beads to make patterns and expand on his shapes. Cylinder, cube, and sphere were one of the ways we sorted the beads. 
That is just a few things we did today I'm hoping to get to the library soon to get Isaac his first card. He is really excited about it. I am too. I love kids books!

Freezer cooking- Waffles

I have this huge bag of pancake mix and decided making freezer waffles would be a good idea. This was a good after nap project because Isaac could help easily. Asher wasn't feeling well so he stayed in the living room while we mixed up some batter.

I ended up doing a quadruple batch because I kept losing some of our work... 
While it is nice to have a helper I think we would have had about four more waffles had I done it alone. 

When all was said and done I was able to freeze over 2 dozen waffles. This is my very proud helper with our finished product. 

What to do with all these beans...

So, I froze all those beans, but what do I do with them. Well, I use black beans a lot. Last night we had tacos and I scooped out a cup heated them up and they were ready to go. I scoop some out and put them on salads for lunch. I use them as protein fillers in casseroles. Salsas, soups, side dish with rice. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few of my fave recipes that use black beans.

Chicken Enchilada casserole- I sub black beans for Chili beans because I like them better.

Tortilla soup- I also add a can of Rotel tomatoes and a bag of frozen corn. I make this in the crock pot it is a family favorite. 

Black bean salsa- So yummy in the summer. 

Truly, I put beans in a lot. Some times it is just a good filler in a random soup or something extra in a meal. But those are a few of the most often used in our house.

Freezer cooking- Black beans

This was my first attempt at using dry beans. I was a little nervous, but then I figured if it went wrong it was only one bag and I could move on with my life. So first, I soaked them for about 16 hours. Then drained and rinsed them.
Next I boiled them for about an hour and then simmered them for another hour. Again then I drained and rinsed. This is where I should have seasoned, but I wanted to see how they were with no added flavor.
Then I laid them all out on paper towel to dry.

Next I put them on a cookie sheet and into the freezer for about an hour.

When they came out they went into a freezer bag and stuck in the freezer.
This was really pretty easy. Most of the steps I could walk away from. We had some last night and the only thing my hubby said was that next time I should season them a little. So, now I know for next time, but it was so easy to just scoop out what I needed . I think this will be a new monthly cooking project.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Free Child ID Kit

Gerber is giving away free Child Safety ID kit. 
Go on over here and check it out.

Thanks, Hip2save!

Great deals you don't even have to leave home for.


So, I happened to come across this coat for only $8.99! How cool is that . Plus, there are plenty of other coats and fabulous deals on some really fun clothes. Tulle looks like it could have some really great finds. Check it out. 

Living on less- preschool

This is Isaac on his first day of Tuesday school in September. 
I thought that once my kids were out of diapers there would be this huge let up on kids finances. I mean we were spending a ton of money to just throw it away! Then after potty training comes preschool. Holy cow, have you priced local preschools? Seriously? I started pricing awhile back and the least expensive preschool I could find was around$100/month. That is almost have my monthly grocery budget!

So, time to look for alternatives. First off, preschool is not mandatory so option one is just don't send them. Another option is public preschool. I have several friends who have their kids enrolled in these and love them. They are high quality educational schooling. Some even have bus service. AMAZING! However, these fill up fast, and aren't easy to get into. 
So, we went with another option in our area. Tuesday school. It is a ministry at a local church which is available once a week (Tuesday in case you hadn't guessed). It serves for socialization and they do learn some basics. 

If you are in the Dayton area and this sounds like an option you are interested in you can call Crossview Christian Church at 937-885-7402 and ask for Miss Diane. I do know that it is first come first serve, but for a free preschool you can't beat it. Children do have to be fully potty trained to attend.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Free movie night.

Redbox has released a new code for today only. RBXLUV4U will get you one free movie. Remember this is a one day rental. After that you will be charged $1/day. You can use one code per credit card/debit card. Happy movie watching. 

20% off Lee jeans

Starting tomorrow March 2 you can get 20% off at Just use the code FAN20 at checkout. From looking at the sale pages I found these boys jeans for $11.99 before coupon. I love that they carry slims because it is hard to find jeans that fit my oldest who is skinny as a rail.