Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

Well, the pantry challenge pretty much died this week. On Sunday MIL called when she was done taking communion to the sick to see if we needed anything, and I listed off several items (almost all dairy, but fresh fruits and veggies, too) and she came back with at least a dozen canned we've still been trying to use up some pantry stuff, but I gave up on the hard core pantry challenge.

It has been a busy week! Monday Eva had her piano lesson, Tuesday we went to the city with MIL so that she could get her infusion for her MS, Wednesday hubby and I went into town for the blood drive and then Eva and MIL had religious ed classes, Thursday MIL went to the city with her dad to get her car fixed and he had an eye appointment and then I had bible study in the evening. Today FIL is going to be watching a video auction in just a couple of hours, so the girls and I (and maybe MIL) are going to head into town to run errands, then stop by and visit hubby's cousin Brittney, who turned 21 this week. We are so lucky to still have Brittney with us.

Among the reasons this week was crazy, my little BIL (okay, well little is relative, I guess I should stop referring to him that way now that he's in his 20s and married...I still sometimes think of him as the dorky twelve year old in our wedding!) was the first to go to the ER since the new business began (this all happened on Tuesday). Hubby and BIL were riding in the bucket of the loader to take tires off the silage pile, and FIL was running the loader. When they came down, BIL got his finger caught between two of the moving parts. He was very lucky. When hubby was driving him into the hospital, he was pretty worried that BIL would lose his finger. It was cut very deeply on both sides through insulated gloves, and everyone thought it was broken. Good news is that no broken bones or tendon damage...just muscle and skin damage. So, he has stitches in his finger, and has been taping sandwich bags over his fingers to keep them clean(er) since they have been spreading manure on fields recently.

I finally got around to updating the blogs on my sidebar. I came across a new one this morning that I wanted to add, so I changed names where necessary, and deleted a couple of blogs that don't post very often anymore.

We are still really looking forward to moving into our own space. To the best of my knowledge, the plan is still for the aunt and uncle in the house to do their major move on February 6th. I've been looking through design books, and picking out curtains. I had a great time at a home improvement store looking at all the fun home improvement and decorating items. I just really need more info before I can buy anything.

Hubby got his first farm paycheck yesterday, so I get to take it into the bank today. It was .40 more than anticipated, so he's only been farming for a month and already got a raise. I think that works out to one one-hundredth of a cent per hour, or something like that.

I am so ready to get our taxes done, but I am STILL waiting on hubby's W-2 form from his old job...I am hoping it will be in our PO Box today, but the whole forwarding mail thing isn't working out too well yet...and to think, we'll get to forward it all again in the next couple of months. Maybe I'll just try to change our address on everything while we have the PO Box paid up (5 more months) to avoid some of the forwarding headache.

More quick takes over at Conversion Diary!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

I've been so wanting to tell this story, but it embarrasses hubby, so he told me not to post it to facebook (which I wanted to do from the car...) but consented to let me blog about it (although I guess I shouldn't put on facebook that I have a blog update...) Last night hubby and I went out on a date. We didn't really have anything in particular to do, so I was okay with no plan (and hubby wanted a plan...a total role reversal for us!) So, we decided while barreling down the gravel road to head towards a Nebraska town with a movie theatre, rather than to the Colorado town with a movie theatre (that shows movies on the Thursday night...the more local theatres do Friday/Saturday/Sunday movies for the most part). The Nebraska theatre had two options, one of which would be mildly entertaining. The Colorado theatre had several, none of which appealed to me. So, hubby decided to take a dirt road shortcut, but ended up on the wrong road. When we finally found a highway and turned onto it, it turns out that we ended up coming in south to the next town over to the east, when we were TRYING to get to the town to the North instead. We didn't make it to the movie, but we got plenty of time to talk while driving.

Update on our eventual looks like the aunt and uncle living there should be able to move out Feburary 6th, but only half of their house in town will be ready, so we have to decide if we want to move in with their son-in-law/contractor living in the basement, or if we can find somewhere else for him to stay until he finishes the house...I also have to call and put off our appliance delivery, which I had scheduled for the 4th, (since the last estimate was that their house should be DONE by the end of January and ready to move in) I guess I'll hope that the following Thursday will be late enough.

Charlotte has been going through a naughty phase. I think part of it is all the upheaval in her life...but I think a big part of it is being 3...I sincerely had forgotten how much I struggled with Eva at 3, but I have memories coming back of very similar behavior from her...

Eva read a book to Grandma last night while we were gone. MIL said that she could sound out every word in the book (just an easy reader I found at a thrift store about Nemo and Dory, so nothing major, but she doesn't like to read to me yet.) I knew she probably could, but with the no school thing for such a long period of time (we did the first week or two of December, then took off because of Hawaii and then moving, and now living with the in-laws...I am REALLY looking forward to getting back to our normal life schedule!) has made us not really practice much with reading or other subjects.

Hubby is really enjoying his new job, which I am very happy about. It is a little hard for me to be as excited about it as I should, though...because it is so stressful living in someone else's home with very different household philosophies (for instance, I never would have considered myself a little bit of a neat freak until now...) I have had friends ask me how I am enjoying being a farm wife, and I have to say that I don't know yet. I just feel like we are having an extended not particularly fun visit to hubby's family. I'm sure I'll feel more farm wife-like when we have our own space.

As for the own space thing, I'm contemplating going over there while no one is home and measuring all the rooms to start planning where things will go. Trying to decide if that would be appropriate or inappropriate...or honestly, whether I care whether it's appropriate or inappropriate!

One thing that I am starting to get concerned about is where the girls are going to go. Our original plan was to put them in the larger of the two bedrooms on the main floor (not counting the master, of course...we get that room!) but I am not sure that the bigger room will have room for two twin beds. So the question is, do we put them together, but in the basement if they don't fit in the room together? (Hubby and I both think they are a little young to be on a different floor than us) or do we give them each one of the small upstairs bedrooms? I think that's the way we are leaning right now, but what do we do if someday they need to share a room again? I don't want them to get the idea that they are each owed their own room...and I think they might miss each other...they've shared a room since Charlotte was 9 months old.

As usual, more quick takes at Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pantry Challenge Update

Well, last week was a really tough week for us. Monday we moved out of our old house. Tuesday we closed on it...and adjusting to the idea that there is no where for us to go until we can move into the new house has been challenging. I've even had a few run ins with my MIL, with whom I normally get along fine.

We are still doing pretty well on the pantry challenge. We've made a few exceptions (basically we've bought a few items we were entirely out of...) but we've even planned another week's worth of menus.

We've made several desserts with the extensive supply of dessert materials, including German Chocolate Upsidedown Cake for my bible study meeting last Thursday, and some cookies that included oatmeal, peanut butter, raisins, coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips for a Knights of Columbus first degree ceremony on Saturday.

Lunch - lunch meat sandwiches, 5 cup fruit salad (pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, coconut and sour cream...a cup of everything except the can each, with 1 T. reserved pineapple juice.)
Dinner - shepherd's pie (made with leftover stew, and topped with some leftover mashed potatoes and some mashed potatoes made with flakes from the pantry) sliced cheese

Lunch - Cranberry Pot Roast (used 1 can of cranberry sauce...still 1 to go!) with Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes (last box)
Dinner - BBQ Pie (hamburger and onion mixed with a large can of baked beans, some BBQ sauce, a topping made with bisquick and cheddar cheese) served with carrots, canned peaches and cheese flavored chips (this meal was brought to you by the color orange!)
Snack - We made this really yummy recipe for an afternoon before piano lessons snack. (used up two cans of pears, I think we only have 1 to go!)

Lunch - Coconut Chicken Curry (made with the can of coconut milk) and rice (still have a ton of rice to use up!)
Dinner - hamburgers, french fries and tossed salad (no pantry items here...just trying to do something easy while MIL and Eva are at CCD classes!)

Lunch - Szechuan Beef (using up the can of water chestnuts and some peanuts out of the pantry) with rice (we will be eating a lot of rice by the end of the month.)
Dinner - Bahama Mama Pork Chops (using up some pineapple and raisins) baked potatoes and a frozen veggie

Lunch - Runza in a Skillet (using up the last can of tomato soup) with cottage cheese and probably something else on the side...
Dinner - Chili (using some of our dried pinto beans, and probably a can of salsa, since we are low on tomato products.)

Lunch - Sausage Pasta (using some of our spaghetti and a jar of kalamata olives in place of the black olives) with a tossed salad.
Dinner - We will be attending a fundraiser for a local crisis pregnancy center, so no cooking (yeah!)

Lunch - Sloppy Joes (using a bunch of different pantry items) and pretzel salad with whatever else I can find, or that MIL brings home after church from the store.
Dinner - Garlic Chicken with Orzo (using up hopefully the whole box of orzo in the pantry)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

Hubby has been farming officially for a full week now (yeah!) which means that we've been living with his parents for over a week (and still doing okay so far) and that he has been FREEZING, I think. It got down to 8 below last night, and that doesn't count windchill. I'm glad that I get to stay inside.

We have a closing date on our old house. Tuesday at 4 PM. We also have a moving date for the last of our stuff...Monday morning. MIL, I and the girls went down yesterday afternoon to pack up stuff. Then after it got dark and the men were done working, hubby and his dad came down to help. We cleared out the attic (I can't believe how much baby stuff we had stored up there!), almost finished packing boxes, and moved the freezer and the kitchen table and chairs.

Sometime this afternoon we will be leaving to go the a Knights of Columbus meeting down in Colorado Springs. I'm excited about hanging out with the girls, going to the pool, and going to the mass and banquet as a family. I am not excited about doing laundry and packing this morning.

On Wednesday, I taught Charlotte's preschool coop class for the last time. Since most of our stuff was packed and moved, I had some last minute changes to plans, but we somehow managed to get through 4 projects...A paper bag cow puppet, a number 6 activity, a rectangle shape person, and a new years shaker (made with dried beans in a coke can.) While I was getting the snack together (juice pouches and goldfish crackers) all the kids started screaming at each other, so I put them all in corners for a time out while I finished getting ready. One little boy muttered something about never wanting to come to this house again...which I thought was funny, since it was the last time he'd come to it while we own it, anyway!

I've been Internet shopping for appliances, and I think I have my plan laid out for when we get in our next house. We will definitely need a range, microwave, washer and dryer (we are bringing our fridge) and we may need a dishwasher...I know there is one in the house, but I am not sure if it works or not. It looks like I should be able to get pretty nice appliances for around $2000...which is a lot, of course, but I know it could be a lot worse. I guess we'll have to see if the prices go up by the time we are in there...

Another task that needs to be done before we leave today is fixing Eva's Christmas dress (we bought it for pictures the day we had the girl's pictures taken, but found out that we needed to wrap a hair tie in the back of it to keep the neckline high enough...) so that she can wear it to the banquet tomorrow night without the hair tie. Unfortunately, I bought MIL needles to do the job last week, and we have spent much of the morning looking for those needles!

I am really looking forward to having our own space. It hasn't been too bad living all together, but having the girls on an air mattress in the office space has made it difficult to get girls to sleep well AND made it difficult to get things faxed and copied, etc. It will be nice to come over and be visitors again.

More quick takes at Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Menu Plan -Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Today MIL and I sat down to plan meals and write out a grocery list. We now have meals planned until Friday night when hubby and I heading out of town. We spent about $80 at the store, and didn't buy anything to restock the pantry. I did buy goldfish crackers and juice boxes for the preschool coop class I am teaching tomorrow morning. Here's the menu for the week:

Lunch (Dinner to MIL): Meatballs with cranberry/chili sauce, Mac and Cheese, Green beans
Dinner (Supper to MIL...we're always confused about meals): Chicken noodle soup, garlic bread

Lunch: Leftovers for the guys, I'll be having lunch with some friends in our old town. Not sure what MIL is planning yet.
Dinner: Tacos, fruit salad

Lunch: Chicken Divan casserole, baby carrots
Dinner: Sausage and Spinach Manicotti, tossed salad

Friday: Sloppy Joes, tossed salad

Monday, January 04, 2010

Pantry Inventory - Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Well, today I finally got around to cleaning out MILs pantry, and combining my pantry items with hers. I didn't manage to fit in everything, but took out quite a few of MILs she needs to find a new home for them. Today for lunch we made a tuna casserole, and for dinner tonight we are making a taco casserole. I have a feeling there will be many more casseroles this month.

I didn't inventory everything, because between all the jello (MIL) and baking supplies (both of us) and the 13 or so packages of marshmallows (sadly, I'm not joking, and I threw out about 5 petrified open packages). But here is the incomplete list:

Canned Pumpkin 2
Cranberry Sauce 2
Crushed Pineapple 4
Pineapple Tidbits 2
Canned Pears 2
Mandarin Oranges 2
Italian Style Tomatoes 1
Vegetable Soup 2
Tomato Soup 2
Chicken Noodle 1
Cream of Mushroom 1
Chili Sauce 1
Bisquick 2
Fish n Chips Batter 1
Fryin' Magic 1
Creamy Peanut Butter 4
Graham Cracker Crumbs 1 (+ 2 boxes actual graham crackers)
Fiber Crackers 2
Salsa Jar 1
Spaghetti 3
Lasagna 1
Penne 1
Manacotti 2
Instant Rice 1
White Rice 1
Brown Rice 2
Saffron Rice 1
Stuffing 1
Croutons 2
Orzo 2
Mashed Potato Flakes 1
Scalloped Potatoes 1
Mac and Cheese 2
Macaroni Shells 1
Evaporated Milk 6
Sweetened Condensed Milk 1
Coconut Milk 1
Water Chestnuts 1
Refried Beans 1
Baked Beans 1
Pasta Sauce 1
Canned Chicken 2
Canned Salmon 1
Canned Tuna 3
Canned Spinach 2
Sauerkraut 1
Canned Corn 1
Canned Black Olives 1
Jars Kalamata Olives 2
Banana Peppers 1

So far so good, no grocery shopping at all, but since we are out of milk and bread, I think a trip to the store tomorrow would be in order.