Sunday, June 28, 2009

Free Fun in the Sun

We spent a few hours at the beach this afternoon just enjoying some family time. Here are some photos from our wonderful day in the sun.

And because fun cannot be had without some sort of is Justin. This is what happens when flesh meets shells and sand. The thought that blood in the water might lure certain creatures to shore kept Mr. Justin out of the water the rest of the trip. Unfortunately that meant that he had to miss out on his own surfing fun, but the younger boys sure did have fun.

Weekly Menu Planning - June 29th

This week's menu might get changed around...we'll have to see. Justin and I will be starting our P90X exercise program this week, and I have yet to read the "diet" portion of the plan. Hubby says that it isn't much different from the way we usually eat, so I'm not too concerned. I'll look it over tonight and see. Here is a rough draft of this week's meals.

Mon. – Quesadillas, fruit, black beans
Tues. – Red beans and rice, kielbasa, green beans
Wed. – Chicken casserole / tofu casserole (Jake changed the menu on me last Wednesday for his birthday, so we'll try casserole again this week), mixed veggies, apple sauce
Thurs. – Out to eat (Mexican) with my parents
Fri. – Homemade pizza (cheese and pepperoni), bread sticks, salad
Sat. – Burgers (veggie and meat), Italian pasta salad, cinnamon apples
Sun. – Leftovers

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boogie-man

Today, Jake turned 10 years old. We celebrated a bit early when we were visiting family a few weeks ago. He is now the proud owner of a surfboard! It's just a trainer, but it will serve him well for the next few years, I'm sure. He got to take it out last weekend to paddle around (of course I forgot the camera), and had a blast. He and Justin are hoping for waves this weekend so they can get out there and catch a few.

I can't believe how quickly the past ten years have flown by. It seems like just yesterday he was playing "knock knock" in utero, and now his feet are bigger than mine (which really doesn't take much...I wear a size 5.5). He is growing more mature and is becoming more reliable every day. I look forward to watching him grow into the man he will some day be.

I love you, Jake. Happy birthday.

Here are some photos from his Fiesta Celebration!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can Your Puppy Do This?

That’s right, folks. He is actually getting himself ice.

Lincoln has figured out how to press the ice button, all the while avoiding the water button. He is up there getting ice every fifteen minutes or so.

Who could blame him…the heat index has been 105+ for the last week. Nice job, Lincoln. Good boy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekly Menu Planning – June 22nd

Many of the blogs I follow post a weekly menu. Because I’m such a follower, I thought I would start posting my weekly menu as well. I’d like to write about a different topic each day of the week (i.e. frugality, homeschooling, eco-friendliness, recipes, etc.), but I haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe a weekly menu post will steer me in the right direction.

Mon. – Tacos (bean and cheese or shredded beef [that was given to us as leftovers from a retirement ceremony and froze nicely in the deep freezer]), Spanish rice, refried beans, corn
Tues. – Pasta primavera, herb bread (premade and in the freezer), salad
Wed. – Chicken casserole / tofu casserole (yes, I’ll make both to please the masses…great for leftover lunches), mixed veggies, apple sauce
Thurs. – Grilled cheese, tomato soup, salad
Fri. – Homemade pizza (cheese and pepperoni), bread sticks, salad
Sat. – Tuscan pasta salad, shredded roasted chicken (leftovers from the freezer), salad
Sun. – Taco salad (using the leftover taco fixins from Monday), tortilla chips, salsa

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Baking Soda is My Friend

As a child, I loved to clean the bathroom. I’d grab the can of Scrubbing Bubbles (after I was assured that it didn’t contain any CFCs) and went to town. I would trade chores with my sisters so that I could clean the bathroom. To me, cleaning a bathroom is fairly straight forward, and orderly…just the right core for me.

Well, now that I am older and wiser, and no longer use Scrubbing Bubbles or any chemical in my bathroom, my joy of cleaning the bathroom has waned a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it more than say the kitchen, but for a while, it just wasn’t the quick and easy project I was hoping it to be.

So there I was, cleaning the bathroom one day, struggling to get the hard water stains and soap scum off the all-in-one tub/shower with vinegar and water, when for some reason I got to thinking about Comet (you know, the powdery stuff in the green can). I’d never used the stuff before, but I had seen the commercials as a child and got to thinking about baking soda. So I said to myself, “I wonder if baking soda will work like Comet does?” Again, I’m not sure exactly what Comet is made of, or how well it works (I could look it up online if I really wanted to), but the fact that it popped into my head some twenty years after seeing a commercial really does say something about advertising…or my memory, not sure which one.

I sprinkled some baking soda on the side of the tub, and started scrubbing a bit with a wet rag. Guess what? With little to no elbow grease, the hard water stains and soap scum were seemingly melting away. I was so excited. I had found my new best cleaning buddy.

Now, looking back at my Green Housekeeping book, it talks about using baking soda for a plethora of things…controlling odor, draining cleaner, fire safety, stain removal, etc. It does mention the use of baking soda as a nonabrasive cleanser in the kitchen section, but for some reason my “memory” must be lacking in some areas because I completely forgot about it. I guess I should maybe reread this wonderful book and see what other useful information I can “re”glean from its pages.

So give it a try. I can get a large, 4 lb. box of baking soda at the Commissary for next to nothing (they used to carry the 12 lb. bag, but I can’t seem to find it anymore). Sprinkle a bit in the sink or in the tub and just give it a little rub with a wet rag. Let me know your thoughts. I’m a big fan. Can’t believe it took me so long to “re”discover this tried and true cleaning method.

On a side note - I also found a book the I’m going to check out from the library, Baking Soda : Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of by Vicki Lansky. I’ll let you know if I come up with any other useful tricks for baking soda.