Saturday, May 9, 2009

What Mamas really want for Mothers day!

When you ask a Mama what she really wants for Mothers day, you will often get the following answers.

"I don't need anything. Just being your mama is enough..."

" You are my gift "

" I need a new skillet or maybe a vacuum"

I thought I would break it down and list some things that mamas really want for mothers day. (Or at least Mamas of toddlers / young ones)

To be able to eat a meal- while its hot!

To be able to have one phone conversation without interruption or saying "excuse me... Miles is on top of the buffet... I'll have to call you back."

To be able to take a shower for longer than 3 minutes and without "visitors".

To have all the kids NOT SICK at one time.

To get a report for the sitter or Sunday school teacher that your little one was a delight and OH SO kind to others.

To be able to listen to a song you love on the radio in the car with the kidlets in the backseat. ( Every time a good song comes on that's the time my son decides to ask me how a fire hydrant works or why grandpa lives so far away. )

To be able to take a bath and read a couple chapters in a book... without hearing screaming on the other side of the door.

For your heart not to break when you think someone has hurt your child's feelings

For your little ones to stay little just a while longer. (Except, of course, if your having one of THOSE days in which you quickly wish they were 25 and out of the house.)

To be able to protect your babies from every hurt... emotional and physical.

To have a babysitter that lives next door, is a elementary school teacher/ pediatric nurse who loves nothing more than to read and sing to your children.

To have energy to not just collapse at the end of the day.

What is so fabulous about being a mama is that although I would love to have the above items...... I wouldn't trade all of them for one moment with my babies. Isn't motherhood wonderful??

Happy Mothers day to all your AWESOME mama's out there! Your job is priceless and worth more than all the gold in the world.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A perfect (and thrifty) mothers day gift... sure to induce tears!

Mothers day is one of my favorite "holidays". I didn't fully appreciate it until I have delivered two beautiful children and gave my heart away forever.

Since we are on a budget in this house, I have been racking my brain for gifts that are both thrifty and will produce the proper tears! This is what I came up with....

I just grabbed some cheap Terracotta pots ( I found them for around a $1 at Walmart) then used some outdoor paint that I had. NOTE: Make sure that you use outdoor accent paint that is both UV and water resistant if they will be used outside. I get mine from Michaels crafts- Use your coupon for 40% in the Sunday paper to make this even more reasonable! Just make sure that you have something to apply the paint and some soapy water to wash little hands :)

I painted the kids hands and just had them touch the pots. Then I Painted their names and ages on the pots. The kids had a ball doing it!

You can either put a flower in the pots or fill it with seed packets, new gardening gloves, spade, gardening shoes etc.

I cannot wait to see the looks on the faces of our mamas and grandmas when they open this gift. This way they can have a little piece of the grandkids with them at all times!

GE Bargain recipe of the week- Pork Chops with Tomatoes and String Beans

Bargain Meal of the Week

Here is another pork recipe for you. I like this one because we grow fresh green beans in our garden. With this recipe I can use them in an actual recipe instead of heapin them on the side :) Maybe the kids won't realize there is a a veggie in there? Happy eating y'all!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand.

Pork Chops with Tomatoes and String Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed (On sale $1.29 a lb) $1.29

1/4 cup olive oil
4 pork chops (On sale $1.99) $2

1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
several tomatoes, sliced (On sale Giant Eagle canned whole tomatoes $1.19) .60
shredded Cheddar cheese to taste .99

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
Fill a saucepan with lightly salted water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered until the green beans are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid. Spread the beans into the greased baking dish.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops, and cook until golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Season the browned pork chops with salt, pepper, sage, and garlic, then arrange over the green beans. Boil the reserved cooking liquid in the skillet and stir the browned bits until dissolved. Pour over the pork chops. Place the tomato slices over the pork chops, and cover each with Cheddar cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees.

Total cost of this meal: $4.88

Add Baked potatoes (On sale 5 lb bag for $2.50) Total cost of meal: $5.72

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Please ignore the flasher in pew 12.....

I think that with every suck my newborn took at my breast, out came a little pride. Its as if pride starts to slowly die with the birth of your little red, squirmy one. You slowly begin to realize that you would do anything for your child and that includes putting your needs/humility below theirs.

A good example is getting my family ready for an event. Lets take Easter for example. This year, Easter was crazy! I had two toddlers birthday parties within a couple weeks of Easter and I decided that the logical, sane thing to do was to host Easter dinner for 15. ( Can you say CCCCCRRRRRAAAAZZZZYYYYY??? )

I spent a week shopping for the perfect Easter outfits for the kids. I found the little one a beautiful dress that was classic, simple and of course on sale! I then found the big one a matching "spring green" dress shirt and sweater vest. They both matched each other, oh so casually. I then purchased a lovely spring green tie for my hubby. I was so excited thinking how good the pictures would look of my little family that I love so much.

Of course mama didn't buy anything new for herself. I was busy, which is totally fine with me. I knew I had a perfectly lovely dress from 3 Easters ago. I haven't been able to put my pregnant body in it since I seem to be a marathon reproducer with little time in between off spring.

I got in the dress no problem but had to ask hubby for a little help with the zipper. He had just as much trouble trying to get it closed. He sat there baffled, saying that there was plenty of room but it just seemed stuck. Finally we got the sucker zipped up and I congratulated myself for not only fitting in the dress but having some room to move/ breath. Woohoo! What do they say? Pride comes before the fall?

I got to church and was beaming looking at my crew. Clean and shiny in new shoes they looked like a picture. Hubby and I sat down to a lovely service and I couldn't help but think how blessed we were to arrive at church with no drama on Easter morning.

The service ended and I got up from my chair ready to go get my kids from their classes. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a lady behind me gasped. CLUE #1!!!

As I threw my coffee cup away and started off towards the classroom I felt a little breeze. CLUE #2!!!

My mom flew up behind me, grabbed my arm and steered me into the bathroom. She then told me the horrible, awful truth.

My zipper had stripped the whole length of the dress leaving all of my backside exposed. Now ladies I am going to be real with you here...... I didn't choose my lacy romantic undies this day. I was in a hurry and wanted to be comfy. I had chosen this day, much to my chagrin, my "Aunt Flo is visiting", had since high school, stretched out, holy, need to throw away undies. My zipper, of course, ran all the way to my thighs. It had to be the most attended service in the whole year... filled to the brink. Good times.....

We tried to fix it in vain. It was a goner. I am not sure if the zipper was sewn poorly or it had stripped getting into it.

I should have been mortified. I should have wanted to crawl under the pew and never ever come out. I should have cried with embarrassment. What I felt however was a need to talk to my sons teacher and make sure that he minded and acted like the nice boy I know he can be. I wanted to see my little girl playing with the other kids and I wanted to get dinner started. I had too much to do to spend any more time in the bathroom!

I grabbed the back of my dress and made my rounds. I had all the naughty bits covered, got to talk to some of my friends (who probably thought I had a back injury but was too kind to ask) and got in the car. My hubby sheepishly looked over at me waiting for tears, screaming, something. I started laughing so hard that I almost added a wet yellow spot to my tragedy of an outfit. This was life. I was too busy, tired and filled with the joy of the day to give it much thought.

It was as I was changing that I realized that motherhood had transformed me. It had made me put two small creatures and their needs before my own. It had even made me care less about my flashing a hundred people and more about the lamb my son made in his classroom. How wonderful motherhood is!!

That being said, I always think twice about the undies I pick out before church. If round two would happen to hit I want to be prepared.

Bargain recipe of the week- Pork with tomato and pepper sauce

Bargain Meal of the Week
Pork loin is on sale at Meijers this week. This recipe calls for it to be cut into think strips. I would suggest you freeze it just a little bit and cut the strips while its almost thawed but not quite. This makes cutting any meat so much easier!! Happy Eating!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand.

Pork Tenderloin with Tomato and Pepper Sauce

2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (1 1/2 pound) lean pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips (On sale $1.79 a lb) $2.68
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles .99
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper (On sale $1.29 a lb) .86
1 onion, diced (On sale .59 a lb) .40

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir garlic into sizzling hot butter, and then arrange as many sliced pork tenderloin strips as you can fit into the pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides. Remove from pan; set aside. Repeat with any remaining pork tenderloin strips.

Return all pork tenderloin strips to pan. Stir in tomatoes and season with basil, salt, and pepper. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cover.

Meanwhile, heat water in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook peppers and onion in boiling-hot water until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir into pork tenderloin and tomatoes. Continue cooking until pork tenderloin strips are no longer pink, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Total cost of this meal: $4.93

Add Salad ( Dole on sale .98) Total cost of Meal: $5.65

Add salad and veggie (Freshlike on sale 5 for $5) Total cost of Meal: $6.65

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bargain recipe of the week- Not your average grilled chicken

Bargain Meal of the Week

Okay Y'all...... this recipe scares me. It sounds so yummy however that I am compelled to try it. That coupled with the fact that Kroger has whole chicken on sale .89 a lb. Add the fact that you can get another meal out of the leftovers and it is looking even better!!

So take a deep breath and just pretend that you are a surgeon on Grey's anatomy. Or just be like me and make your hubby do it ! :)

Not Your Average Grilled Chicken

1 (3 pound) whole chicken (On sale .89 a lb ) 2.67
3/4 cup sour cream (On sale Daisy 2.49 - 24 ounces) .62
1/4 cup diced onion (On sale .58 a lb) .29
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

To make the chicken easier to grill evenly, remove its backbone. Do this by placing the chicken breast side down on a work surface with the tail end facing you. With a boning knife or sturdy kitchen shears, cut from front to back next to the backbone. Turn the chicken so the neck end faces you and cut on the other side of the backbone. Remove the backbone and use it for making stock or discard. Turn the chicken over and cut through the tailbone or wish bone. Spread the chicken out flat so it's 'butterflied.'

Mix together the sour cream, red onion, garlic, oregano, dill, salt, and pepper in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Gently lift the skin from the chicken being careful not to puncture or break the skin. Spoon the sour cream mixture under the skin, and massage gently to ease the mixture into all areas of the chicken. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat a grill for medium heat. Lightly oil a grill grate, and place 4 inches from the heat source.
Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Place chicken on prepared grill skin side up. Cover the grill, and cook until the meat is firm and juices run clear when pierced with a knife, 45-55 minutes. There is no need to turn the chicken over.

Total cost of Meal: $3.58

Add Baked potatoes (10 lb bag on sale 2.99) Total cost of meal: $4.48

Add baked potatoes and asparagus (On sale 1.99 a lb) Total cost of Meal: $5.48

Click on the image to go find more Bargain Meal of the Week!

Menu Plan Monday

I am trying some new things this week. Two of my bargain recipes from last week and a new one from today. (The thought of removing a backbone from a whole chicken makes me eye twitch but it looks so yummy..... I think I will break it to hubby that this will be one of his tasks this week :) Happy Mothers day to me! ) Happy Eating!!

Monday: One dish chicken and noodles, biscuits, salad

Tuesday: Steak kabobs with fresh veggies, Mac and cheese, green beans

Wednesday: Oven fried chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and rolls

Thursday: BBQ pork chops, rice, peas, crescent rolls
Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Not your average grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, baked potatoes
Sunday: Mama's day !! If its in the fridge you can eat it.... but mama isn't cookin!!