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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Move or not move. Work or not work.

So, I nearing the end of my two week vacation. I have truly loved every minute of it. Every day I was there to pick the kids up from school. You could tell that they were eating up every minute of it just as I was. I did a lot of volunteering at the school. Thankfully, I was off because since I have yet again overloaded myself, I was able to get a lot of college work done. I have to wander how I can keep the balance of single parent, full-time dental assistant, and college student. It is just one of those things I do. I think I work better with a schedule. I am excited to get back to work.

It has also been wonderful talking to my hubby everyday on Facebook. But, then he got my mind wandering. We will have to move. Blah! Now where do we decide to go? Well, we both agree that we want a normal life. A 9 to 5 job would fit real nicely into our life. So, I ask you where shall we go next? We are tossing around Virginia, Chicago or Seattle. Chicago would be great. It is only an hour away from family. How would we know how to act? Life would be sweet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Berry Picking in Alaska.

What a great state we live in. The kids and I went the other day to go pick blueberries. This year the weather has been much warmer. Previous years, we have to bundle up and our hands get cold while picking berries. This year we ventured up to Arctic Valley, which is a rather steep climb. We ended up picking for several hours. Much of it was picked through already, but we had a blast anyways. Being out there is so refreshing. The kids forgot about playing video games and watching tv. Now they are excited on what we are going to make with our blueberries. The only thing that would have made the day even better is if Derek was there picking with us. We love you honey!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Here is the recipe for my easy lasagna roll ups.

1-12 oz package of Pork sausage,reduced fat
2-8 oz packages of Cream Cheese 1/3 less fat
1-16 oz package of Lasagna noodles
1-26 oz can of tomato sauce
Mozzarella Cheese to sprinkle

1. Boil noodles according to package. Meanwhile, brown pork sausage. Once cooked, add cream cheese and season with salt,pepper, and parsley.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. On the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, smear a thin layer of tomato sauce. Then, place a thin layer of the sausage and cream cheese mixture across a lasagna noodle and roll it starting from on end to a bundle. Repeat until all noodles are rolled.
4. Drizzle all noodles with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese. Then, sprinkle some parsley on top.
5. Bake for 40 min cover with aluminum foil. Then remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes.

This meal is also great to freeze. Just do the preparation of the lasagna roll up and don't bake. Then freeze. Pull out of freezer when you are ready to bake. Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 1 hr to 1 hr 1o min.

Less than two week countdown...

In 2 weeks, I will become a college student again. I will be entering the world of cyberspace college. The other day I purchased some school supplies. Of course I had to get fun stuff. It is great to feel like a little kid and go through the whole aisle to get the perfect notebook. My daughter, Mara, told me today that I can't go back to college because I have to take care of them. I hope she feels different about that as she sees me dedicated to getting a degree. The hardest challenge will be finding the perfect balance of working full-time, taking care of the kids, cleaning the house,cooking, and dealing with the deployment of my husband in Afghanistan. That is a lot on my plate.

So tomorrow, I have decided that I will make some freezer meals. I am determined to not succumb to eating out. After getting home from work, it is so easy just to get take out. In the past eating out has cost us as much as $500 a month. Ouch! On the menu to make for my freezer meals is:

Cheesy Chicken Pasta
Italian Ricotta Chicken (No pasta. I can't have all these carbs every night.)
Chicken and Broccoli Rice

I might even try making some soup and freezing it. Sounds like a busy weekend before heading back to work.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Can I use up some of the food in my pantry?

I have come to realize I have a problem. I like to shop for food. Lately, I have been on an organic,natural healthy kick. I feel like I need to go to the store at least once a week to get fresh food. While I am there, I rack up a rather large bill. I stumbled across an article today that mentioned people shop for food because they feel like they are providing for their family and it takes up time. Bingo! That is me.

So now I am on a mission to create a meal plan. I still plan to eat organic when available and cut out a lot of the bad things that the kids eat. No more high fructose corn syrup and dyes in food. I need to use up the things in my pantry because I am starting to act like a squirrel gathering nuts. I have really been liking some of the blogs that I have been reading lately. They inspire me and drive me to be a better homemaker.

Tonight I reviewed what I had in my pantry and created a meal plan for the rest of the month, which is about 3 weeks. Guess what? I created enough meals with what I have that I have less than 17 items on my grocery list.

Here are some of the meals I have planned:
Taco Soup
Braised Turkey Breasts
Fettuccine Alfredo
Beef Stew
Soft Tacos with refried beans
Breakfast for dinner
Talapia in a panko bread crust
Pizza and Popcorn night, using fresh whole wheat dough (bread machine recipe)
Sloppy Joes (Because I can't get away with this while Derek is here)
Bison burgers with french fries

The list goes on...

We shall see how this goes. Overall, I want to spend less. I still want to eat organic but it is rather hard up here in Alaska. This meal plan will help me so I don't go up to Fred Meyer's and go crazy. With yummy meals for dinner, makes yummy left overs for lunch. I also plan to make homemade hummus, texas caviar and pizza rolls for lunch.

Wish me luck!

Mamma is going back to school.

The other day when Derek was here, we started having a discussion about me going back to school. His words of encouragement fueled my desire. I went down and made an appointment to talk with a counselor. My appointment went well. The best part and one of the deciding factors was a grant of $6000 offered by the military to spouses. This grant is to encourage spouses so they can have a portable career.

I have always said that when my youngest child started Kindergarten that I would go back to college. Well, a year has past and I now have a first grader. I am now going to kick my butt in high gear. In one day and one day only, I applied to an online community college and sent my transcripts in. Done!

After evaluating my college courses that I have taken, I am not far away from my Associates. I could kick myself for not doing this sooner. The kids can't quite grasp that I am going to college. Mara is amazed that I won't be going down the street to the white building. I told her all I need is a computer. Now don't get me wrong, I love being a dental assistant. I only have a short term goal, to show me and my kids that I can do this. I want my kids to go to college.

So, we shall see where this takes me. I am excited. My brain might like the stimulation.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Less than a week countdown...

We are now less than a week for Derek to go back. Sadness. On a better note, the sun is shining. To bad we slept till 10am. I had to remind myself that Derek doesn't get to do this everyday. What shall we do today? We have had constant rain this past week. Now we can finally ride our bikes. We have to squeeze in a gun show and going to the shooting range. Ideas are going through my head what Mara and I can do. I am looking forward to this week. We are finally going to go to Homer. This is somewhere I have wanted to go since we moved here.