Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend

If I had a picture of my husband in uniform I would post it here. *Cough* *Cough* Since I don't I'll just post about our weekend. School ended for the boys on Friday and boy oh boy were they excited! We spent Friday afternoon (they even had early release) at the pool. I spent part of that time putting together this new table set in anticipation of grilling and eating out there all weekend.
Saturday we had some friends over for swimming and grilling. Less than five minutes after opening the umbrella on the new table......
Crash! The wind picked up the umbrella and knocked the whole table over shattering the glass. I wanted to cry. My nice friends cleaned it up for me while I started feeding kids lunch.
Sunday my parents, sister, teenage nephews, and one girlfriend came over and even spent the night. Most of the weekend was spent at the pool or eating. My grill worked overtime, even grilling peaches for dessert (served with vanilla ice cream) and roasting marshmallows for s'mores (it was way too windy to make a fire in the fire pit liked I'd hoped).

Our poor dog had been a little sick last week but got much worse Saturday morning so after an emergency trip to the vet it was decided that he needed to stay there for the long weekend to receive fluids and antibiotics. His health prognosis was a little grim and not a great way to kick off the weekend. BUT the vet called daily telling me how good Chewy was doing and the boys and I were able to pick him up today and bring him home. He's spent the day mostly napping but we're still happy to have him home and doing well.
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Weekend!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Last weeks meals ended up getting shuffled around a bit and due to eating at the Frog Race on Friday we missed having the Greek Turkey Meatballs. I have all the ingredients so it's definitely added back to this weeks menu. The Swedish meatballs were the star of last weeks menu. The boys and I all gave it two thumbs up and this is something I will be making again! I really enjoyed the cauliflower fritters that were Tuesday's side dish but they got mixed reviews from the boys. Here's what's on the menu for this week.

Monday - Skinny Sloppy Joes (122 calories + 100 calorie bun), Easy Zucchini Parmesan (52 calories), and carrot sticks

Tuesday - Greek Turkey Meatballs (255 calories) with Skinny Tzatziki (18 calories) in a pita (80 calories)

Wednesday -
Chicken Enchiladas (160 calories) and Chipotle's Skinny Cilantro Lime Rice (201 calories)

Thursday - Philly Cheesesteaks (230 calories) and Baked Chili Sweet Potato Fries (108 calories)

Friday - Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce (167 calories) and Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes (175 calories)

Saturday - Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Barbecue (I didn't even count up the calories for this because they don't count on a holiday weekend, right???)

The pulled pork I've had twice before and it is wonderful! I'm having friends over so it will be an easy thing to have in the slow cooker and not have to be standing over a stove or grill.

We also have fresh watermelon in the house so I'm sure that will be added to many meals this week.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Frog race

Yesterday Meals on Wheels had their annual Frog Race fundraiser. This is the first time we had ever been and I had just happened to read about it in the newspaper. I surprised the boys and didn't tell them about it in advance. The boys and I had a good time. We went after karate so we had time to "buy" our rubber frogs (you don't get to keep them) and then walk around to check out a few booths along with this guy.
We found a table where the kids could do some crafts and they made cool frog visors. Zachary asked why the tongue had to be sticking out. I didn't have an answer other than it was cute!

The boys had time to play on the playground a little bit since it was in the park and then we bought hotdogs and sat on the riverbank to watch the race.
The frogs didn't float all the far so the race didn't take too long. We didn't stick by the river to hear the results but we didn't win. Instead the boys wanted to hurry and get their faces painted before that booth closed up shop. They both picked fire breathing dragons!

Next we had icecream and a little more play time. When I finally said it was time to go Alex got attitude with me and started saying how he never wants to come back and that he didn't have a good time. I know that none of that was true - he was just upset at having to leave. What a sad way to end a fun day though. I'm a little worried that it's going to be a long long summer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Topsy Turvey Plants

I just finished up another garden project this morning. I love how this plant stand turned out. Now I will tell you right now that I cheated. You can buy a special plant stand that does this and it can be used on a porch, patio, or even in your home. However since I was going to put mine on the ground in front of my porch I went the cheaper route and just bought a metal stake (mine was 48 inches long), put one end into the ground and then threaded on my pots. It seems fairly sturdy but I guess the real test will be when the next storm comes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Matching shirts always make for a great photo opportunity. Unfortunately this is the only good one of the bunch. At least I got one though! This was taken before school this morning so we didn't have much time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This post is mostly for my hubby to see what I've done around the house lately since he's been reading my blog from Iraq. I've spent the last several days planting more flowers, mulching a flower bed, repotting plants, and rearranging pool storage. The boys helped a little over the weekend with the mulch. They jump at any chance to dig or shovel!

Here I finally threw out a dead tree that was sitting in a big gorgeous pot for the last two years and planted our fern in it that had been in a plastic pot on a shelf. I repotted a few other things by the front door but it looks much different without the plant shelf next to the door. (Trust me.)
This is the big flower bed that we filled over Spring Break. It hasn't grown much since then but three things did die and I replaced them. I'm debating adding mulch because I think it will look nicer but the woman at the nursery said not to. Hmmmm.....
This is the semi-new bed on the other side of the porch. We had only planted two things here when Chris was home but I've added to it and added the limestone border.

This one's not planting but I got a new smaller deck box to replace the large broken one that was there before. The big one was moved to the side of the house to hold all of the river tubes and rafts. The boys and I shoveled fill gravel to sit it on to be level. That was work!

The back yard bed. This one got new mulch and new flowers. I wasn't very smart about it though and put the mulch in before the plants! I had to scoop the mulch back to dig my plants holes - extra work. We also had a wooden wheelbarrow here that had a plant in it but it kept tipping over since this bed isn't very flat on top. I moved it to the front and added a new home-made bird bath here.

Here's a close up of the bird bath. It was a craft I found in a kids craft magazine and was supposed to be for Mother's Day but didn't get finished in time. I think it turned out so cute!

This is both of the bird baths that we made. One is for my mom and the other for me. The boys were each supposed to have made one but only Zachary was interested. Alex glued about two rows of rocks in his and called it quits. Zachary and I finished his up.

That's some of the main things I've done for now. I've got a few other things in mind or in process so I might have more pictures later this week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

So, I wasn't really impressed with any of the three new meals that I tried last week. They were hit or miss with the boys too. I feel much better about this week's line-up. I'm trying two new main dishes and they are both meatballs but I've had another meatball recipe from this same blog and it was delish so I'm optimistic.

Monday - Swedish Meatballs (214 calories) with egg noodles (170 calories)

Tuesday - Shake & Bake chicken breasts (145 calories) with Cauliflower Fritters (109 calories) and a salad

Wednesday - Pancakes with a topping of sliced strawberries & bananas mixed with sugar free maple syrup (under 200 calories) and scrambled eggs (70 calories each)

Thursday - Greek Turkey Meatballs (255 calories) topped with Skinny Tzatziki (18 calories) in a pita (hopefully 60 or 70 calories - I haven't bought them yet)

Friday - Chicken Chow Mein (291 calories)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tiger Stripe

Today Alex got his first accomplishment in karate. In the 4-5 year old class the first two stripes (colored tape wrapped around the end of the belt) are earned by attendance. He should have received this stripe on Monday but the main instructor wasn't there and Alex was so upset. Today he and another boy both earned stripes and he was all smiles.

You get called up to the front and have to kneel while the stripe is put on your belt.
Then you have a special handshake to do with the instructor and all the Don's (I think a Don is an instructor because some of those kids help in Alex's class. They are the ones with the black trim.)
Alex showing off his new tiger stripe!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

The boys and I went out of town to my parents house for Mother's Day so I didn't have a meal plan for the weekend but I did make Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes. I made these super easy cupcakes without the frosting so they were only 94 calories each. When topped with fat free whipped topping and fresh sliced strawberries & blueberries it was a delicious and figure friendly dessert.

This week I'm trying more new recipes but with a few older ones mixed in. Tomorrow I am making Blueberry - Buttermilk Coffee Cake (250 calories) to have for breakfast for the rest of the week.

Monday - Pasta, Greens, and Beans (379 calories)

Tuesday - Italian Potato Dumpling Casserole (225 calories) and roasted asparagus (about 60 calories)

Wednesday - Shrimp & Bean Couscous (344 calories)

Thursday - Makeover Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta (343 calories)

Friday - Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini (379 calories)

*Due to the pitiful selection of zucchini at the store today Friday's recipe will be replaced by Layered Black Bean Casserole. I've really been loving black beans lately but in this one the beans are mashed with tofu! Sorry I couldn't find a link for this one.

Hopefully there will be leftovers of something to eat on Saturday or we'll have an easy meal of sandwiches or cereal! Hope you have a good week!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you to my husband for the gorgeous tulips that he sent me for Mother's Day. I love them!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sidewalk Chalk

The boys have had sidewalk chalk on their minds ever since they got some in the Easter gift that Daddy sent them. Yesterday evening was the perfect time to finally do it. The only bad thing is that no rain in Texas means I'm going to secretly have to hose off the driveway in a few days while the boys are at school!
We actually have a large box of chalk already so that's what's in this picture. Daddy did not mail that huge thing!

Guess what happened right after this picture?
If you guessed bathtime then you were right!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Last week's meals all turned out well except for the Mexican Beef & Pasta. I think it tasted good but despite using mild salsa and mild green chillies it was way too hot for the boys to eat. I thought it was a little hot myself. I do think it's worth trying again but I might only add half the amount of those spicy things next time!

This week is almost all new recipes again. I just love trying new things although it's a gamble if it's going to be a winner or not. Thankfully Alex & Zachary don't mind either.

Monday - Cubano Panini (295) with fruit and chips

Tuesday - Garlic Chicken Spaghetti (398)

Wednesday - Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana (195) with roasted veggies (squash, zucchini, onions, peppers, & broccoli)

Thursday - Philly cheesesteaks (230) with sweet potato fries

Friday - Chicken Enchiladas (160) with black beans

Today or tomorrow I think I'm making Low Fat Strawberry Scones to use up more berries and then I'll have to freeze the rest for another time. The Strawberry Jello Pie I made yesterday is already half gone! Good thing I tweaked it to make it low-cal!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Strawberry picking

A few days ago I heard mentioned on the radio or somewhere a "local" farm to go and pick your own strawberries. I had something like this on my summer to-do list with the boys but since strawberry season is almost done and we love strawberries we headed out there yesterday with some friends. The boys were so excited about going. It was free to get in so we just grabbed some fruit boxes and found a good picking spot. We were told that you have to look under the leaves for the strawberries and they were right. Most of the strawberries were not obvious unless you were looking for them. Despite an overcast morning the sun came out right when we got there. I'm not sure if the heat was the problem but Alex was done picking after about 10 minutes. Um, we had about a two hour drive to get there so I was not done. Plus I had been dreaming of a fresh strawberry pie! Zachary wasn't ready to stop either so while Alex went and sat on a bench under a pavillion he kept on picking with me. In the end I practically had to pull him away from the strawberries! Zachary was a great picker!!

After Zachary & I had enough berries for a pie and extra munching we took a break for strawberry ice cream and strawberry popcicles. Of course Zachary chose vanilla just to be different. Then we checked out more of the farm.
We dug a few new potatoes and pulled a few onions.

Train rides are always a hit!

Last but not least were the goats. There were horses and donkeys too but we were too hot and tired to see them. The goat pen happened to be next to the train. The boys got a kick out of feeding them through the fence.

Just in case we didn't have enough non-nutritional food after the ice cream and popcicles we made a donut stop on the way home!
At the end of the day I had about 3 pounds of strawberries, 3 onions, and 5-6 new potatoes.
More than enough for my strawberry pie!
I'm thinking about strawberry scones for tomorrow.....