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Menu Plan Monday ~ March 14th

Here’s what we’re eating this week…

Monday:  Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

Tuesday: Oven roasted salmon, roasted asparagus, fruit

Wednesday: Kung pao chicken and veggies, rice

Thursday: Pancakes and turkey bacon

Friday: I’m off kitchen duty… more on that later!

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Mil-Spouse Friday Fill-In #33


1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent

We’ve yet to go through a deployment, but when Knight was gone for BCT/AIT for 7 months, I just maintained a routine and kept busy.  It wasn’t hard… Jet was 4 years old, Songbird was born in the middle of that time frame, and I was teaching full-time!

2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb

We’re not regular concert-goers, but one year for Valentine’s Day we bought ourselves tickets to see Dave Matthews in Dallas.  Those guys are seriously talented and we had a blast!

3.  What do you miss most about your “hometown”? submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier

First and foremost, I miss our families. But I also miss Mexican food, Shiner Bock beer, Blue Bell ice cream, HEB grocery stores, and the bluebonnets.  (Hmmm… four of the five on that list have to do with food.  I’m sure there’s some deep, psychological inference that can be made there.)

4.  If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie & Co.

Probably St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Watching my children go through “regular” illnesses is hard enough – I can’t imagine going through something like cancer. 

5.  You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum? submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench

A spinach salad with balsamic viniagrette, a nice, thick, medium-rare ribeye and seared scallops with fried okra and a loaded baked potato, and crème brûlée for dessert…. Even at 8:30 in the morning, it sounds good!!

If you’re a MilSpouse, fill in and link up!

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The throes of the noes.

Songbird can be a little… stubborn. 

Truthfully, she comes by it quite honestly.  When I was little, my family called me hard-headed, which was abbreviated to HH.  When I talk about Songbird’s little ‘tude, I think my parents just sort of sit back and laugh on the inside… and sometimes even on the outside.  (The curse works!)

We are in the throes of the noes right now.  Every question, request, or instruction posed to the child receives a “No” in response.  

We’ve learned to use this to our advantage…

Q: “Will you ever have a boyfriend?”

A: “No!”


Q: “Do you want a car when you turn 16?”

A: “No!”


Q: “Are you ever going to ask for money?”

A: “No!”


Q: “Will you ever stop loving your mommy?”

A: “No!”

And so on and so forth. 

But I don’t think it’s helping.  (I’ll just throw another dollar in her therapy fund.)

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Prepping and Storing Produce

One of my biggest pet peeves is throwing away food that has gone bad.  It’s just throwing out money, and lots of it if it’s spoiled produce.

I’m a huge fan of cutting up veggies on the weekend so that they’re easy to eat and cook with during the week.  It’s one of my favorite cooking tips.  If I have cleaned and sliced veggies ready to go, I can throw together a salad to go with dinner in about sixty seconds.  Stir-fry? No sweat.  Veggie pizza?  Done in a jiffy! I also really like to eat fresh veggies as a snack, but if I’m starving and they have to be cut up, whine, whine, whine… I’m more likely to grab something less healthy. 

Problem #1: Cut produce goes bad really fast.

Problem #2: Produce buried in the bottomless pit that is the produce drawer is likely to be forgotten.

Enter the Rubbermaid Produce Savers.  The set sells for around $12 at Amazon, and they are worth every penny.  I bought 2 sets and am thinking about getting another one.

These things are amazing.  They have this little green piece in the bottom that allows moisture to drip away from the produce, as well as let air circulate all the way around the produce.  There are also vents in the lid.  All of that works together to keep the produce from spoiling as quickly as it would otherwise.

Plus, they’re clear, so that I can see what’s in them.  They don’t fit in the produce drawer, so I’m forced to keep them front and center in the fridge.  Sliced veggies are so pretty and yummy looking when they’re already ready already!

We use the big ones to store fresh greens – spring mix or baby spinach.  The greens in the bag at the store are pitiful, but we’ve found a local farmers market that sells them in bulk (when we can make time to get there).  They last more than a week in these containers!

This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Things I Love Thursday.  Have a great tip?  Go link up!


Filed under Be healthy., WFMW, Yum

Eric Carle has confused my daughter.

Every night before I put her in bed, Songbird insists that we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  There’s a section inside that describes what the caterpillar eats …  one apple, two pears, etc, etc.  The apple one is Songbird’s favorite; I’m not sure whether it’s because she can actually say “apple” or because we eat lots of apples around here.  One page shows five oranges.  Eric Carle’s oranges, except for the color, look somewhat similar to his apples:

She calls them apples, despite my repeated attempts to get her to say “orange”.

I realized the other day that her teachers must be working on teaching colors.  She pointed at something and said, very clearly, “bah-lue.”  Lo and behold, the whatever-it-was, was blue.  So we’ve been quizzing her on other colors.

Knight held up a piece of blue construction paper the other day, and she correctly identified it as “bah-lue”.  Next, green. She made a valiant effort to say, “green”.  Same with yellow.

Then he held up an orange one.  She said (and I can’t make this stuff up), “apple”.

Oh, yes, she did.

I took her to the doctor over the weekend for the runny nose and coughing that everyone seems to get this time of year. (Side note: ear infection.  Boo-hiss.  Antibiotics to the rescue!)  In the waiting room, they have a ginormous orange crayon on the wall.

I pointed to it and asked her what color… (wait for it)…

That child said, “Apple.”

Thank you, Eric Carle.


Filed under Everyday Bliss, Songbird

Favorite Things With My Kids: Top Ten Tuesday

It was hard to narrow it down to ten, but here we go…

1.  Cuddle.  I love Saturday mornings, when they are both warm and still a little sleepy and clamber up into my lap.  They are definitely a lap-full.  We all snuggle under a blanket in the recliner and watch cartoons.  For about 15 minutes.  Then they’re just too wiggly or hungry or something.  But it’s great while it lasts!!

2.  Read.  Songbird will bring me a book and very clearly say, “Read book”, in a tone that means business.  (This is a sly opportunity for more cuddles for me!) I don’t read to Jet so much anymore, but I love, love, love that he will see me reading and go get a book for himself.  Then we read together in the quiet…  I’m so glad that he’s developed a love of reading!

3.  Cook.  Jet and Songbird have both been my sous chefs in the kitchen, and, while it can sometimes be frustratingly slow, it’s something that they both love.  Songbird is often more help than I know what to do with!

4.  Tickle.  There’s nothing like big belly laughs from my kids to make my day better!!

5.  Pray.  Hearing Jet’s little voice asking and thanking God for things that are important to him… it gives me goosebumps sometimes.  Songbird doesn’t pray with real words yet, but she folds her hands and bows her head and babbles, and finishes with a firm “Amen”, complete with head-nod.  Too cute!

6.  Color.  I just love to color in coloring books – it’s really stress-relieving!  Sometimes I get them to color just because I want to.

7.  Go to the park.  The being outside and being loud and running around is just good for them. I love to watch them have fun!

8.  See and experience new things.  We’ve done quite a bit of this together in New Jersey – going to the beach, into NYC, and all sorts of other stuff.  We’ll be doing plenty more since Knight is planning to make a career out of the Army!

9.  Kiss on them.  They’re just so sweet!  When Jet was little, I could get him to give me all sorts of kisses – on both cheeks, then my chin, my forehead, ears… and then I’d return the favor.  He’ll still do it now, sometimes…  But Songbird kisses very.. umm… enthusiastically.  It’s fun!

10.  Watch them sleep.  They’re just so peaceful.  And quiet.

Want more great Top Ten Lists? Head over to Oh, Amanda and join in!

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Menu Planning Monday ~ March 7

Comfort food just seems necessary this week.  Winter just won’t let up here in New Jersey.  We’ve had several random days of 60-degree weather, but nothing that makes us feel like spring is here yet.  We had all the windows open in the house on Saturday; it was lovely!!  Today?  It’s windy and freezing.  *sigh*

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Monday: Mom’s Meatloaf, green beans, fruit  (I’m making the meatloaf with 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey.  I’ll use the other halves for burgers tomorrow night.)

Tuesday: Burgers, salad, beans

Wednesday: Baked fish almondine, asparagus, rice

Thursday: Marinated grilled pork tenderloin, salad, corn

Friday: Breakfast! Eggs, toast, turkey bacon

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Filed under Be healthy., Eat to Live, MPM

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #32

Today I’m linking up to the MilSpouse Friday Fill-In.   You should, too!

1. Do you or your husband ever wish your husband was in a different branch of the military?

Not really… though we hear the Air Force is fairly cushy.  😉

2. What duty station(s) are on your “No Way, Hell No, Not Going, Have Fun Unaccompanied” list and why? 

I’m a firm believer that a duty station is what you make of it.  I think I could make a home out of a hovel.  That said, I’m pretty done with snow at this point!  One of his options for the next PCS was farther north, and I nixed that one pretty quickly.

3. If you could be one age forever, what age would you choose and why? 

I’ve been known to say that 30 was my favorite birthday.  I knew who I was by that point, and had stopped apologizing for it.  I’m 33 right now, and I’m pretty happy!  Age is just a number.

4. If you were a breakfast cereal, which one would you be?  

Probably something sensible and responsible and traditional, yet loved by many – I’d say Cheerios.  🙂

5. What is your morning beverage of choice and why? 

Coffee is non-negotiable.  Two cups, at least.  I shudder to think of a life without coffee (and so do those around me…).


Filed under Army Life, MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Murphy’s Laws of Tardiness

Murphy’s First Law of Tardiness:  The speed of the children involved is inversely proportional to the number of minutes by which the parent is running late. 

(That is to say, the later I’m running, the slower my kids are. At everything.)

Murphy’s Second Law of Tardiness:  The ability of necessary items to hide increases by a factor of ten for each minute by which the parent is running late. 

(Loosely translated as, “Where on earth is my car key?!?!”  Repeat twice a minute for twenty minutes whilst turning the house upside down.)

Murphy’s Third Law of Tardiness: The number of red lights between the parent and their final destination is directly proportional to the number of minutes by which the parent is running late. 

(In other words, every light was red this morning.)

Murphy’s Fourth Law of Tardiness:  The intensity of squabbles between children involved increases exponentially based upon the number of minutes by which the parent is running late. 

(“She hit me!” *insert angry baby babble and pointing here*  “But I didn’t do anything to her!”  *insert more intensely angry baby babble and pointing here*  Lather, rinse, repeat.)

All’s well that ends well, I suppose.  We are all in our proper places, hopefully with smiles on our faces.

I just hope Murphy’s had his fill of our house for awhile.


Filed under Everyday Bliss