Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home for dinner!

I had to work today! So sad. It was a beautiful day, my kids leave tomorrow, the mall was so slow and to be honest, I just wanted to stay home. But, I had no choice. So at 9:30 a.m., on a Saturday, I left for work while my husband took the kids fishing.

I spent the day feeling left out of the fun. Regretting my decision to offer working on a Saturday (a day I never work). Knowing my family was having fun without me. During my bout with self pity, I forgot that when I work, my husband cooks. I have to mention, my husband is for lack of a better word, an awesome cook. I believe his calling was the Culinary Arts, he disagrees, he is a Software Engineer.

When I walked into the garage, I could smell all the aromatics from the food he was cooking for his family. My very resourceful husband ( I say resourceful because he managed to use so many CSA vegetables) is making Broccoli, Leek and Pea Soup and Basil Chicken Stir Fry. The house smells like a restaurant. The best part of all of this, he does not want any help. So, as he cooks, I blog. The one thing I was hoping he would utilize was the Swiss Chard. Nope, he didn't. So, that vegetable remains in my refrigerator, continuing to be my responsibility to prepare and serve next week. I am still waiting and hoping for recipes. Anyone? Anyone?

Off to the North woods tomorrow to drop off my children. Wish me luck as I do something I have never done before. Leave them alone for a week.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Swiss Chard

Tonight's CSA box included Swiss Chard. I am in search of the best Swiss Chard recipe out there. So, if anyone has a recipe that they wouldn't mind sharing with me, please send it my way. This is a vegetable that seems to end up in the CSA box several times per season, I need to find a recipe that make in edible for us.

Today I spent the afternoon helping my two oldest children pack for summer camp. My husband and I are both very excited for them to go to camp. They are attending the same camp that we both attended as children. My parents also went to the same camp. It is proving the be a family tradition that needs to be carried on.

I would be dishonest if I said that I am not sending them off with a little bit of apprehension. I am a typical mother. I find myself worrying that they could drown, catch Lyme disease, find themselves bunking with the meanest child in Wisconsin. My list could go on forever. I have to stop myself from continuing because if I do, I will probably find myself attending camp with them. I wish that I could let them go without a worry. But, I have accepted that is not going to happen, so I have to have faith that things will be okay. They are strong swimmers, so drowning is out of the question, I think. Lyme disease can be controlled if I do a full body search when they get home. Finally, since it is a YMCA camp, I am confident that the meanest child in Wisconsin will in fact not be in attendance at summer camp in the North Woods.

I am looking forward to a full week alone with my youngest daughter. We have plans for the week, that are frugal. We are going to play miniature golf using coupons I have for a free game. We are going to go to the art and public museum. Both free because we have memberships. The only activity that we have planned with a price tag is a movie. Ice Age 3, an animated film. I NEVER stay awake through animated films. They bore me to sleep. My kids accept this fault of mine and have begun to make jokes about it.

My daughter Hannah, who is going to camp, is a vegetarian. Next week will be a meat heavy week around here. I make a lot of vegetarian meals in an effort to respect her choice. Next week will be a full week of chicken, beef, pork, turkey and brats. We can eat these meals without the animal rights speech we get nearly every time we indulge in meat.

So, Sunday the family is driving to Northern Wisconsin from Milwaukee to drop the kids off at a camp that will give them an education in the outdoors. I hope I can make it through the week without worrying too much.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

South America

Just a quick blog this afternoon before tonight's longer blog. The kids got 4 postcards from Brazil, South America today. Yeah!! They only need to collect 1 from Africa and 1 from Austrailia to reach our goal of at least 1 from each continent. Grand total so far of cards collected, 74! Only 26 more to reach 100.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today I busted the grocery budget, as anticipated. As of today, I am going to increase our grocery budget to $600/month. With 3 kids, 2 of them growing like weeds, $400 is not practical. I set us up for failure every month and probably end up spending more than I need because I tell myself that it makes not difference, the budget has already been broken. Our meal plan for this week is as follows:

Sunday- Jambalaya, corn on the cob
Monday - Tenderloin, cucumber and tomato salad, corn, bread
Tuesday - Spaghetti, Italian Sausage, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - Vegetable Soup (using all leftover vegetables from the CSA)
Friday- Pizza, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Saturday - Turkey and Veggie Burgers, Baked Beans, Potato Salad

I make a lot of cucumber and tomato salad in the summer. Our CSA sends a lot of cucumbers, so I use them as a salad base instead of lettuce. I just drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on then vegetables with a little bit of salt and pepper. It makes a perfect salad.

An update about the puppy. It seems as though our older dog, Stella, is in fact going to be top dog. She didn't seem interested in fighting for the coveted position, but she has proven us wrong and has done us proud by putting our cute little puppy in his place.

Tomorrow, I am determined to find time to exercise. I am having a terrible time finding time right now. It is very frustrating. I can feel the weight piling on right now due to inactivity. I need a jump start and an incentive to get myself on a healthy track again. I love having my kids home for the summer, but it does have drawbacks. Number one drawback is that I do not take care of myself the way I used to.

We received another postcard from India.

One final update to our summer. I finally finished The Giver. My son and I read the book together and had a great book discussion about. We are going to read To Kill A Mockingbird next. Off to the library tomorrow for books.