Thursday, November 5, 2009

Looking for recipes for frugal Meals

As a general rule I try to cook healthy, but frugal meals. My family has a handful of meals that we all really like that are both cheap and good for us. But, we are in a rut. Too much rice, beans, pasta and soup have left me feeling unimaginative and boring when preparing meals for my family. So I am calling out to people to please send suggestions or recipes for simple meals that won't break the bank.

Here is a list of some of our stand by meals:

1. Potato Leek Soup
2. Pasta w/red sauce or sauteed vegetables
3. Various rice and bean recipes
4. Pizza
5. Baked Chicken
6. Vegetable Soup with our left over CSA vegetables
7. Chili
8. Minestrone Soup

As one can see, it is time to liven things up around here. But I am both too busy and tired to start looking for something new. So, I need help.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Alec!!

Today is my son's birthday. Alec is 12 years old, and he is a great kid. Here is a list of 12 things about my son.

1. He wants to be a writer when he grows up. He talks about being a food critic and writing fiction novels.

2. He watches Top Chef every week without fail. He is the only child I know of who knows who Tom Colicchio is.

3. When he was 3 years old he went through a phase of drawing pictures of Buzz Lightyear. He did not give up until he felt that his final masterpiece was perfect.

4. He plays guitar and saxophone.

5. He is a great soccer player.

6. He has big dreams, he talks about going to Columbia University when he goes to college. This frugal mom better start saving even more.

7. His favorite food is pumpkin. Anything that has pumpkin in it, he will eat.

8. Halloween is his favorite holiday.

9. He has fantastic and loyal friends.

10. He is funny and serious at the same time.

11. He is great company

12. He is loved more than he will ever know.

This morning we started his day off with a breakfast of his choosing. Pumpkin pancakes and bacon were his choice. This time of year, I go through a lot of pumpkin. Family members all pitched in to help pay off a snowboard that he wants. I also bought him a book and chocolate pumpkin truffles. He loved all his gifts. We took him out for Mexican food, gave him cake and did not sing to him because he refused to allow it. I think it was a good day for Alec.

I can't believe he is 12. I am so proud of him and proud to be his mom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I have learned as a parent

Tomorrow my oldest child will be turning 12 years old. Good grief!! Where did the time go? It sounds like a cliche, but it really seems like he was born yesterday. With the birth of my son, the hardest job that I will ever have began. Bringing a human being into the world and than raising that human to be become a moral person takes a lot of work, patience and stamina. Here is a list of the things I have learned in the last 12 years.

1. Never count on getting a good night's sleep, especially during cold and flu season.

2. Don't make promises, when in doubt say no, maybe or we will see. It has been years since I have given a firm yes to anything.

3. When buying tickets to an event, plan on not attending due to stomach flu. We have thrown away more money than I want to count due to vomiting.

4. Accept that your house will never be perfectly clean again, or at least until the youngest moves out. I am still finding baby paraphernalia in odd places. My youngest is 7.

5. Give birthday parties. They are fun, they are memorable and they tell your child that each year they have one day all their own.

6. Take a lot of pictures!

7. Your child will never, ever pick up his/her clothing without being asked, coaxed or threatened. It is a fact of life.

8. Do not be a helicopter parent. Teachers hate it and you loose credibility with them.

9. Be frugal in all areas except when it comes to books. Kids can never have enough books. I have raised 3 book worms, I credit that to letting them have their rooms full of books.

10. Allow at least 3 pajama days a year. There is nothing better than staying in your pajamas on a really cold and snowy day. Of course one parent (usually dad) has to get dressed to plow the snow.

11. Know when you kid needs a mental health day from school. Don't ask questions and let that child veg out for the day. Insist on returning to school the next day. Even kids need a day off.

12. Your children will never offer to empty the dishwasher

13. Your car will become a garbage dump filled with sucker sticks, juice box straws and cookie wrappers.

14. The pre teen years are harder than the toddler years. Not because they are more labor intensive but because your child has opinions and for some reason, no fear of communicating those opinions.

15. Tell your children you love them daily.

This list could have gone on and on. But thought 15 was good number stop at. So, did I miss anything of great importance? I would bet that I did. If you are visiting, please let me know what you have learned as a parent.