Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eat those greens!

Earlier this week we picked up a huge free bag of greens (not sure what kind...anyone recognize them?). I figured I could do something with them and it would be sad to let something so nutrituous go to waste! After staring at them in our fridge for a day or so I came up with: green smoothies and baby food!

We put a huge handful of these in a blender with a couple frozen bananas, some pineapple chunks and water and voila! A green smoothie that I can drink along with the girls (who LOVE it). A nice way to get some fruit and veggie servings in.

And baby food-I cooked up several cups of greens, a potato and some carrots in the crockpot. I pureed and froze it in ice cube size portions. Liv actually doesn't eat "baby food" per se anymore, (she nurses and eats table food in tiny chunks), but for meals that we are having raw veggies like salad or carrot sticks she needs a non-choking alternative.

We also had some chopped finely on our tacos in place of lettuce!

Enthusiastic reading w/daddy

Notice the facial expressions from Liv. And no, this wasn't an isolated expression-she was this animated the entire book!

The girls love hanging out with their daddy, who can blame them?!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What we've been doing for "fun" this weekend

On Friday, I borrowed a cute little potty chair from housekeeping here at JAARS. I was suprised that they had one! I just finished reading "Potty Training in one day". I was not planning on actually trying potty training again for awhile, well at least until Daniel could help with Liv while I focused on training M.

My plans changed when M was elated about her new potty and started wanting to use it and training her stuffed animals to use the potty. So, this weekend we went to big girl undies and are training again! I pretty much am using the principles in the book,, but couldn't do it perfectly since she sort of started doing some of it on her own.

She takes herself to the potty but has about 2 accidents a day.

Any ideas how to wean from the idea of expecting treats for going potty all day long? I don't want to discourage her by telling her no at this "fragile" state in the game, but don't want her to always expect treats for going into the potty either!

* As you can see from the picture lil sis likes the potty too! Unfortunately she likes to put her hands inside...ewwwww~!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of 3/29/10

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Breakfasts: turkey bacon & corn muffins w/honey, french toast, cold cereal, fruit, whole grain toast w/ peanut butter

Lunches/snacks: leftovers, PB banana smoothies, dry cereal/raisin mix, fruit, yogurt, pretzels, granola bars


Monday: Crockpot ground beef stroganoff

Tuesday: Tacos w/organic salad

Wednesday: Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch (didn't get to this last week)

Thursday: Hot Dogs, Spicy Fries, Peas

Friday: Homemade pepperoni Pizza (we ended up having pesto pizza last week...really yummy!)

Saturday: Beef Vegetable soup in the crockpot with rolls

Sunday: Easter Dinner still TBD. We'll do a potluck with our friends here and hopefully get some good deals on easter dinner food when the new sale ads come out

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tools of Bible Translation #3

By Daniel
This past week an outside company came down from Canada and taught a PT6 Heavy Maintenance course. (That is a turbo-prop engine ;-) This marks my last full week of classroom time. From here on out I will spend the majorty of my time maintaining aircraft for the guys doing flight training and performing various shop projects. The highlight of the week was sharing my testimony with the instructor from Canada.

Let me have a look!

Look busy, I'm taking a picture!

PT6 Compressor Wheel, turns at 37,500RPM...better hold on.

PT6 Breakdown

Harris Teeter triples trip #2 & #3

And I'm done!

Total for this trip $11

Free Lysol, whole wheat barilla, yogurt, mustard, red hot sauce, gum, tortillas and cheap Dole pineapple ($0.35/2 cans), and cheap ball park bun length (an e-vic special).
A few cheap but not free snacks made their way into the cart (pretzels, granola true delights and the diet soda) for potty training treats! I was excited about marked-down bananas because we can go through 5lbs in a week easily with both my girls being banana lovers.
And this one was $13.50 (including a newspaper, not pictured)

$0.75 organic baby greens, more cheap dole pineapple, more free tortillas, cheap yeast, mayo, Kraft singles, GF iced coffee mix, marked down mushrooms (to make stroganoff with the free no yolks and sour cream!), almost free tuna and free milk (from the Kellogg's catalina I got with the previous transaction), cheap birdseye green beans, $0.25 danactive and $0.99 Wheatables with an instore coupon (a new nut variety).
My first trip was $3.91
So my total grocery expenditures for this week about $28.50. Which makes up a little bit for last week's $70!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good times at the playground: part 2

The first round of fun is here.
We have a family with 5 little ones next door to us. They are frequenters of the playground too which works out well for us. Lots of kids to play with- one little guy who is 2 years old like M. Their youngest daughter is just 2 weeks older than Liv.

Stompin' in the sand with S. To their family she is a big girl because she doesn't use a pacifier. To our family he is a big guy because he uses the potty (more on that later)

Watching the fun from the tunnel.

Hey girl, you goin' my way?

What about me sis?

Hey, where'd everybody go?

Harris Teeter Triples trip 1

My first ever triple coupon shopping trip!! Total spent: $3.91!

That includes 2 packages of Kraft cheese that weren't triple coupon deals for $1.99 total, so the rest of it was less than $1.91!

I got:
3 no yolk noodles
6 mahatma rice mixes
1 oscar meyer turkey bacon!!
1 bumble bee tuna
2 nescafe coffee stick packs
1 JFG coffee
2 int. delight creamers
1 KC masterpiece bbq sauce
1 Mccormick chili powder (for taco seasoning-yum!)
2 Dannon yogurt 4 packs
3 Smart balance sour creams

Lots of meal possibilitis and things we use on a regular basis-yay!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good times at the playground: part 1

We live in a JAARS apartment that looks out on a playground. Everyday there are kiddos coming out of the woodwork to play on this thing and ours included. Its fun times.

Digging in the sand

"hey mom, look I found some more dirty junk on the ground to munch on!"

"who put this mountainous roadblock in my way!" I need to get through this tunnel!"

Whatcha doin' sis?

The weather has been great 90% of the time here. The girls did get to witness their first lightening/thunder storm last week which was pretty cool. M kept asking for "more lightening" the next day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Awesome deals at CVS

Edited to add a picture of the cheap loot:

As you know I quit posting most deals a long time ago, but for those of you with a CVS nearby there are some great deals that don't require much coupon clipping, just your card!

The Pampers deal is still going on: $8.97 plus get $3 ECB back and when you use a $2 coupon the diapers are $3.97 per pack! That is great but today I scanned my card and out popped a $2/$10 Baby purchase coupon! I added some CVS wipes for $1.99 to my transaction which made them basically free! If you could find something for about a $1.03 (baby item) you would get that for free and get approx. $1 towards your diapers (which makes the diapers less than $3 per pack!). I cloth diaper 95% of the time, but its handy to have these around for church and nighttime:).

Also, I've been getting $1 off any paper towels and then have some for around one dollar, and $1 off any CVS haircare. There are shampoos and conditioners for around $1 making them free as well! (These coupons come out when you scan the CVS card at the price checker in store). Good luck!

**Also, the clearance Ban deoderant was a $1 money maker as well as the Colgate (after coupons).

Just another day, more laundry

With husbands to help and little ones too:)

Our shared laundry room is on the lower floor of the building so I always run into the problem of how to get both munchkins down there AND the laundry. Sometimes we do it in shifts, sometimes I do it while they nap. But SOMETIMES you just have to be creative!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Loves me some NC grocery bargains 3/22/10

You can see what we'll be eating this week (with flexibility built in for changes!) here.

Usually if I go over my grocery budget I feel somewhat guilty and frustrated. Not this week! It was one of those weeks that will pay off in the future with reduced grocery bills. The lion's share of some weeks' grocery money goes toward meat/cheese and this week I was able to get both those things for very very good prices.

Food Lion had amazing deals on meat, cheese and some produce this week. My freezer is packed.

We got:
4 whole chickens $0.47/lb
5 lbs top sirloin-some ground, some in steaks $1.87/lb
6 packages of shredded Kraft Cheese $2.50 total
8lbs oranges $3.99
celery hearts $0.99
5 lbs bananas $0.50/lb
canteloupe $1.79 (must not be in season this was yucky!)
FL Catsup
Sure deoderant $0.49 after clearance and coupon
Hamburger helper x3 (about $0.20 total after catalinas!)
FL peanut butter (we go through at least a jar a week!) $1.67
dressing and Kotex, $1.33
Bi-lo (was in a town w/ this store but don't normally shop there)
Birdseye steamfresh $0.35 (x2)
Tombstone pizzas x2 $1.88 each aftercoupon
Nescafe instant singles $0.14 after coupon X2
Kens Marinades on clearance $0.83 each after coupon
CVS: Herbal Essence $0.99 after coupon/ECB and Kashi Crackers $1.50 after coupon
(can't believe I am paying for shampoo again-so sad:(

CVS and Harris Teeter:

CVS: 2 packs pampers (for nighttime and church) $3.97 each after coupon/ECB!
Harris Teeter:
Whole Milk $2.27
18 eggs $1.27? can't remember exact price
Ground beef $1.47/lb (see we are stocked for awhile now!)
dannon yogurt X10 $2 for all
40 mission tortillas free after coupon/sale
Cheer detergent $2.99
Classico Pasta Sauce $1.50 for two after beef coupon factored in
Millstone Kona Cofffee $3.99 after coupon
Trop 50 oj $0.99 after coupon
5 cans allen vegggies $2
2 more bags Kraft cheese (free after BOGO sale and BOGO coupon--sweet!)
Charolotte Observer newspaper (for coupons:) $2

Total for all (including diapers/toiletries) about $70! I did get a $12 refund for meat from last week that was a mistake, so that helped. Next week is Harris Teeter triple coupons so I will am getting ready for some cheap groceries then!

What did you buy this week?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan for 3/21/10

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Breakfasts: french toast, eggs banana bread, cold cereal, fruit, whole grain toast

Lunches: sandwiches, leftovers, Yakisoba meals (free at HT after coupon!), yogurt


Monday: Invited out for dinner

Tuesday: Cabbage and Kielbasa Skillet over stir-fried potatoes (didn't get to make this last week)

Wednesday: Salsa Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole with a side of beans and veggies

Thursday: Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch

Friday: Homemade pepperoni Pizza

Saturday: Top Sirlion, Twice Baked Potatoes, Mixed veg (got a great deal on top sirlion---can anyone give me a tip on how to cook this and not have it be tough?!?)

Sunday: Garden Supper Casserole (more with less cookbook p 138)

My huge stock up on meat/cheese trip will be posted tomorrow. I went over budget but will make up for it next week (triple coupons at Harris Teeter!).

What's on your menu this week?

Tools of Bible Translation: part 2

By Daniel
This week we continued our inspection on N67JA. The highlight of the week was having dinner with a family that has served in Cameroon and is planning to return later this year. I discovered that they have fewer maintenace personel than I originally thought, and desperately need more.

Making some repairs to the nose wheel.

Preparing for the maintenace test flight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Makes me nervous...

Dinner is in progress (homemade refried beans in the crockpot, homemade tortillas that are halfway done), the house is reasonably clean, the girls are napping and I've been able to do some READING!

This situation almost always makes me nervous! It usually means somebody is going to get sick or something is going to break OR?!? But anyway, here is what I've been reading lately and what came in the mail last week!!

We got the above in the Sovereign Grace February sale. All for like $30 (some of my birthday monies...well spent!).

Also reading:
Toilet Training in Less than a day (Azrin & Foxx)and How to become naturally thin by eating more (Anthonello) which is a good reminder as to why dieting is a bad idea generally, but eating real, good food in moderation is a good idea (duh?). The library here at JAARS is tiny but really fun because its full of really practical books and mostly ones on Christian topics. All the stuff I had to search out at the public library back home is readily available here. So I am trying to make time for more reading here:)

Mama's Helpers?

Or partners in crime?

Pretty sure I didn't need all of those clothes out of that drawer...but it sure is fun to see them "play" together:)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Loves me some (NC) grocery bargains

If you're curious, here's what we'll be eating this week with all this food!

Every once in awhile I get a wild "hare" (hair?) and decide that I want to be an organic raw-eating vegan. It usually only lasts for about 30 minutes. There are some gorgeous blogs out there that feature raw vegan food! Doesn't take long to realize its not really practical for our family right now--but yum! And think how healthy we might be;) Anyway, back to reality. Even though its nowhere close to raw or vegan, I was happy with what we were able to get with our grocery dollar this week:

HT and FL:
Whole Milk
Ground lean turkey-about 4lbs
1 lb lentils
1 lb pinto beans
10lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
5lbs oranges
2 Hunts tomato sauce
4 big packages egg noodles
Knudsen cranberry juice (100%)
Smucker's natural peanut butter (we go through this like water!)
1 dozen eggs (my toddler loves eggs!)
2 packages steamfresh frozen veg
2 packs Nescafe instant coffee
Franks hot sauce
Tabasco sauce (we like it hot!)
Deli-fresh sliced ham lunch meat ($0.50 each after coupons!)
large jar mayo (these two are to go with all the almost-free pepperide farm bread we get here-whoo!)
2 rolls reynolds foil (on clearance at FL, $0.87 after $1 coupons!)
Fresh Extend bags (sale $1 pluse found $0.20 peelie!)
baking powder
yeast packets (for homemade pizza night)
oikos and activia yogurt
dark chocolate chex mix (gotta have some fun right?!)
Total about $47 so very close to my goal of $45;)

Can I just say that I am astonished at how much my 2 year old is eating right now? If her breakfasts of 3 whole wheat french toasts plus a banana are any indication she's about to grow another 6 inches by next week! She gets hungry every hour and a half too! Then there's my 9 1/2 month old who eats pretty much a mini-version of what we do now plus she's still nursing! She has a slice of bread, a 1/3 of a banana (for example) in addition to nursing every morning. No wonder I have to buy so much food!

I also went to CVS and Walgreens for free toothpaste, cheap hair dye, cheap glad candles (love candles!), $0.50 mens deoderant, free bandaids, marked down diapers ($2.29!!!, cheap flour $1.50, $0.29 paper towels (after CVS coupon) and also got a pumpkin pie on clearance for $1.39 to put in the freezer for dessert "emergencies":)

Any deals I missed this week? What did you buy?

Menu Plan for the week of 3/15/10

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Breakfasts: french toast, eggs and cinnamon rolls, cold cereal, fruit, whole grain toast

Lunches: sandwiches, leftovers, Yakisoba meals (free at HT after coupon!)


(we got a great deal on potatoes at Food Lion so they'll be on our menu lots this next two weeks:)

Monday: Turkey burgers, spicy home fries, carrots & ranch

Tuesday: Bean & Brown Rice tacos with homemade tortillas, homemade refried beans inside

Wednesday: Cabbage and Kielbasa Skillet over stir-fried potatoes

Thursday: Friday: Homemade pepperoni Pizza

Saturday: Lentil Meatloaf (thanks for the recipe MIL Karen!), mashed potatoes, mixed veg

Sunday: Italian Pasta Bake
(from the freezer), greeen beans, garlic butter rolls

Later on today or tomorrow I will post the shopping trip for this menu! Although I've been spending a bit more than back home, we've gotten a lot of healthy foods for our food dollar this past few weeks.

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Choo Choo!

Our little M (or M'anna as she sometimes calls herself) can be quite creative. Here is her rendition of a choo-choo train:

All the animals are cozied up for the ride.

The only passenger she doesn't want on her train is usually little sis. But sometimes she feels benevolent enough to let her on.

In between rounds of choo-choo, we had a restful day on Saturday just doing normal chores and stuff around the house. We took a walk as a family and enjoyed the blue skies. Today was a whirlwind! Sundays are not a restful day here because we not only go to church but also do all of our shopping and errands for the whole week. Its fine in a lot of respects because it gets rid of all desire to get off campus for a LONG time! On the other hand its exhausting for us- today we got to church at 9:20 and didn't get home from church/grocery shopping until close to 4pm.

But the good news is we found a church we really like! No church is a perfect fit in all ways, but we were excited to find a church that has good teaching, friendly people and is very family friendly. Daniel was the only one in jeans, but we decided that a little more casual-ness wouldn't hurt em:). So if they don't kick us out we're staying! The funny thing is it is the polar opposite of the church we visited last week (and what we thought we were looking for!) and I've never stepped foot into a church of this denomination before. So it will be a learning experience but a good one I think;)

Then we had dinner at the apartment of the interim diretor of aviation here at JAARS who also happens to have been in Cameroon for a long time and is going back there! We were excited to get to know them a little bit better.

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tools of Bible Translation

My (Daniel's) goal is to post weekly pictures of the work I'm doing here at JAARS. Recently I've realized how the work I'm doing here furthers and speeds Bible translation around the world.

My first week and a half was spent here studying various systems found on JAARS aircraft.

Recently, I have been performing an inspection in one of the JAARS T hangers

Inside the JAARS main hanger

Cessna 207 headed to Cameroon...

...still needing a little work.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Visit from Uncle David

Daniel has met almost ALL of my relatives, but I have only met a portion of his. This week I finally was able to meet another one, Uncle David! He has the most interesting life story, with a recent trip to Haiti that was fascinating. Thanks for visiting and come again Uncle David!

A funny side note, Daniel's parents and I met within days of our wedding!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tall towers and flu recovery

Although we are technically "recovered" from the flu, our littlest is still feeling the aftereffects. She's been cranky and fussy and not sleeping well. Last night was the first halfway decent night she (and we!) have gotten recently.

Here are a few pictures of our week:

Worn-out baby:

Tall tower!:

With a little help from dad:

Having fun with our friend G (who is now a big sister!):

How's your week been so far?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Loves me some NC grocery bargains 3/7/10 editon

I went to Harris Teeter, Food Lion and CVS (my first time there!) this week.
The grocery purchases totaled right about at $45.

My favorite deals from this week:
Taster's choice instant coffee singles $0.19 after doubles (HT)
2 Oroville Popcorns and 1 Dr. Pepper for $0.99 after couples (FL)
2 Slow Churned Icecream (Edy's) $1.67 each after coupon
3 Free Smart Balance sour creams
Dan Active yogurt smoothies (4 pack) $0.49 after doubles (HT)
Coffee Mate Creamer $1.17 after coupon

Turkey Breast and 2 lbs of white beans are cooking right now for White Bean Turkey Chili and Enchiladas- yum!

CVS was for the free toothbrush and Nivea lip car so I spent $7 plus tax for those but got $7 back for next week.

I originally was hoping to keep things at around $30 but without a stockpile to work with I think that isn't going to work. We'll try $45 again next week and looking at the stuff we'll be out of I think I will use all of it.

If you are interested in what we'll be eating with all this this week see it here.

What deals did you get at the store this week?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan for the week of 3/8/10

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Breakfasts: cranberry bean bread (thanks Karen!), cold cereal (lots and lots of $1 cheerios!), bananas, oatmeal, eggs in a window

Lunches: sandwiches, leftovers, Yakisoba meals (free at HT after coupon!)


Monday: Ground Beef Stroganoff X2 over rice or pasta

Tuesday: White Bean Chicken (Turkey) Chili (need some recipes for this!) and cornbread X2

Wednesday: Sour Cream Turkey and White Bean Enchiladas and rice X 2

Thursday: Italian Pasta Bake X 2

Friday: Homemade pepperoni Pizza

Saturday:Turkey Tetrazzini X 2

Sunday: Leftovers and packed snacks for our long morning of church and grocery shopping in Charolotte. Dinner will be Tuna melts and soup
*X2 =doubling for friend

Later on today I will post the shopping trip for this menu!

What's on your menu this week?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Three under three (and no we're not expecting!)

Our friends here at JAARS (they are also aviation and going to Cameroon!) are having baby number two--most likely today! So we have their daughter who is almost 2 over. It has been a lot of fun to have a constant playmate for the girls! We are praying that the rest of this mommy's labor is smooth, she's been at it all night long already.

Daniel trying (only moderately successfully) to get some Bible reading in with 3 littles around him:)Oh and notice the foot biting going on there too:

Liv and the ole "poke yer eye out when mommy is taking a picture" move.


Liv, trying to get a piece of the mommy action (always):

Always checking out eachother's sippies:

We're praying for baby A to come out quickly and safely! But in the meantime we're having fun with our friend:)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lots of creative cooking (bean cookies) and time to myself

Back in our home country of the Puget Sound, Daniel and I shared our little Honda. I took him to work once a week for ladies' Bible study and some grocery/drugstore shopping. I think between that and a 2 hour shopping trip either alone or with just one little on on Saturday I was very content to stay home most of the time. Here, its a little different. We rent a car on the weekend, but the nearest stores are a decent ways away (and we pay for gas + mileage so it needs to be very planned). So during the week and on Saturdays I stay home. Cabin fever might get to me a little bit more while here I think;). Anyway, Daniel suggested (okay strongly encouraged) me to take the littles to the MK station for childcare this morning so I could get some time to myself. There wasn't room for Liv, so M went by herself. You've never seen a happier little clam going to "school"! She's a social one you better believe it:)

While Liv is napping and M is at "school" I thought I would post this fun recipe.

Thanks to my lovely mother-in-law for the recipe and the already pureed beans!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Daily Bean by Suzanne Caciola White

1-15.5 oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbs water

1 Tbs plus 2 tsp vanilla, divided

1 ¾ cups flour

¾ tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 sticks butter (I used one stick and then 1/2 cup oil/applesauce mixture)

1 ½ cups brown sugar

2 large eggs

3 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats

6 oz bag chocolate chips (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place beans, water, and 1 Tbs vanilla into food processor and process until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until creamy. Mix in the bean mixture. Add butter and bean mix to the flour and stir until well mixed. Add the oatmeal and chocolate chips. Drop the dough by heaping Tbs onto a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-9 minutes or until light golden brown.

This makes a huge batch! And they are very filling with all that fiber/protein so you might not eat as many as you would with other cookies;)