Sunday, August 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, Football & Labor Day...feels like fall!

I've been doing weekly menu planning for a few months now, and I'm amazed at how much time and money I end up saving by just taking time to plan. I love to make one major grocery shopping trip each week, and to know what's on hand for the evening meal...even if I sometimes have to modify the plan if something comes up.

Here's what's cooking this week:

Saturday: grilled ribeye steaks, homemade steak fries, salad with balsamic vinaigrette and feta cheese, strawberry shortcake

(Doesn't that sound like a holiday meal?'s the opening day of SEC football! Roll Tide, y'all. *Notice I made a dessert in our team's colors in honor of the first game of the season)

Sunday: slacker day--hot dogs & smoked sausage on the grill, chips, pickles, I might open a can of baked beans

Monday: Labor Day barbecue--ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad

Tuesday: baked chicken, macaroni & cheese, cucumber salad

Wednesday: breakfast for dinner--biscuits, gravy, thick cut peppered bacon, tomatoes, scrambled eggs

Thursday: fried cube steak, green beans, new potatoes

Friday: pizza night or dinner out

I'm getting in a rut! Help! I'd love some new ideas for dinner...I feel like we have the same things over & over again. I'll be checking out Organizing Junkie, and so should you!


Mr. Personality & More Not Politics

The President (my son, not the actual president of the United States) has been on a roll lately. I never know what he's going to say, but he always cracks me up. This morning, I was teaching Sunday School for the age group just above his. I let him sit in with me because many of his friends were moving up to that class for the first time. With several new children, I suggested everyone would have a chance to introduce and tell a little about themselves.

It was a pretty typical exercise. You know, one person mentions they have a new puppy and a everyone has a new puppy or they're getting a new puppy and a four-wheeler.

Until my kid. "My name is The President and I like cheese and sometimes I can point my eyes in two different directions."

I heart him.

Later, during our lesson we were to name examples of disasters our country has faced and how we can support others in their time of need.

My question: "Who can name a disaster that has happened in our country?"

My child's response: "When Clinton bought real estate?"

I can't make this stuff up.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Will He Think of Next?

I know everyone thinks their kids are the cutest, smartest, most-well behaved...and all that. So, it will come as no surprise when I share how funny, imaginative, and smart my children are.

Yesterday morning, the boys dressed and lined up their favorite animals from Build-a-Bear Workshop on the kid-sized sofa in their room. Then, The President informed me that since I had "nothing to do all day" it would be my job to teach his "sons" while he was away at school.

Sure, I'd be glad put on your shoes! Eat breakfast! Brush your teeth! Don't forget your backpack! And so another day begins.

When we'd been home from school for a couple of hours, he asked me "what the boys learned today?" Huh? Oh...I had forgotten my promise to mold the minds of his best pals.

"Ummm, uh, we sang the alphabet song, and counted, and then talked about how bees (the theme of The President's second grade classroom) gather nectar & make honey."

"What kind of pictures did you show them?"

You've got to be kidding me. I'm being held accountable for my lesson plans & use of visual aids for stuffed animals? Seriously.

I told him that we didn't have time to get to that.

"That's right," he said. "It is just the first day."

So, today I propped up a book about dinosaurs in front of the animals...maybe he'll be impressed that I remembered my teaching responsibilities.

This probably could be a second post, but it is kind of along the same lines....and I'm in a hurry to go pick up Fat Baby at preschool.

The President found a nice, smooth river rock that he named aptly, Rocky. We drew a face, hair & a moustache on Rocky with a sharpie, and he's been pretty popular around here lately.

School has been in session three weeks now, and My Baby's Daddy has not been at home at all in the mornings, and has missed the majority of meals served in the evening. He works in a sales job, but also does real estate part-time. The market is crappy right now, so if he's seeing clients and making deals I say, "Your plate will be in the microwave when you get home."

But it's harder for children to understand when a parent is "never home." The President wants to spend time with Dad (a.k.a. "the FUN parent"). Last night, My Baby's Daddy got home as I was orchestrating bath time for the boys. When The President put on his PJs, he collected Rocky, brought him to our room and announced, "Dad, Rocky wants to buy a house." (Smart kid to put together the way to get dad's attention). It was so cute to listen to them:

My Baby's Daddy: Has Rocky been to the bank?

The Pres: Oh, yeah...a couple of times.

MBD: So, he's prequalified. How much does he want to spend?

TP: Fifteen thousand or two hundred.

The finally drew up a contract, and had some great time together. I am looking forward to a long week-end of more moments like these. And help with bath time. And no lunches to pack. And no carpool line. And...

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Post Not About Politics

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that my 8 year old son is determined to be the President of the United States. He asked for a desk and a "world ball" (globe) from Santa when he was 5 years old. He's like Alex P. Keaton with attitude. This is not something we've pushed him to do at all, but we do love that our son has the confidence and intelligence to pursue lofty goals.

Now I feel compelled to say this: I do not like to discuss politics. I don't want you to judge my beliefs (that's why I keep them to myself), and I don't want to hear you preach yours (whether they are the same or different than mine). And many times, I've been in the worst possible situation--where someone is spouting their political beliefs, assuming yours are the same. That being said, this post does not necessarily reflect my own personal political opinions. I am open-minded and fair, and do not attempt to inflict my beliefs onto others--even my own child. His opinions are his alone. And while they are sometimes rooted in immature thinking (I'm voting for so-and-so because I like the way his name sounds, or he went to college at my favorite school), I'm teaching him to gather information, watch the news, and form his opinions accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that we do have an outspoken, "old school" grandparent who lives with us.

I'm often surprised at how much The Pres has learned about our country's government and current events. This was his reaction to the Democratic National Convention coverage this morning:

(News footage of Hillary Clinton on the Today show) "I thought Clinton got flushed down the toilet like a, what's she doing on the news?"

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday...already?

Well, at least the fact that I've committed to participate in Menu Plan Monday keeps me posting once a week. I really intended to put up another post before now, but it's been a long and challenging week. I can feel the funny coming, though...I promise!

Here's what we're eating this week. If you're looking for inspiration, there are hundreds of menu planners on Organizing Junkie.

Saturday: Thanks to Tropical Storm Fay, we enjoyed a cozy, rainy day at home...and Pop cooked his legendary beef stew. Not only is this a taste of my childhood, but it is just perfection in a bowl. If anyone from the Campbell's soup corporation is reading...we might be willing to negotiate a deal, for the right price! He also made corn bread.

Sunday: Church and more rain...finished the stew left-overs, and my "Oh, Boy Cheesecake" (recipe below)with cherry topping for dessert.

Monday: Sausage and Wild Rice Casserole (recipe below), green beans.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce, salad.

Wednesday: Oven-baked chicken or pork chops (I have both in the freezer), macaroni & cheese (we were supposed to have last week, had stewed potatoes instead), steamed broccoli.

Thursday: Steak fajitas, refried beans, rice.

Friday: Dinner out or pizza night.

Sausage & Wild Rice Casserole
· 1 pound sausage (mild)
· 1 can cream of chicken soup
· 1 carton sour cream
· 1 box Uncle Ben’s long grain wild rice
· 1 can sliced water chestnuts

Cook rice according to directions. Crumble and brown sausage and drain. Add soup, sour cream, and chestnuts (I usually cut them in half). Pour over rice in a buttered (I use non-stick spray) casserole dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Oh Boy, Cheesecake!
This is a crowd-pleasing, award-winning, deceptively easy recipe. Even though I share the recipe freely, my friends always want me to make it. And, about the name...
When we were teen-agers, my friend (sweet girl, but a real airhead) was over at my house. We were in the kitchen when my sister & her future husband (now her ex-husband) came in. They opened the refrigerator & saw that Mom had made this dessert. The future ex-brother-in-law said, “Oh boy, cheesecake!” Months later sweet airhead friend asked me, “When is your Mom going to make another one of those Oh Boy Cheesecakes?” That has been the name of this dessert ever since!

· 1 8 oz. Cream cheese
· 1/3 c. sugar
· 1 8 oz. Sour cream
· 1 8 oz. Cool whip
· 1 Tbs. Lemon juice (optional-I use fresh lemon juice)
· 1 tsp. Vanilla flavoring
Combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, mix. Fold in cool whip, add lemon juice and vanilla. Pour in large graham cracker crust. Chill. Top with blueberry or cherry pie filling, if desired.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to School & Menus

I wish I had the hours of free time I had envisioned when school started to keep you entertained with one funny and compelling post after another...but, yeah, I'm not there yet. So, for now all I have to offer is Menu Plan Monday (hosted by Organizing Junkie). And the only reason it's done, is because I had to do the grocery shopping anyway.

Here goes:

Saturday: My mom, sister, and family visited. In honor of my birthday, we had a feast of various home-grown vegetables including my favorite FRIED GREEN TOMATOES! There was also a four-layer chocolate dessert thing that was absolutely sinful.

Sunday: Mom brought tomatoes from my grandmother's garden. Try as I might, there was no way to eat them all before they went bad. So...Pop & I made homemade vegetable soup. We had it for dinner Sunday night & now have 8 more quarts in the freezer for the winter. It was my first time to do it, and I am very proud of the results. I may post pictures, because you know everything is a scrapbook opportunity! (The President loved helping, too!)

Monday: barbecue ribs (buy one-get one free @ Winn-Dixie), corn casserole, coleslaw

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: poppy seed chicken, rice, salad

Thursday: salmon croquettes, English peas, mac & cheese

Friday: grilled hot dogs or pizza take-out

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Friday, August 08, 2008

And you think you know somebody...

I don't write enough about my BFF. It's really a great story, but one for another day. Here's the Cliff's Notes. We only lived in the same town for one year (when we were in the 9th grade). She's one of those people who God set down in my life because she was meant to be "my person." Forever. We've had a long-distance friendship for more than twenty years, and we talk several times a week. She is one of the few people I do talk to regularly over the phone. She is not a computer person. In fact, only in the last year did she get her "own" e-mail address. So, my love of all things online weren't part of our relationship. She doesn't even know about the blog, because she's not on the computer enough to read it (she stays pretty busy with four kids)& I tell her everything I post & more.

Slowly, she has become more of an e-mailer and internet-er. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked e-mail this morning, to see that she'd "found" me on Facebook (I can't resist a social networking site!) and requested that I add her as a friend.

I went to her profile and found I was her first "friend" on Facebook. And observed the following:

Name: Southern Fried Mom's BFF
Status: Married
Political Views: Republican
Religious Views: Christian
Interested In: Women

Snort! God Bless her sweet, naive heart! I know that she was thinking that she wanted the world to know she wasn't intersted hooking up or finding a man...BUT. Anyway, I quickly called & her husband answered. I said, "I'm calling to save your wife from herself!"

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Breaking News from Potty-Gate

Due to various insanity and over-scheduling, I was unable to do my grocery shopping on Saturday as I have been. Therefore, when my children asked for scrambled eggs Monday morning, there were no eggs. Cereal? No milk. Pop-tarts? Uh-uh. So....I was forced to forage for food with my two "assistants." We had several errands to run, went to lunch, and hit Wal-Mart and the grocery store. Since I'm neither an idiot nor a glutton for punishment, I made the Executive Decision to put Fat Baby in a pull-up (actually a Good Nights, because he out-weighs the pull-ups now!) soon as we got home, I took him to the potty and resumed his underwear wardrobe. Which was fine for the rest of the afternoon.

UNTIL...I was in the middle of cooking dinner. As my menu plan post states, I was planning to fry okra for my sweet daddy. (He doesn't ask for much). So, I have roast in the oven, potatoes boiling to be mashed, peas cooking, and my electric skillet (a kitchen essential) filled with hot oil awaiting the lightly breaded fresh okra.

At that moment... (Pop had helped me around the house all day & had just settled in for his retirement-earned daily nap)At that exact moment, when My Baby's Daddy was probably 45 minutes from arriving home...when I was the only available adult...Fat Baby rounded the corner with his underwear inside-out in his hand. FULL. OF. POOP!!!! Poop was spread all over his arms & legs from the process of his removing the offensive underwear. And where was he when he decided to remove his poopy pants? The TOP BUNK!

I very nearly had a nervous breakdown. But, as Moms (who have no choice) do, I cleaned the mess, scrubbed myself as if I were going to perform surgery, and resumed cooking dinner.

Yesterday, he went to preschool (in underwear---how else is he going to learn?) and he stayed clean ALL DAY LONG! Hooray! Even with going out for The President's baseball team party, he was dry until bedtime. We might have turned a corner...but seriously, I deserved it.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Well, it's already that time again...and we have a very busy week (as usual) coming up! Here's what's for dinner this week:

Saturday: hand-patted burgers with melted blue cheese, corn, marinated cucumber salad

Sunday: grilled smoked sausage dogs, chips

Monday: chuck roast, mashed potatoes, fresh field peas, fried okra (Pop's favorite food of the week last week!), cornbread

Tuesday: baseball team party @ local pizza buffet (that was easy!)

Wednesday: grilled pork chops, roasted rosemary new potatoes, steamed asparagus

Edited to add: when I went shopping I found lamb chops (one of my family's favorites) on sale, so we're having them instead...I am so looking forward to Wednesday!

Thursday: spaghetti with meat sauce, salad

Friday: pizza night or dinner out

Check out Organizing Junkie for more great dinner ideas!