Thank you for everything. I have a little problem that we dealt with this year and I’m asking your advice e on how to avoid this next year. I moved home after a stoke that left me permenaley disabled. So my husband and I moved into my mom’s house as she was there all alone, We were bothspending a great deal at tine and the financial advantages work well for all. In October hurricane Micheal hit the Gulf Coast so my youngest brother, wife and 2 kids took refuge from the storm. Like so many they lost everything. Thier home, they were renting, got a tree through it. Everthing was soaking wet and then developed mold. So as the children and parents could really use a dose of holiday cheer, we endevored, over thier protests to make it a good Christmas for all.
My husband spent three weeks helping me decorate, cook, buy and wrap presents, knowing the joy would be seeing thier faces on Christmas Day. So we spent a good amount of time with all the preperations. On Christmas eve we were up until 4am putting the finishing touches on packages, filling stockings, and any last minute things left to do. We planned to try and get a little sleep since the kids didn’t get in bed despite anyone’s best efforts till 11pm. Thinking they would sleep in just a little we planned to get up between 9 and 10 the next morning. Three year olds do not have the same time zone as the rest of us. 6am three yr olds are up begging, not quietly, to open presents. Anybodies present under the tree.
Mom works at the hospital so Christmas day is a workday. They prompted by an early morning wake up decide they can no longer contain or restrain a certain 3 year old boy. I am roused from slumber myself and informed that Santa has been here and the children can no longer be put off. As I am disabled I use a hospital bed that will not fit in our bedroom. Knowing how much my husband wants to see this I call him. I know we went to bed 2 hours ago so I’m expecting him not to be thrilled with this but we can take a nap later.
The conversation goes as follows;
Me – Santa has been here.
Him – Who?
Me – Santa
Him – Who?
Me – Santa Claus.
Him – Do you know what time it is? We just went to bed.
Me – They are opening presents and I thought you would want to see.
Him – Who did you say was here?
Me -Santa, I thought you would want to see.
Him – (Emphatically) “No”
Me – Are you sure?
Him – (very emphatic) “NO”.
Me – Okay go back to sleep.
I have my brother who is handing out the gifts leave his and mine for the most part under the tree. I’m now wide awake. I opened the gifts from my neice, mom, brother and sister-in-law. After thank you’s are exchanged, I ask for my first cup of coffee as my mom heads out the door to the hospital. All is quiet until 10am.
Hubby is up and upon entering the livingroom is astonished to see the only presents remaining is a small stack. He was so disappointed. The conversation went something close to this;
Him – What the heck?
Me – I called you. You said no! You didn’t want to come see.
Him – You said Santa was here.
Me – Yes, Santa was here did you want to come see
Him – no I didn’t want to see someone dressed as Santa. Couldn’t they have waited until I was up?
Me – Have you ever tried talking a three year old into waiting? They wanted to do this so mom could see before she went to work. I called you when this was happening earlier.
Him – No you said Santa was here. Did I want to see him? I thought maybe one of your brothers dressed up as Santa, or you hired someone to come play Santa, and this was the only time they could come. Well this just ruins my Christmas. I really wanted to see this. Why couldn’t it wait till I was here.
Me – I’m sorry that’s why I called you even though it was so early.
Him – You said nothing about them opening presents. All you said was someone dressed as Santa was here.
Me – Do we often invite, strange men in weird clothing into the house with children at 6am? Especially with all the wrapped gifts under the tree? Is this something you think we regularly do even on Christmas morning?
Him – I have set my phone to record all calls for business reasons. It helps me remember what was said and agreed upon when I talk to people about jobs. Let’s play the recording back, because you never said anything about opening presents.
You can hear everything we both said. I talked about Santa having come (I’m in the room with the kids). I repeated it twice. He still says no twice. The next line is garbled, but I’m sure I reiterated they are opening presents. Then after another “no” I say okay go back to sleep then.
Long story short both little and us big kids had a good Christmas. Toys, clothes, household, things we needed and things we like.
My neices came later that afternoon and he got to see them tear into thier gifts. It helped make up at least some of the disappointment of earlier.
So I guess my question is has this ever happened to anyone else?
Even though we had a good laugh about it, how do we not do this again? This experience was too funny not to share. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and we look forward to a bright and happy 2019.
We’ve all seen the meal prep plans where you prep a bunch of meals, throw it in a freezer bag, put it in the Crockpot and its an easy dinner. Well I’ve looked at quite a few, saved them on my Pintrest, but have been too lazy to do them. Well for those readers who don’t know I had a brain aneurysm about 5 years ago. Complications have landed me back in the hospital several times. So with my physical limitations we, that is my husband and I moved into my mom’s house. After my dad passed, my brothers took turns living there. They have both moved on and are starting families of their own. So we decided that with moms physical limitations and mine it would make a good compromise and save us both some money.
Up to now she does the majority of the cooking since I can not. However, with cataract surgery looming in the immediate future, we have to figure out an easy way to cook meals. She will not be able to bend over or lift more than 10 pounds.
My husband hates being in the kitchen, he’ll help me cook but, he must have step by step instructions and you can’t assume anything. He cannot boil water without the microwave. My sister-in-law now lives across the street and has offered to help out but, they have two small children at home and my brother works out-of-town for weeks at a time.
So an alternative is to try freezer to crockpot meal prep. It’s that or takeout and frankly its too expensive and very unhealthy. So here’s what happened…
After looking at various pins on the subject we decided to do a combination of our favorites and try very few we’ve never had. This required some adoptions of our normal favorite recipes. At the end of 2 days we have about 30 dinners in the freezer, ready to go. So here are the tried and true recipes we used.
2 Meat loaves Chili Chicken Caprese
Beef Stew 2 Moms Homemade Pizza 2 Spaghetti
Pepper Steak Beef tips with Mushrooms Pot Roast with vegetables
Mongolian Beef Broccoli Greek Turkey Burgers Pork Loin Roast
2 Lasagna Beef Stroganoff
Most are ready for a full day in the Crockpot. Some like the Ranch or Korean pork chops, Shrimp Scampi, Bratwurst, Liver and onions, Creamy Tuscan Salmon do not translate well to the freezer and are very easy prep and time to make day you want to enjoy. If you only want freezer to table just skip those. (I included them because they are favorites.) We took our time and since this was first time through. We spent time deciding what to make, how much and grocery list and shopping. With the hard work done, all you have to do is enjoy.
If you have a recipe we should add to our list we are open to new ideas to answer the age old question of “What’s for Dinner”. I hope this makes cooking easier and you get to enjoy the extra time not spent in the kitchen. By the way Mom’s surgery went well with no complications. We had so much fun doing it and seeing the valuable time it saves it will be happening more often in our home. So when you are tired after a busy day this is quick, healthier for your family and economical. A home cooked meal beats a take out burger and fries etc… anytime.
One last note…. My husband and I are both Diabetic so the recipes have been talored for special dietary meals and we must be doing something right since neither of us require drastic medical for the condition. Probably to many burgers and fries that put us here, but that’s my perspective.
More recipe links to come
Facing the rest of the year ahead.
If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.
My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.
I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.
It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.
As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.
My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from
I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.
Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”
It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.
With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Ok, kids are headed back to the classroom, school shopping done! Back to the world of conversing with people you can actually see, without bending double.
Take a deep breath, a mini spa stay and start getting ready for the back/busy half of the year. Work, kids school projects, meetings, sleep overs, and Holiday traditions on the horizon.
Me, I love fall!! Temperature drops, colorful falling leaves, Labor Day, Football Season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and if you were wondering what people do when it’s too cold outside and the internet is down you should see the list of Birthdays in my family. Especially if they live north of the Mason Dixon Line (assuming you can find it)! So here’s to hot chocolate, sweater weather, cute boots and the extra caffeine I claim is needed to spread the love during the hectic seasons just around the corner.
So, my posts have been very erratic lately as my Charlie kitty has been sick, I’ve been down with minor health issues. Have you ever tried giving both oral antibiotics and eye drops to a cat? I’m trying to put together, a very personal family gift for Christmas, along with other diy for Birthdays, and Holidays to come. I find early preparation and organization, let me spread cheer and not be overwhelmed. This year has also added intense physical therapy as I regain my ability to walk.
So I’m asking for some help. I want to create a one of a kind cookbook. I’ll be chiding our top family favorites, traditions, and some new to try. I want to include both the memories they invoke like Mom’s Pizza and pictures if available. So what makes the top of the list in your family? Help me choose from the recipes I post. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts? Do you have a Holliday tradition that you love to share? I strive for the feelings of love that warm even the coldest months of the year. Like my childhood memories filled with hugs, more food than is possible to eat and extra kisses under the mistletoe in my grandparents foyer chandelier. My dad would take us on a holiday light drive since we did not put up one of our own. The only interruption, hot chocolate, from his favorite doughnut shop. My sister-in-law started the Halloween Decorations, which have bloomed into my Birthday/Halloween party.
Don’t forget football season! Use any and every excuse to show some love and never regret giving enough!
Okay I grew up as an 80’s kid. Little Ceaser’s, pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Hungry Howie’s were the flavor of the day. I made the BookIt Club, every month with my parents encouragement to read. Even so if planning a menu and Pizza comes up our choice is not who do we order from, it’s more like do we have the ingredients or run to the store? You see growing up outside of those awarded pizza’s, we made ours at home by mom and my brothers and me.
If our friends were lucky enough to get some they would come back just for the pizza. That tradition has been passed down. I make it and if we go home we still request her pizza over takeout any day. We still have a traditional round pan, yet we normally make two rectangle baking sheets to feed us all.
The crust is home made from my dads, mothers cook book. We prefer supreme and even people who claim they don’t like some toppings do not complain when they eat it on this. Typically we top ours with olive oil, garlic, ground beef, ham, sausage (if we have it), onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, we usually skip black olives due to salt content. Cheddar cheese ( the sharper the better) mozzarella, and whatever else we have on hand or purchase for….Munster cheese, cherizo, multi color pepers and onion, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper jack gives quite a kick.
Roll out dough on two baking sheets. We leave it hand toss thickness or thin if watching carbs. Regular tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce to lightly coat dough. Layer Italian season, parmesan, pepper flakes(if desired). Next up are onions, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms. Sausages, ground beef, ham, and anything else we desire before a tight layer of pepperoni. Add yellow then white cheeses in generous quantities. Ours always looks like deep dish, we use plenty of toppings. Into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. One pie at a time. Cut into about 12 squares and use good spatula to lift weight of slices. Give few minutes to cool. Everyone will crave this and this is better than Pizza Hut, and the most you can buy.
Note: When I said you can involve family it’s a great way to occupy children with supervision. Growing up I always grated cheese, or as oldest used sharp knife to chop veggies. True story… we were visiting my brother from another mother… not really but only time I’ll get to say it, before he deployed over seas. Met my new sister in law..who brought 4 beautiful children into our family. After a long day exploring Savannah, GA. Where they were stationed we retired to our hotel pool for the kids. When the subject of dinner arose it would take about the same amount of time and quite a bit more expensive to feed all of us so we swung into the grocery to get needed supplies. You can buy pizza dough mix you just add water to. I’ve used them before so we decide to buying instead of ingredients to make from scratch. So we get to their house and we all take a task to hurry this along. I cooked on stove, mom did crust, she loves making bread, sister in law supervised 7 and 10 year olds using knives. My brother called from somewhere at front of house and with children’s tasks completed sister went to answer his call. So mom is ready to roll out and knead this dough so niece goes to pantry retrieves flour to coat table, hands and rolling pin. So she scrapes dough out on flowered table. It’s sticky well this can happen even with great dough recpie. So like any good baker she adds more flour. And adds, and adds and she’s asking me since i’ve used the mix and I’m like it never did that with me. Now she’s making these funny noises, and it’s stretching out of bowl like slime and by now my sister in law has come back to investigate the uncontrolled laughter, punctuated with moms eeww sounds. My father and brother have been drawn as well from hunger and sound effects. Everything she makes 3 to 5 sounds she’s asking me…..and all I can do is laugh as she lets it slide back to bowl. 2 cups of flour and its getting worse not better. We’re now discussing alternatives, when sister in law notices *flour* container and asks where it came from. 7 year old says I got it from pantry and shows her where. As it turns out the exact same container, has powdered sugar in it. She tells them apart by right or left side of pantry. I so wish we had thought to video this! We laughed so hard and the pizza really could have used some pineapple, but we finally got everyone fed.
Memories like these are irreplaceable! The retelling just does not match the look on moms face as her hands are covered in this slime. I’m so glad my adopted brother got to take this with him when he deployed. He came home, but I have yet to see him since dad passed away. If you ever read this please know that we love and miss you, and we’re still here when you decide to come home. Dad would be so proud of the man you have become, that goes for all my other siblings as well. Sending love to all my siblings and extended family, you’re all loved and I miss you guys so you have to come see me, since I cannot travel those distances yet. How do you make lasting memories with your family? See the recipe on Pintrest! Click here! Mom’s Pizza Recipe