Jun 29, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday 
Homespun Kitchen

I have been better about doing my meal planning and prepping again, I hadn't done it for a few weeks and felt like I was going crazy!  I am excited for this week because the Fourth of July is my second favorite holiday!  I love the colors, the food, the festivals, parades, everything.  It probably helps that Brad proposed to me on this day 19 years ago, awwwww.  
Our town has a huge church festival that starts on the 3rd, they have beer gardens, food, games for the kids, a big concert and then a parade and the same festivities on the 4th.  
I have some fun things planned for this week!

Tuesday:  "Flag" pizza, today is going to be our craft day and I am incorporating some fun 4th foods too!  Something like this...

Flag Pizza Recipe

Wednesday:  Chicken Pot Pie- from the freezer

Thursday:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes

Friday:  We are going to a couple July 4th parties, so we'll be snacking all evening!

Jun 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's another edition of Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika and Narci!

This week was full of summer fun!  Tuesday my sister-in-law and I took the kids to a strawberry patch (which I've never done before) to pick strawberries.  It was a gorgeous morning, not too hot and a bit of a breeze, so no bugs!  

Everyone had fun, and we got a ton of strawberries!

I think we got plenty!  I am hoping to make some jam this weekend, if time allows...

After strawberry picking, we went home, packed up lunches and headed to the beach.  It was SUCH a gorgeous day out!

Clearly they had fun...maybe too much...

Wednesday night our town had a "movie in the park" night which we have never done before.  They were showing the movie "The Boxtrolls".  I do not recommend it, it was a very strange movie, and not one of my girls liked it, haha.  They had a car contest and Alayna's taxi won 2nd place in her age group!

She won $20 and was super excited!

It really was a fun night, the adults sat and chatted (quietly) while the kids watched.  I made a huge batch of homemade kettle corn (in my new popper!),
 and bagged it up in bread bags that I have on hand for when I make homemade bread.

Single Bread Bags

I guess they are going to be doing a couple more movie nights this summer, we look forward to it (and hope that their movie choices will be better).

This weekend we hope to get the boat on the lake, and my plan is to make some jam and get my meals made for the week.  I have some fun crafts and meals planned to celebrate the 4th next week and ordered the book

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Jun 25, 2015

Saucy Meatballs

Oh looky it's a recipe!  It' funny when I look back at my blog, it all started because of my love for cooking, then some crafting/decorating morphed in, and now it's mostly about our daily life and what we're up to.  I haven't scrapbooked since 2013, so I kind of feel like this is my way of keeping track of what we've been up to...
Now onto this recipe.  While I still LOVE to cook, I don't post as many recipes as I'd like, simply because I keep forgetting to take pictures.  However this week Alayna told me I needed to take a picture and blog this recipe because it is our family's favorite dinner, they call these meatballs, "moms famous meatballs"!

The meatball recipe comes from Pioneer Woman and the sauce comes from Mels Kitchen Cafe.  The meatballs are really the best, there is so much flavor in these puppies, and the sauce is oh so easy, but also SO flavorful!

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 cups Fine Bread Crumbs
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 3/4 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  •  Splash Of Milk

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

2 T. butter
3 1/2 T. flour
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
14 oz. can chicken broth (If you want your sauce thicker, cut down the chicken broth to 1 cup)
2/3 cup milk
2 T. minced fresh parsley

That's it, I will make a double batch of meatballs and freeze them, makes getting supper together so much easier!

Linking to Momfessionals for her Recipe Club.

Jun 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Edited to add:  I had this post scheduled for Sunday, and just realized this morning that it did not go up, oops!

Today I want to wish this handsome fella a Happy Father's Day!  First off dad, it is clear that you and I need to get our pictures taken together more often, haha!
Secondly I want to say how much I love this guy...he has been there for me through ups and downs, and lots of shitty boyfriends, just sayin.  Dad, I love that I can come to you with anything, and you won't sugar coat it.  And more than anything, my favorite times with you are our early morning coffee chats, those I will always cherish.
I like to think that my quirkiness comes from you, and the fact that I rather enjoy being the "odd" one.  I don't always like to follow, and enjoy being different.
I will never forget you making a meat pie for supper one night and us looking at it like we were served squid.  I asked you why you'd put hamburger in a pie and not chicken, and you said, "because everyone makes that" and you wanted to try something else.  You've always enjoyed being the different one!

I also want to wish my step dad Bob a Happy Father's Day.  We are so lucky that you came into our lives, and know that you are so loved!  We love your spunk and your constant smiles and the girls will never be able to see a tootsie roll pop and not think of you!

Happy Father's Day!

Brad's 40th and Fathers Day Weekend

What a fantastic weekend we had!  Friday was Brad's 40th birthday, we took the girls to Fuji's steakhouse and Sushi bar.  We did the hibachi grill and had a great chef, so fun!  They made Brad stand up to sing happy birthday to him, haha!  After supper we dropped the girls off at home and met some friends at the La for drinks.  We had a ton of fun and were home by 11.

Saturday Brad took the girls to a Twins game, they had awesome seats, 2 rows behind the visitor teams dugout.  Although it was hot and Brad said he took Alayna to the bathroom no less than 5 times and she whined about being hot, they still had a blast!

And while they were gone, I relaxed by cooking for 5 hours, it was glorious!  I got a double batch of chicken tetrazzini made, homemade meatballs, smores bars, homemade popsicles and made chicken marsala for supper.  It was truly a wonderful day!

Saturday night we hung out at home, Brad played volleyball and basketball with the girls and I sat, haha.  I love, love, love this pic!  Emma is shooting hoops, Rach is playing volleyball, and mouse is mad because no one was playing with her (even though dad just played a game of basketball with her).

Jun 19, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Linking up today with Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites!

It's been a great week, it's been the girls' (well Emma and Alayna's) first full week at home and all went swimmingly!  Rachel had volleyball camp Wednesday-Friday so it was just the younger two at home and it sounds like they had a great week.  They have daily chores to do, and I love that my house gets cleaned daily, haha!

We were home most of the week which was wonderful, Alayna's game got canceled on Tuesday, so I was able to get some meals prepped.  I did a post yesterday on meal prep, so if you missed it, go check it out!
Alright, here are a couple favorites from this week...

Love that its warm enough for us to get out on the boat!

Emma bought some crafts this week and I'm excited to do some crafting with her!

Ok, so maybe this isn't exactly a favorite, but this is Alayna in melt down mode before going shopping because I informed her that we were NOT BUYING TOYS!  Fun times.

However, she always redeems herself.  her fish Shelly dies yesterday and I came home to find these signs.  I DIED of laughter!  Died...
By the way, it says, "Shelly's funeral is today"

Seriously, this kid makes me crazy, but she is SO freaken funny!


Tomorrow Brad and the girls are going to a Twins baseball game.  He was given 4 tickets, and originally we were going to try and get a 5th one, but no go.  I hate baseball.  Hate it.  It's boring, slow, and boring.  So needless to say I am so sad (not) that I can't go.  The girls are so excited!  I plan on cleaning, making more freezer meals, and working on getting rid of 95% of the toys we have, fun fun!


And this is most definitely my favorite...today is Brad's 40th birthday!  He is such an amazing guy, and I'm so lucky he's mine!

The girls made signs that I put all over the house, this one cracked me up the most, made by Emma.  The bottom part says, "coming up next...fishing opener, golfing, Brad turns 40, Kardashian has twins..."  LOL!!!  Brad and I were rolling at the Kardashian comment!

Tonight we are going to Fuji steakhouse for supper then meeting friends at the La for some cocktails.
Happy Friday!

Jun 18, 2015

Dinner Time!

Today I am linking up with The Boutelle Family Blog and Grace Mountain Diaries for their "This Is How We Do It" series.
Today's feature is "DinnerTime"!  I love this topic, because I am very passionate about it.  The girls have SO many friends who's families do not eat together and eat on the go.  That is not us.  We eat together 5-6 nights a week, I realize that we are lucky, but we do have to work around our work schedule, and girls activities (we have 3 girls 14, 12 and 9).  It's not always easy, sometimes I feel like ALL of my spare time is spent cooking, but it's what is important to me.
Here's how I do it:

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan.  I cannot stress it enough, but I have to plan ahead, or we will eat out more, or eat more convenience foods.

I sit down on Sundays and make my meal plan for the week in my planner, then go grocery shopping.  We shop at Aldi's and I can usually get away with spending under $100 for a family of five.  Not too shabby. 

Read foodie blogs!  Seriously, I get 98% of my recipes from blogs that I read.  I try to incorporate 2-3 new recipes/week.   Some of my fave foodie blogs are:
These are just a few, but the ones I refer to most of the time.  I also get the cooking magazines 
"Taste of Home" and "Simple and Delicious".

I incorporate veggies with every meal.  

Sometimes it's corn or peas, but often it's a salad or steamed veggies.  We don't do a lot of pastas (although I wish we could!), so we keep it simple with grilled meats and casseroles.  Venison sausage is my go to meal that everyone loves.  I serve it with either pancakes or mashed potatoes.

Freezer Meals!  I am a huuuuuge proponent of freezer meals!

I have every Tuesday off, and when I am not running kids around for activities/appointments, I like to do a freezer cooking day one a month.  I try to get 6-7 meals in the freezer and then use those on my crazy busy nights.  Right now I have 2 tator tot hotdishes, chicken tacos, browned ground beef, homemade meatballs and cinnamon rolls all prepped and ready to go in the freezer.

Prep your foods after grocery shopping.  Sunday evenings is when I make my lunches for the week (steamed veggies or a salad and grilled chicken) and then cut up veggies and fruits for the week.  Makes the days go by so much more smoothly to have everything ready to go.

So there you have it, a sampling of what I do to get our meals healthy and together!

Jun 15, 2015

Fun Family Weekend

We had another action packed weekend (I think every weekend this summer is action packed, oy!)
Friday was the 5th annual Mark Zimmer Golf Tournament.  Mark is Brad's 2nd cousin who passed away from cancer about 6 years ago.  He and his wife Peg own the La Playette which is where we had our wedding reception, and most recently our 40th birthday party.  Brad golfed and I always work it.  This year I had to work until 3, but was able to come out and work the event the rest of the day.  It is SO much fun, and I love getting to see everyone and take their money (selling raffles, of course), haha!
I love this guy right here, Tom was one of Mark's best friends, and Tom's wife Mame died about 6 months after Mark.  Tom is one of those all around great guys!
I truly love working this event every year, and we always have a great turnout.  (side note:  all the money raised gets put back into the community, they pay for golf lessons for youth in the summer and then they give money to local families in need.)

Saturday was spent cleaning house and doing laundry, I hadn't got caught up since coming home from vacation on Wednesday.  Emma and Alayna decided they wanted to go running with me.  Alayna ran a told of 30 seconds and was tired, but Emma did pretty good!  I ended up giving Alayna a piggy back ride on the way home, just to get more of a workout in, haha!

That night we decided to have a bonfire in the driveway and then about 10:00 Alayna asked if I would lay down with her for a bit, we both konked out right away!

Sunday Brad did some yard work in the morning and the girls and I got groceries for the week.  I got my meals prepped and some made and finished laundry.  Around 2 we decided to take the boat out and do some tubing.  We drove out to Koronis and picked up Will and Maddie, kids had a blast on the new tube!

Got home around 7, ate some supper, girls showered and then we did family devotions since we didn't go to church.  Our devotional talked about judging others, and the verse from Mathew that talks about seeing a spec in someone else's eye while having a plank in yours...I asked Alayna what we learned about when the devotional was done and she said, "sawdust?"....ugh....that kid I tell ya.

Jun 5, 2015

Friday Favorites: Graduation Edition!

Linking up again with Erika for Friday Favorites!

Yesterday was the last day of school here, and also Rachel's last day at Kennedy.  Ugh, so many emotions going through me right now.  Happy and oh so proud of this lady, and very sad to think of how fast time is going.  I know that the next 4 years are going to fly by, and I'm not ok with it.  I am just trying to soak in this time with the girls, they are at such fun ages right now!

Last day of 8th, 6th and 3rd grade!

The school always does such a nice graduation ceremony.  The kids pick 2 students and 2 teachers to deliver the speeches, I think we were all in tears at this point!  Then the 8th graders did a song,
(Bruno Mars "You Can Count on Me", more tears.   I surprisingly held it together quite well.

Once they get their diplomas, all of the teachers from K-8 stand in a line to shake the graduates hands, Rachel had a hard time holding it together.  The pic below is of her and "Grandma" Darlene.  She volunteers in K and 1st grade, and the kids absolutely adore her!

Pics with my mom and step dad Bob.

Brad's mom and Dad.

Notice how much taller than me she is.  She got about 2 inches on me, crazy!

After the ceremony, the 8th graders go bowling, so all of us parents took the day off and went over to Nordines for brunch.Everything was so good!  I absolutely love these ladies.

We left their house around 1 to come home and get things ready for Rachel's party.  She invited 15 kids to come over after school to hang out.  I made a big batch of sloppy joes, and we had drummies, meatball, chips and snacky stuff.

And of course cake, you gotta have cake!

All of us nerdy moms took pics of the kids coming down the driveway...Poor Rachel was an absolute mess!  She was sobbing because it was her last bus ride home from Kennedy.  Poor kid!

I love this pic of the girls, and Kama (Nordines yellow lab)!  The kids played volleyball, bean bags, basketball and ate.  We let her invite both boys and girls, the boys came later on after baseball.  Brad got a bonfire going for them and they played night games.  Brad and I loved listening to the laughter, they really had a great time!
They finally left around midnight, and Brad and I were exhausted!  4 of the girls spent the night, we didn't hear any talking though, I think the emotional day wore them out, haha...

We are lucky that all of our girls have some really awesome friends, and we're also lucky that we hang out with the parents, quite the fun group!