All right!! It has taken me a while to get back to my blog--I've been knocked down by a cold since Sunday, and only just now feel up to doing this! I've been writing this blog in my head for about a week. *As for links, I'm having a problem posting them in my blogs in a way that's usable. I don't know why! It won't let me. So....the Favorite Things Swap link and Pam Dana's blog are both under "Bloggity Friends" and "Links of Interest".
I participated in Crystal's Favorite Things Swap, and my partner was Pamela Dana. She absolutely outdid herself!! The package arrived on Saturday, just when I was beginning to feel quite overwhelmed and exhausted from the day. (Perfect timing, Pam!) She sent the best stuff! Included in the package: A Scentsy--I had never heard of this, but it melts the scented wax with a tiny lightbulb, so you have the ambiance of a candle (light through the holes) and the scent from a nice candle (the wax). But it came with six different blocks of wax--so it's really like six scented candles in one. Also in the package: Dirty Dancing (woohoo!), The Giver (I know this is a classic, and although I haven't read it, It's on my huge list...), The Secret Journal of Brett Colton (I've started it already and can't put it down--great story!), a Cherie Call CD, and Mary Kay exfoliating wash & perfume. See what I mean when I say Pam outdid herself? Thank you, Pam!!
And now, for those of you who asked, here's my two-week menu. It's really nothing glamorous or ambitious. I wish it was, but obviously not enough to make it so. :) Really it's a one-week menu repeated. I'm sorry this picture is so crappy--I scanned it. I don't know if it's possible to provide a link to a Word document....if it is, obviously I'm having the linkage problem. So. That wouldn't work. Notice I've added ideas for snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. I did that because I'm often as confounded about what to make for those meals as I am for dinners. They're just ideas. I don't always do this by the T. Sometimes when Phill isn't here, we have lunch ideas for dinner. I follow it pretty closely, though, when Phill is here. It's just helpful. And we bought everything for these meals and snacks (for two weeks) for $150.00. (Of course, that has lasted us longer with Phill being gone since last Sunday, not set to return until the 21st of this month. Army stuff....always.) So--$300.00 for a family of five to eat for a month. So...here it is. Finally.
I should mention that the lasagna listed is not homemade. For convenience, we buy a Family Size Stauffer's frozen lasagna. Looks small, but ends up feeding all of us and then some! And the salads are usually those Caesar kits. I feel lazy admitting that....but it's pretty hard to be lazy when you have kids. Too much effort to not make an effort. The tacos we make are pretty boring--and sometimes they're actually burritos. Just ground beef with taco seasoning, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, olives, onions, cheese....in a hard taco shell or wrapped in a tortilla. The Homestyle Bakes are by Banquet or Betty Crocker. One meal in a box. If we're really hungry, two boxes. But usually one box does it. The pork chops we do on the grill, the mashed potatoes aren't always homemade, and the veggies are usually frozen. And the spaghetti is also pretty straightforward. I'm sure I'll choose some more involved meals once I've got down the whole idea of a meal plan and budget. The whole idea was very daunting at first, which is why I went for easy almost-ready-made meals. Oh--and the rice? Best idea ever--10-minute boil-in-a-bag rice. I love it. And the pancakes for breakfast? Yep, you guessed it. Just add water! And instant cream of wheat. And just for the record, I think I'll change up the menu a little for the next two weeks. I don't want to repeat seven meals four times. Some of them are keepers, but tacos for times a month? That doesn't really appeal to me. Maybe I'll share my new menu once I have it.