Friday, November 11, 2011

3 days for 32 meals to Freeze

So after being hopelessly addicted to Pinterest for recipe ideas I was inspired to bite the bullet and do some freezer meals. I have always wanted to do a months worth of cooking in one day, so on those days that I really don't feel like cooking I could just grab something yummy and homemade out of my freezer. I gathered as many family favorite recipes that I thought would be good to freeze and made a huge grocery list. Initially I sort of had a heart attack about the mass amounts of food I was needing to buy, but honestly its a months worth so it should be a lot for a family of 6. The day before shopping I checked out the store adds to make sure I was getting the most for my money and the few weeks before Thanksgiving is a great time to do this. I ended up buying the majority of my produce and meat at Sam's Club because their prices were as good if not better than the stores sale prices. All in all the groceries ran about $400-$450 which includes all the items needed to complete the meals (i.e. hamburger buns, sour cream, cheese, etc...).

The second day was prep day. I cooked all 7lbs of hamburger and placed each pound into a freezer gallon bag. Then I cooked the 6lbs of chicken in my crockpot then shredded and divided into bags. I had planned to get the pancakes and muffins baked this day also but it was just to crazy so I actually did it another day.

The third day was the longest day by far but has been so worth it thus far. I tried to organize my groceries as to make the process smoother (i.e. canned beans, other canned items, seasonings, veggies, etc...). When all the other girls arrived to my house we got started. We started off with the ground meat recipes and moved through the lists. One by one bag were filled with yummy food and my counter was filling up with finished meals. The whole process seemed to take forever but we were stopping to pick up kids from school and eat lunch. I think minus those activities it would have taken 4-4.5 hours straight to finish.

So now for anyone who wants to try out my recipes along with the grocery list above, go visit my recipe blog at
The Recipe Huntress : 32 meals in 3 days

Washington Trip with my JoJo

On the semi spur of the moment I decided that I wanted to fly out to Washington to see my dad and be there for his birthday on the 7th of November. When I researched the prices on tickets they were very cheap so I thought that taking Jocelyn with me would be a fun experience for her and I. It was a sort of mommy- daughter weekend for us. I orcastrated all this with Miriam so that it would be a huge surprise for my dad. It worked out great.

We flew in on Friday the 4th, Jocelyn loved flying in the plane but was a little nervous about flying over the water after reading the safety pamphlet in the seat pocket. Her favorite part was the take off and landing because the plane went fast. Miriam picked us up at the airport and we drove to my dad's work. Miriam had arranged for Dad's boss to call him in his office so that he would be there and distracted while we walked in. We sent Jocelyn in first and then I followed... the reaction was priceless and Miriam caught it on video!! Not only were we the surprise but Miriam had also arranged for my dad to have that day off as well as the following Monday and Tuesday. We left my dad's work and went to visit my grandma and surprise her too, so fun! We took Grandma Battson out to lunch at the Ram (my favorite place to get French Dips) and then decided it was time to head to my dad's house and take a nap.

Saturday we woke up fairly early thanks to the time change and early bedtime the night before to go shopping. I needed to find a fairly nice dress for Dave's Award Show the coming weekend since none of the dresses I have would fit my little growing belly. We found some awesome deals and had a yummy lunch at Red Robin with just us girls. Jocelyn was pretty ready to go home by the time we made our last stop at Costco. She spent that evening planning all the activities we would be doing the next day.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early to a wonderful tea party, consisting of Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin pie and hot apple cider. Jocelyn had everything all set up on the kitchen table. She even insisted upon us pointing our pinkies as we sipped our "tea". After all that fun we hopped into the car and headed to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Although it was a bit cold it was fun seeing all the animals out and about. We were fortunate to go during the feeding time for most of the animals. After the zoo we headed to lunch at the Ram again... because it really is that yummy. Then it was time to head to the Glass Museum. The Gallery of glass work was pretty fascinating but the best part was the Hot Shop. In the Hot Shop they actually make pieces of glass for local artists... It was really cool to watch but Jocelyn was pretty bored after the first hour. We finally headed home around 6 for dinner and to relax after a long fun day.

Monday was our last full day in Washington so we wanted to head down to Seattle as something fun to do for my Dad's official birthday. Unfortunately it was the only day it decided to rain :( We went to the Seattle Aquarium, which was the Aquarium that my dad used volunteer scuba dive. They have done quite a few updated to the building so it was pretty cool to see. The fish were amazing but the neatest part was watching them train and feed the fur seals. Jocelyn would have watched for hours but it was getting cold and we were all starving. We decided that Mexican sounded great so we went to the Aztec and had a fun birthday lunch, including the sombrero and Mexican singing :) My dad loved it! Finally we stopped back by my Grandma's to visit and say goodbye.

Tuesday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to catch our plane home. We had a blast visiting and I wish we could have done it as a whole family. Dave did amazing while Jo and I were gone, he is a pretty incredible dad.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tricks and TREATS!!!

Halloween was a very busy day for our family this year. We started the morning off by attending the annual Costume Parade at Jocelyn and Ethan's Elementary school. It was really fun to watch all the kids parade through the school in their costumes. Lucky for us, Jo and E were in the front because they went by grade. Caitlyn loved seeing all the princess dresses but hated being strapped into a stroller while the other kids were walking around.
After that Dave and I went to the Logan Hospital for my 20 week ultrasound. I am consulting with a MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) Specialist this pregnancy again so we had to get a super detailed ultrasound. It went pretty well, they first measured my cervix to make sure it is the normal length and no bed rest is needed at this point as it measure 2.95-2.98cm and normal is (3-4cm). Then we got to see the baby. They did all the standard measurements head, heart, stomach, legs and checked to make sure everything appeared to be functioning properly... which it all is. Unfortunately our attempts at not finding out the sex of the baby were thwarted pretty quickly while the technician was measuring the legs, Dave and I couldn't help but notice that there was nothing between the legs. After all the measurement she asked us if we wanted to know the sex of the baby... well we already did so we said yes to confirm our thoughts and sure enough we are expecting a baby GIRL !

It is still really hard to believe as we were so certain with all my pregnancy symptoms that we were pregnant with a boy, but looks like our kids were right again. The only concerning piece of news we received is that she has a CPC (Choriod Plexus Cyst) on her brain. The Dr. informed us that by itself means nothing and will likely resolve before birth. Normally these are seen along with other anomalies/defects and can mean Downs Syndrome amongst other complications. But he assured us this is not the case for us as all other markers are perfectly normal. I go back for another cervical scan in 4 weeks at which time I will be released from the MFM and solely in the care of my OB.

For memories sack I took a picture of my growing belly... as brutal as it looks these are actually very small bruises.

Finally, we had a little breathing time before the madness of Trick or Treating began. The kids ate a nice warm dinner and then got ready to do some damage in the neighborhood. This was Caitlyn's first year actually getting to go up to houses to get candy. She loved it and was not thrilled to be coming home after only going to the houses in our neighborhood.

Halloween was a great way to end out our month of being busy. Hopefully we don't end up with tons of cavities from all the yummy goodies we received.

Pinnacle Halloween Party

I don't know if I should technically call this a Pinnacle Halloween Party as its mostly my girlfriends whom I have met through Dave working at Pinnacle. We meet monthly for a Lunch Group where we each make a side dish or treat to share and then our children get to play while we talk. However, this month was just crazy for all of us and since it was close to Halloween we decided to just combine it into a Halloween Party. It was a blast and I really wish I would have taken more pictures of the other couples there.

Here are our Costumes: Preston-Happy Spider, Caitlyn- Ballerina Bat, Jocelyn- Monster High Cleopatra, Ethan- Mario, Me- Magic 8 Ball, and Dave- Texas Marshal

We were each in-charge of bringing a treat and a game. The kids did a spooky cake walk, no hands doughnut eating (our game), and Halloween picture coloring.

The kids had a blast playing with friends and eating tons of treats. Dave and I also had a great time chatting with our friends.