Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tomorrow's Dinner

Caity & Brea will be staying with my mom.

We will be going to pick up Cheyanna's new crib after mom picks up the girls.

So, we will be taking Jacob & Rory swimming after picking up the crib, then we will go out to eat. Yay, no cooking:) Actually, I love to cook, just the cleaning afterwards, I hate, lol.

Decluttering tips 6/26

Once you've decided to get rid of items, get rid of them right away. Go ahead and post on freecycle or go ahead and take to the goodwill or whatever, just get them out of your house.......less likely you will take something back out of the box.

Don't put away your box of keeps until you've cleaned up any mess remaining from your declutter and sorting.

3rd round decluttering 6/26

got a "hit" off freecycle, so went around trying to find more stuff to go

got rid of several plant pots, toys, gift bags and a pack of unopened sponges

lady came and got the stuff from freecycle, so now I need to get another load to list tomorrow.

Decluttering 6/26, 2nd round:

went through 2 bins, and went around house to find things laying around

1/2 trash bag
1 bin

1 1/2 bins full of stuff
big black trash bag full of stuff
2 more pr. kids' shoes

6/26 Today's Decluttering, So Far...

went through 3 bins.........

tossed 2 trash bags, tossed the 2 bins (so they won't get filled back up, lol)

freecycled 2 bins of books & other stuff and 1/2 a trash bag of kids' shoes

kept 1/2 bin of important documents/office supplies/notebooks

Yesterday's decluttering

Tossed a whole bin of shoes (bin and all).

Also, tossed 3 trash bags.

freecycled 3 trash bags of kids' clothes

It's a start, hopefully I will do more today:)

Tonight's Dinner 6/26

Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, fresh silver queen corn, tomatoes, cukes, watermelon, carrot cake and milk.

Easy Pork Roast

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds pork roast
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup milk
2 slices bacon -- halved

Place roast in crockpot; set aside.

Mix together soup mix and milk and pour over roast.

Lay bacon sliices on top of roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 392 Calories; 24g Fat (56.4% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 120mg Cholesterol; 737mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.

Mashed Potatoes

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Side Dishes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 white potatoes -- peeled and cubed
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons butter
1/8 cup milk
salt and pepper -- to taste

Boil potatoes; drain.

Mix boiled potatoes, mayonnaise, butter, milk, salt and pepper until smooth. Add more butter and milk as needed to make potatoes smooth.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 183 Calories; 10g Fat (47.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 13mg Cholesterol; 88mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christmas is 6 months away...

what are you doing to prepare?

I am starting a Christmas Club account Friday, yes, I know it's late, but my credit union just started offering them last month. We will have a certain amount auto-deposited every 2 weeks when dh gets paid and then in late October, they will transfer the total into an account of our choice. It won't be much, since there's only 4 months til then, but it will be better than starting from scratch in November:)

Before Friday, I will update my Christmas gift list (of names to buy for) and will divide it up into 10 equal lists. The next 10 paydays (6/27-10/31) I will buy a list each time. Then in October, when we get the Christmas club money, I will save that til my dh gets his bonus the day before Thanksgiving, then Black Friday, we will go shopping for the kids.......although, I am thinking maybe this year over Christmas break we will go on a vacation, rather than go overboard w/cluttering gifts. Santa will still come, but I don't want to add too much to the house.

Dessert 6/26

Tomorrow's Dessert is in the oven now. It is very rich, so after every one has a small piece at dinner, I will send it with dh to work the next day.

Carrot Cake

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 16
Categories : Cakes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
Cake-Part 1:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cake-Part 2:
2 jars junior baby food chopped carrots
2 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
4 Tablespoons butter -- at room temperature
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 13X10" pan; set aside.

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; set aside.

Mix together carrots, sugar, oil, eggs and walnuts.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add carrots mixture. Mix well and pour into pan.

Bake 45-60 minutes. Test with toothpick. Cool cake.

Mix frosting ingredients together. Frost cake.

Dinner 6/25 Update

Instead of green beans, we're gonna have butter beans instead.

Butter Beans

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 8
Categories : Beans

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
32 ounces frozen lima beans
1 ham hock
1 stick butter

Boil hamhock in water until ham starts separating.

Add beans to water. Boil 3 minutes. Turn down heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Uncover; put in butter. Turn to low and simmer for several hours, stir occasionally and add water if needed.

Today's Decluttering Tips 6/25

Start with a clean working space. You can't get rid of clutter if you are doing it admist clutter. If your work space is cluttered, make that your 1st project. Put things you need to keep away, toss trash, put still usable things to giveaway in your donate box.

Have all your supplies handy. If you have to keep going back and forth, you may get sidetracked and not accomplish anything.

Do not stop to clean while you are decluttering. Make sure you have time to devote just to decluttering.

Don't take out more than you can do in a half an hour. Some people say an hour, but with 5 little ones, I don't get more than 30 minutes at a time to work on anything, even if they are helping. If I pull out more than that, it usually ends up creating more mess than was originally there.

Have your kids help you, even if all they can do is run from here to there putting things away for you.......hey, that's less running that you have to do and you may have energy to do more decluttering:)

Let your kids go with you if you are donating things to a shelter or other non-profit, especially if they can actually see the people they will be helping. Let them see that their unused stuff will make some other little girl or boy very happy.

Tonight's Dinner 6/25

Tonight for dinner, we will have Swiss Steak, rice pilaf, green beans, salad, milk and brownies for dessert.

Swiss Steak

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 8
Categories : Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds boneless beef round steak -- cut into strips
2 packets onion soup mix
58 ounces Italian diced tomatoes (2 large cans)

Spray crock with nonstick spray or line with a crockpot bag.

Arrange steak in crock; sprinkle with soup mixes. Pour tomatoes over top.

Cover and cook on High for 4 hours.

Serving Ideas : Serve over rice.

NOTES : Check at 3 hours.

Rice Pilaf

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 6
Categories : Rice/Potatoes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 package onion soup mix
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup long-grain rice -- uncooked
1/2 cup red onion -- finely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup carrot -- shredded
1/4 cup slivered almonds -- toasted
1/4 cup peas -- drained
1/4 cup corn -- drained

Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add rice and onion; saute about 6 minutes or until golden.

Stir in broth, carrot, peas, corn and soup mix; bring to a boil.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish; cover.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Before serving, fluff rice with a fork and sprinkle with almonds.

Almond Cheesecake Brownies

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 16
Categories : Brownies & Bars

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter -- 1 stick
4 semisweet chocolate squares -- 4 ounces, chopped
4 unsweetened chocolate squares -- 4 ounces, chopped
2 cups sugar -- divided
5 large eggs -- divided
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract -- divided
12 ounces cream cheese -- cold
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 13X9" baking pan. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt butter and chocolates over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat.

With wooden spoon, beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add 4 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until well blended. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until blended.

In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth; gradually beat in remaining Sugar. Beat in remaining egg, almond extract and remaining vanilla just until blended.

Spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate batter in prepared pan. Spoon crema-cheese mixture in 6 large dollops on top of chocolate mixture (cream cheese mixture will cover most of chocolate batter).

Spoon remaining chocolate batter over and between cream cheese in 6 large dollops. With tip of knife, cut and twist through mixtures to create marbled effect.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

When cool, cut brownie lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tonight's dinner...

Meatloaf, rice, peas and baked beans, fresh sliced peaches, fresh lemonade.

Savory Meatloaf

Recipe By :Cherylann
Serving Size : 8
Categories : Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup quick cooking oats -- uncooked
1 packet onion soup mix
2 pounds ground beef
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes -- drained well
ketchup -- for topping

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick spray or line with a crockpot bag.

Combine eggs, 1/2 cup ketchup, oats, soup mix and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Put ground beef in crockpot, pour egg mixture on top; mix well. Form into a loaf.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until meat thermometer reaches 160°.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 440 Calories; 32g Fat (66.2% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 150mg Cholesterol; 714mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 5 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.


Recipe By :Cherylann
Categories : Beverages

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 quarts water
2 1/2 cups splenda
4 small lemons -- sliced

Fill 1 gallon jar 3/4 of water. Add sugar. Stir until sugar is melted. Add lemons. Fill jar with water and chill.

Decluttering tips 6/24

Have the following items handy when decluttering:

1. Trash can.........key to getting rid of trash right away
2. to put away bin
3. give away bin

In my case, of possibly moving within the next 6 months, I will also need:
1. storage bins (hopefully not too many, want to get rid of as much as possible)
2. permanent marker (to label bins)
3. spiral notebook and pen(to inventory bins)

I will also keep a list of these bins on my computer for quick searches.

I will label my storage bins by room & #. Ex. MBR-1; MBR-2 Or MBA-1; MBA-2

Anything not used within the past 6 months can most likely go.

Time to Get Rid of the Clutter

We are working hard to start looking at a house to buy by the end of the year. So, I do not want to be moving anything that I don't have to.

I have already got a box and 3 black trash bags of stuff from the kitchen ready to freecycle. That's just the beginning. I want to get rid of tons of stuff. Plus, the shed is loaded with bins that need to be gone through. I really need to be tough with that stuff, most of it can go.

My goal (starting tomorrow...too wet outside right now), is to go through at least one bin a day until they are all done. I want to get rid of at least 3/4 of the stuff in there.

Does anyone want to join me? I will try to post some decluttering tips along the way. Let the decluttering begin..................

Monday, June 23, 2008

Christmas Gifts for the Grandparents

This year I am going to be making a photobook for each of the sets of grandparents and dh's great-gma.

I made one for dh at W-M for father's day and it turned out beautifully. It was just under $26 including tax.

I do like the ones at better, but as usual, I waited too long, and it wouldn't have gotten here in time.

I will also get each of them a little "something" extra, but I thought this would be a special gift.

Does anyone else have any ideas for any memorable gifts? I figured since I wouldn't be able to handmake any gifts this year, that this would be the next best thing:) And since it includes pics of the grandkids, it would be special.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


is 6 months from Wednesday.

I plan to have all my Christmas shopping done (except for my kids and dh........they are snoopers), by the end of September.

I doubt I will be making any handmade gifts this year:) No time between the kids being home all summer and a new baby in the house.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My garden-yellow poplar

last pic--yellow poplar

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bless This Home

I saw this poem on a friend of mine's blog (private). I think I am gonna find a country kitchen cross-stitch pattern and stitch it with this poem stitched underneath...

Bless This Home

Bless this home, O Lord, we pray

Guard it safely night and day,

Bless the family living here

Bind them close with love and cheer.

Bless the food which is prepared

And each guest with whom it's shared.

Bless the children through the years

Guide them in their joys and tears.

Bless the mother - tender, kind

And the father by her side

Bless their pure and faithful love

Making home like heaven above.

Bless this home, O Lord, we pray

Where we live and walk and play;

Bless us al that ever we

May Live, O gracious Lord, with Thee

~Adapted by Ella May Miller

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My 5 Beautiful Babies

Here is the front cover of the photobook I made for my dh for Father's Day. We took this out in the front yard Friday. Out of 68 shots, this was the best try taking a pic of 5 kids and have every one smiling/looking the right way at once, LOL.

Monday, June 16, 2008


This is Caity a couple of weeks ago at her awards ceremony. (She's standing in front of the teenager with the white tee and yellow shorts). She got an award for the beginning of the year she was really struggling with this, and at the end of the year she gets an award for doing so well in reading. My baby will be in 2nd grade next year:)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


This Jacob at his Kindergarten graduation. He's the one in the red polo shirt and plaid shorts. My baby boy will be a 1st grader next year:)

OAMC--Mexican Filling

I came up with this recipe while "shopping" in my pantry for dinner.......I didn't want to go to the store. So, my laziness spurred the creativity for this recipe...the best part, it made enough for 4 meals, so I was able to add 3 meals to my freezer for later use. This will definitely be on my future oamc menus:)

Mexican Filling (OAMC)

Recipe By :Cherylann T. Smith
Serving Size : 24
Categories : Mexican OAMC

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 pounds ground beef -- browned and drained
3 packets taco seasoning mix
20 ounces Rotel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro
3 cups rice -- (measure before cooking), cooked
48 ounces refried beans
16 ounces cream cheese -- softened and cubed

Mix the browned beef with seasoning mix. Add tomatoes, rice, beans and cream cheese. Heat through.

Divide mixture into 4 labeled gallon freezer bags.

To serve: Thaw mixture overnight in bottom of refrigerator. Heat through. Serve on tacos or in burritos or enchiladas. Serve with shredded Mexican cheese blend, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and warmed salsa.

"For burritos, tacos, enchiladas"

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 400 Calories; 22g Fat (51.1% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 69mg Cholesterol; 627mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : It will heat quicker if beans, beef and rice are already warm.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Swiffer Pad Refills

I cut some leftover fleece into swiffer sized pads. I just toss them into the washer when I am done..........I have several, so I can do the whole house at one time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To my child

To My Child

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and
laugh when I feel like crying.
Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear,
and smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick
you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let
you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the
computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny
grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will
buy you one if he comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be
when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where
you are concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I
won't stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both
a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a
story about how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on
the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss
my favorite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you
pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest
gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for
their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting
their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and
fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffe r
senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, a
little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him
for nothing, except one more day...


This is Brea getting her diploma from Pre-K:)


Rory is now a very protective big sister:) She is quick to tell you she's not the baby, Cheyanna is the baby. She calls her Shanana, lol. I thought she might be a little jealous, but she is really not. She even tells everyone that's my baby sister you can't touch her (except to mommy & daddy). So, we are working with her to not be so mean and possessive, lol.

been busy, busy, busy

been busy having a baby and doing end of year things for the kids. Caity and Jacob had their bdays within the last month, Brea graduated Pre-K, Jacob graduated Kindergarten, Caity is going on to 2nd grade next year:) We've been running in a million different directions:).......will post pics later.


Sorry I haven't posted for a while. This beautiful little girl is part of the reason why:)

kids' summer routine

6am get kids up; morning routine (get ready, breakfast, brush teeth)
7am take kids out to play
9am snack; brush teeth
9:20am chores/clean bedrooms
11:30 am lunch routine (lunch, brush teeth)
12 pm nap/rest (nap for rory & chey and when they fall asleep--caity, jacob & brea will get up and have learning time)
2 pm snack; brush teeth
2:20 pm free play if chores are done
4 pm straighten bedroom
4:30 pm dinner routine (dinner, brush teeth, chores)
5:30 pm outdoor play or pool
6:30 pm dessert
7 pm bedtime routine (showers, brush teeth, pj's, video after ready for bed---if time)
8 pm Rory bedtime (story, prayers, bed)
8:30 pm Brea bedtime (story, prayers, bed)
8:45 pm Jacob bedtime (story, prayers, bed)
9 pm Caity bedtime (story, prayers, bed)