I know that I'm extremely behind on blogging. Add this to the long list of things that I have't had time to do latily. I have been so overwhelmingly busy latily that I'm almost to breaking point.
Instead of boring you with that...I thought I'd give you something to laugh at! Kaden's school always trick or treats the classes. They usually bring home about 5 lbs of candy. Yes, I meant to say that! 5 pounds! So, here are some pics from that day. The first is with his favorite grown up, Jennifer Fox. He calls her Nennifer Box
This was at the beginning of the hour when they all were good and stood in line. Our school measures a mile if you walk all of the halls. You can imagine what it was like for them bythe end!
Check out the cutie in the red scrubs. This is Kaden's new girlfriend! He talks about her ALL the time!
And now to make you laugh!
Sometimes, he's just too "special" for his own good!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I know that I'm extremely behind on blogging. Add this to the long list of things that I have't had time to do latily. I have been so overwhelmingly busy latily that I'm almost to breaking point.
Posted by tpillstrom at 3:22 PM
Monday, September 20, 2010
This weekend the boys had their first soccer games. Kaden had been counting the days until he got to wear his uniform and play some soccer. Brady had the early game and Kaden's was in the heat of the day. I uploaded the pics in the wrong order so sorry. But they are well worth viewing because I just love watching them play sports!
This one is by far my favorite of Kaden! It was right before the game started and he was so proud to be sitting on the bench! He actually played the whole game. The only time he stopped was when he noticed Brady eating nachos and had to run off the field a couple of times and get himself a snack! He also kept running the wrong way so I had Brady stand behind the goal and yell for him to kick the ball that way! It seemed to work and we might have to try it everytime! Kaden's team tied...even though they don't keep score!
I have to say this is the most awesome picture of Brady! He has gotten so big and I'm just so proud of him. Last night, Tony said, "I can't believe he'll be in middle school in 3 years!" Um...Hello? We're not talking about that right now! He's still my baby!
And of course, I had to move this one to the bottom. After playing the whole game, Kaden was just worn out! BTW...this was in the middle of the game! He just laid down and the kids were running over him! It was pretty cute! And he took an awesome 3 hour nap when he got home!
Posted by tpillstrom at 10:55 AM
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This is officially week two of my two weeks worth of dinners I cooked last weekend and can I just say, I'm so happy I cooked for two weeks! What's left on the menu for this week you ask? Tonight, we had Russian Chicken (I will post the recipe below)...tomorrow will be chicken tacos, then we have enchiladas, spaghetti, chicken and rice, chili maple chicken, and another Russian chicken left. I'm about to start my menu for the next two weeks and will shop and cook those next weekend. Did I mention that I only spent $166 at the store last weekend? That's crazy! Here are a few recipes to tie you over until next weekend. I will take some pics of my cooking process to make it a little more interesting next weekend.
Russian (Dump) Chicken
4-5 pieces of frozen chicken breast
1 bottle of Russian dressing
2 packages of onion soup mix
1 tablespoon of apricot preserves
In a gallon ziploc baggy, pour the bottle of dressing, 2 packages of onion soup mix and preserves. Then add the frozen chicken breast (do not thaw). Zip the baggy and mix up the ingredients. Place in the freezer. When ready to cook, put in the refrigerator over night. Then cook on 350 for about 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is ready. Serve over rice. EASY!!!!!!!!
1 pound of ground beef or turkey (I buy the big 5 pounder and use it for lots of things)
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 cans red or green enchilada sauce (I use the green)
1/2 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag flour tortillas
Cook the burger meat with the onions until the onions are clear. Drain meat. Add 1 can to meat mixture. I also add a hand full of cheese. Spoon mixture into individual tortillas and roll up. Put into Glad Oven ware (or your choice of freezer safe dish). I usually put ten in a dish and that's enough for my family of four. After you roll up all the enchiladas, pour the other can of sauce on top of the enchiladas. Then sprinkle cheese on top. You can put as much or as little as possible. Then wrap up and freeze. Thaw in the fridge over night and then cook on 350 until cheese is melted. ***Family Favorite****
4-5 frozen chicken breast thawed and cooked on the grill
2 cans of rotel tomatoes
(I cook the chicken on the grill so that Tony can help me and it takes a little time off of my cooking. He can do this while I'm cooking my beef dishes)
Cut the chicken into small pieces. Put in the skillet with the rotel and cook until the liquid is almost gone. Then let cool. Place into individual ziploc baggies. You'll want to divide it up to the best size for your family. Then Freeze. Thaw over night in the fridge and warm up in a skillet. I use flour tortillas warmed in the microwave with cheese on top. You can add your favorite taco dressings.
The chicken one is great because you can use it for lots of things besides tacos! Happy cooking and let me know how it goes!
Posted by tpillstrom at 7:53 PM
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Ok...seriously, I had to share with you the most amazing surprise that arrived at school on Friday! Well, it wasn't really a surprise because I kinda knew it was coming but non the less, I was still excited! My dear friend Hannah Jackson has started her own business called....
It's named after her grandmothers and she makes the most amazing cupcakes! So, I somehow convinced her to bring some to school on Friday for the ladies in my lunch to share! And she did!!!!! It was such a delight to have someone send us a treat that it took about 5 seconds for them to be gobbled up! So, I asked Hannah to send me some pics because I couldn't wait to share them with you!
I know! They are just as good as they looked!!!!! Now, you all know I love me some "Cake Boss" and have been known to watch "DC Cupcakes" a time or two...and I have to tell you, BettySues is right up there with the big dogs! I'm so proud of Hannah for deciding to share her talents! You will love her sweet heart as much as her sweet treats! Head over to hannah's website and become her friend on Facebook! Let's help Hannah get her business into full gear!!!!!
Posted by tpillstrom at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This is where I find a lot of my favorite recipes! Not any that I have tried to freeze yet, however, some seriously good cooking! This is my neighbor's mom's blog and while she hasn't blogged in a while, I continue to go here for many a recipe from time to time. Just scroll through and look for "Sunday Dinners" and other fabulous things to eat! I hope you enjoy and I will be looking for more yummies this weekend!
BTW...swing by my other blog ---> just look over to the right for "The Search for our Baby Sister" and see what's new in our adoption!
Posted by tpillstrom at 9:53 PM
Sunday, August 08, 2010
So, for the past two weeks, I have been cooking dinner for the upcoming week and freezing it. Let me just say, this is the best decision I've made in a long time! This past week, as you know, school started. I knew with going back to work and all the other stuff we normally do, I wouldn't feel like cooking. Not to mention, it's like 110 here and who wants to stand over a hot oven when it's like an oven outside. So, what I decided to do was buy some of those aluminum pans with the lids and put my meals in them. Then this week, I found this...
I found them at Kroger. $4.99 for two. I'll let you know how I like them.
Here are some of the things I made this week.
Cheeseburger Casserole (not my favorite but the kids loved it!)
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pound burger meat
1 bag frozen french fries
Cook the burger meat and add the soups. Pour into your baking dish and top with the french fries. Cover and freeze. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then cook on 400 until the fries are golden.
****I doubled this and made two extras because I had some ladies I needed to take dinner too. You could double and make two or if you are a smaller family, you could make one and put it in smaller dishes.
6 chicken breasts thawed and cut in half long ways
1 pkg cream cheese
12 strips of bacon
seasoning of your choice (I used a garlic/wine powder)
Cut the chicken long ways to make it thin or you can pound it out flat. You will mix your cream cheese with your seasoning (the recipe called for onions and chives but I knew the kids wouldn't like that)Spoon a small amount of the cheese onto the chicken and roll up. Wrap with bacon and place in dish seam side down. Wrap up and freeze. You will want to thaw over night in the fridge. Cook on 350 for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is done. Then put the oven on broil for about 6 minutes to let the bacon get crispy.
**I cooked with fresh veggies from the farmer's market and the kids (including tony) loved this one!
Mexican Taco Pasta
1 bag of egg noodles
1 pound burger meat
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 can of corn (drained) (I used frozen)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
Cook the egg noodles and mix together all of the other ingredients. Put in dish, cover and place in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge over night. Cook on 350 or until the middle is not cold. You can add cheese if you'd like either before or after you freeze.
This week, I made lasagna, spaghetti sauce, "dump" chicken. I'll post those recipes in another blog.
Cooking all of this on a Saturday night took me about 3 hours because I bought 5 lbs of burger meat and just divided it out for each meal. I think it's a great trade off not to have to cook anything this next week!
Happy cooking and freezing. Let me know how this turns out for you. And if you have any recipes you want to share, please feel free to post them on my comments and I will blog them sometime too!
Posted by tpillstrom at 1:37 PM
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
As I begin my 4th year of teaching at Horn Lake, I realized that I have never shared with you my amazing classroom! Today, as I was leaving, I snapped a few shots of the place better known as "E6". That's my room number but I refer to my room as E6 all the time! I might be known to say something like, "E6 is MY house!" or "This is a dictatorship not a democracy when you're in E6!" I know that sounds a little harsh...and well...it probably is. But as you all know, I teach 9th graders and, well, most times "boot camp" is required.
I do, however, try to make my room a fun place to be. And apparently it is, because I will have many strays hanging around like they were invited!
This is what makes my room different then the rest. I have a painted ceiling. I let the students paint paper and we wrapped the tiles. Everyone just loves it and some teachers have copied my idea.
Next you will find my desk. This is a rarity because my desk is usually not that clean or organized! I like to make the kids think I'm all together the first day. It doesn't take long for them to figure out I'm a little cooky!
Another thing that makes my room special is the technology! I have a smart board, two lap tops, a MAC, a video camera and a digital camera. I try to use these things every day. If you're not a teacher you may not realize that we are competing with Tv and video games. We have to be up on techonology if we want to keep their attention!
I arranged my desks a little different this year. So far, I like it. I'm hoping it works with the "Zen" in my room. I know if you believe in Jesus you don't believe in "Zen" but sometimes room arrangement makes a big difference in the behaviors of the kids.
Well, we start the grind tomorrow! Brady met his teacher tonight...well, I say "met" but she is a long time friend. Mrs. Campbell will do a great job with Brady this year and I'm excited that she will be our teacher!
Posted by tpillstrom at 6:02 PM
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Before we had to head back to school, our summer travels lead us to Cool, CA. This year it was unseasonably "cool" in Cool. The weather was amazing! Seriously! It was in the 80's most of the days and 60's in the evening. It was amazing not being in the Memphis heat for a few days.
We did so many things while we were in California. I've put up just a few of the millions of pictures!
Tony, Nolan (my step brother), Brady and Kaden laying on the bank of the American River. The water was super cold so we had to lay out and get hot just to tolarate the water!
This is University Falls. The boys and my step mom hiked six miles for a fun day sliding down the rocks! I couldn't go because of my foot and so, Kaden, dad and I played mini golf!
Tony and I had a date day. We took my dad's corvette to Tahoe City and had lunch by Lake Tahoe! This place was amazing and I would love to live there some day!
This is me, obviously, walking on the beach of Lake Tahoe! I love it!
So, today was day two of being back at school. The kids come on Thursday so say a prayer and wish me some luck! I'm excited to be teaching English 1 and Journalism. Last year I had a comp reading class which ment I had the same kids all year and it was exhausting! I will only have them for one semester now so I'm super excited! I'll try to remember to take some pics of my class room before the kids come.
Posted by tpillstrom at 5:30 PM
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
One of the things I love about being a teacher is having the summer off! I know, I know...it's really the only thing I love right? No...I like my students too! (sheepish grin) Last summer, the boys and I spent everyday at school while I was sponsoring the dance team. They hated every minute of it! So, I promised them that this summer would be all about them. The first week and a half were spent at the YMCA...I guess I need to take my camera sometime so you can see how much fun they have. And this week, we are in Texas...well, two weeks (and yes, Tony is hating every minute of us being gone this long!)
So far, we have eaten at PJ's new restaurant. Find his blog
HERE And yes, those are s'mores! My brother is the chef at this amazing restaurant called Bin 555 and it's really nice (not a place to take my little monsters) and we have amazing food and then he brought out s'mores! Funny thing is that it made sense with the restaurant!
We took the boys to one of my favorite places in San Antonio which is the Sunken Gardens. It's so beautiful there and I just love taking pics of the boys. I've already posted many of the pics on my face book but I had to put these two on here!
I may be a little biased but they could seriously be supermodels! Look at those faces! Now, if I could just get them to act as good as they look in the pic!
This weekend we are headed to the coast (and no..there are no oil issues in Texas). I've used a lot of () today haven't I? Sorry, something shiny!
Lastly, I needed to write down a few of the funny things they kids have said on this trip:
*While driving up to my mom's work, Kaden said, "Where are we doe-ding?" Me- "To Gamma's work" K- "Gamma works at Texas?" Me-"yes she works IN Texas." K- "Wow! I didn't know you could drive at Texas!" Apparently, he thinks my mom's work is called Texas.
*Mom has SYNC in her car and it hooks the phone up and talks to you and stuff. Mom to the car "Services" Car-"You said services, please say your service need." Mom "..." Brady interrupts "Go to the bathroom!" Car "I didn't understand your request" Me "bhahahahahah!" Guess you had to be there!
Kaden's conversation with Papa Jim last night. K "What is that?" J "nuts...you want some?" K "No, I only like M&M's nuts"
GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!
Posted by tpillstrom at 5:44 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I know you've been wondering how the couponing has been going! I have been organizing and clipping and purging for the past few weeks and I'm finally organized! Today, I went to Walgreens loaded with coupons and a list that was ready to save!
My first purchase, Dixie plates. They were $3.99 buy one get one free. I used two $.50 off coupons so the final cost for two was $2.99.
Next on the list, Off clip-on starter
This was a great buy! Normally $9.99 but on sale for $8.99. In the Walgreens coupon book, I used a $2 off plus a $2 off manufacturer coupon...total cost $4.99.
Noxzema had a great deal this week. Razors on sale from $2.99- $5.99. Then on top of that, they were buy one get one free. I used a $2 off coupon on the $2.99 kind.
Had I had two coupons, I could have gotten them for free...but I could only find one so I ended up paying $.99 for two!
Lifesavers...not something I would spend money on normally but you know...if there's a deal...well. I used a buy one get one free coupon so that made them two for $2.29. Then in the Walgreens coupon book, I used a $1 off. Total cost for two...$1.29.
Last but not least...Scrubbing Bubbles. This was a great deal, too! The starter kit was on sale for $7.99 + $2 in register rewards = $5.99. I used a coupon for $5 off and ended up paying $2.99....but it's like paying $.99! I love that!
I got a few other things and used a register reward from the past and walked out paying only $8.24! I love it!
Posted by tpillstrom at 5:40 PM
Sunday, May 02, 2010
As promised, I am sharing my recent trip to Kroger with my savings! I shop for 4 people for two weeks at a time. My goal (and I'll keep you posted) is to feed all four of us for $100 for two weeks at a time. I plan to meet this goal by the end of the summer!
Here are some recent stats. Last trip (two weeks ago) I bought 135 items for roughly $290. After coupons and kroger savings, I saved $95 on that receipt. That was down from the trip before.
This week, I made my list and stuck to it. I find myself finding things not on the list which add up! Here are the stats from this week's trip. I bought 165 items for $260. That's 30 more items and $30 less. Yay! I also saved a whopping $125 with coupons and kroger savings! I about fell out in shock!
The key to saving money is to stock pile in the beginning. Once you stock up on things it makes the trip to the store less and less each time. So, and hopefully this doesn't look like I'm bragging or being weird...but I took pics of my cabinets, freezer and fridge after my trip this week.
I bought 4 hot/lean pockets because I had coupons (cats from the register) that saved like $2 when you buy two. I usually use a paper toaster strudle that gets doubled and cell fire and that gives me about $1.25 in savings on two.
I had two save $1 on Yoplait delights (in the back of the fridge) and they were like $2 each. I also had a coupon that gave me $1.50 off bread when I bought 6 yogurts. I love that i was able to stack that with a buy 6 save 40 cents (then it was doubled)
I bought 4 cereals from general Mills like this....save $1.00 on two (I had two of these) then if you bought 4 General Mills you got $4 to spend on your next trip. So, technically I saved $6 on $12 worth of cereal. And yes, in two weeks it will be gone. You will notice a fifth box, Tony eats Post Rasin Bran and no, I didn't have a coupon!
I love this pic because there are so many times that I have bare cabinets because I didn't get enough for two weeks. I'm pretty stocked up on things like Hamburger helper and soups that I can cook with. The meat marinades were a great deal. I had a cat that if I bought 2 I saved $1 on next trip, 3 I save $2 and 4 I saved $3. I got three.
I almost forgot...Pillsbury had two deals. Cinnamon rolls and biscuits were 10 for $10. I had several coupons that were buy two save 40 cents. These double. So, I bought 6 for 60 cents each. You can use up to 8 of the same coupon but you have to buy the exact amount. Then They had a thing if you bought 4 you got $3 on your next trip! So, I got a really great deal on those!
I tried to take some pics of my receipts but they didn't turn out! I hope you enjoyed this week's trip!
Posted by tpillstrom at 5:12 PM
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tonight, I went to Walgreens to spend my register rewards before they expired. I ended up getting several things and just paying $2.25. Thisis a great place to start if you're wanting to learn how to shop for free.
Basically, this is how it works...A couple of weeks ago, I bought several things at Walgreens totaling roughly $40. I received $17 in register rewards. So, technically, I only spent $33. Register rewards are tickets that print at the register that are worth different dollar amounts. You can then use those tickets (or cats) at Walgreens on items in the store. The trick is to buy things that will give you another register reward. (Tip...you can't use it on the same thing you got it for in the beginning....ie. zyrtec gave me $7 last week and I can't get more zyrtec with that cat and expect to get another one. Does that make sense?)
So, tonight this is what I bought: Stayfree maxi pads $2.99 with $2.99 reg rewards= free. Skintimate shaving cream $2.99 with $2.99 reg reward = free. Sudefed buy two and get $5 in reg rewards. Each was $4.99. I used a buy 2 get $5 off coupon. = Free.
Then I had a coupon for buy one get one free on tampax
so that was 2 for $2.50...oh and I bought a coke. I used my $17 reg rewards from the last trip and left there with $11 in rewards that expire 5/13.
There are so many different places you can find this information that it's a little overwhelming. But I'm having a blast buying things for free! I've been working on sorting all of my coupons and putting them in a binder. I just bought a three ringed binder and baseball card pages. Then I have been alphabetizing them and it's taking me forever. My goal is to shop for two weeks worth of groceries for less tham $100 by the end of the summer. We'll see how that works out!
Posted by tpillstrom at 10:14 PM
Friday, April 16, 2010
I have a new obsession! It's fun, challenging, and exhilarating! And the best part of my new obsession....It's saving me a lot of money! What is it you ask? Click HERE or HERE to see what I'm talking about! I've been learning the ins and outs of couponins! I mean...it's big business. I've started getting organized...which by the way is the hardest part. But It's been so much fun! The two links are blogs that I've been reading with all the secerts on one page! I love it! I'll try to post my savings from this weekend so that you all can see how amazing it is! The past two trips to the grocery I have saved more than $100 each trip! And I'm told the savings add up even more the longer you do it!
Posted by tpillstrom at 10:33 PM
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The other day, I was outside reading a book while the kids were playing. They love to come home from school and ride bikes or scooters. I realized (I was deep in the novel) that they hadn't zipped by in a while and when I looked up....I couldn't believe what I saw! Before you watch the video you have to know this. When I was a kid, I only had two boys who lived down the street that I played with. One of the things we loved to do was to push each other in the yellow Tonka truck down the side walk. I had to run for my new FlipIt video camera to catch this.....
I love it! Then mom reminded me of the time when I was in the 4th grade, when I was roller skating down a hill and PJ grabbed on to me. While Brady and Kaden didn't get hurt, PJ fell and knocked his two front teeth up in his gum. He was only two!
But back to the fun....The boys were having a blast and who am I to stop them,right?
BTW...we have played outside every nice minute that we can! Kaden is konked out as we speak!
Posted by tpillstrom at 7:25 PM
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This weekend, we took a little family trip to St. Louis. This is the first trip (other than to family) that the four of us have taken since Kaden was born. The weather was cold and rainy, and I was really sick...but we had a great time!
First on our agenda, the Arch. I was worried that the boys would be scared on the trip up that high or that once we got up there, they would freak...but...um...NO! They loved it!
Check out my little thug before we went in!
Once we got in, it took about an hour before we were able to go up. So, we patiently waited. This picture of Brady makes him look so old! What happened to my little boy?
As you can see, they are letting their hair grow out! They both look like real boys!
Mr. Brave loved looking out the windows! He went from one to the next jumping around and laughing! I don't think he's afraid of anything...well, dogs...but other than that...not much!
Here are my guys in the top of the arch!
Of course I couldn't leave out the view from the top! I had to do some editing magic because it was such a dreary day. It's still amazing!
After the arch, we went to a parade but didn't stay long because it was cold and I felt horrible! So, off the the City Museum we went!
This place was amazing! There were so many things to climb on and crawl through. I can't describe this place but we had the best time.
The kids played until they passed out! I couldn't believe how brave they were climbing and sliding like they did!
We saw the world's largest pencil and the world's largest pair of underwear! The boys....and when I say boys, I mean Tony too...had a blast. Of course I had a great time too despite being sick. Tony can't stop talking about how much fun he had! I'm sure we will be heading back to Haint Woodis (that's how Kaden says it) before the year is over!
Posted by tpillstrom at 8:57 PM