Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank the Lord, this day is finally OVER.

All 3 of my kids have a colds. That= NO FUN. I was about ready to check into the loony bin for a vacation from my little urchins at about 5 o'clock. My good friend, Shiraz got me though the night though. I tried really, really hard to feel bad for the kids because I know they don't feel good. BUT...that didn't last long. Screaming, fighting, *slapping*, big uncompleted homework assignment due TOMORROW that had to be started over (apparently the teacher gives no written directions???). Ugh. I am tired just thinking about my children.

Thankfully, they are now in bed fast asleep. My house is a wreak & I don't care. Thank the Lord this day is over. I think I will have another glass of vino in celebration.

I know I was going to write about something else, but I am just to dang tired to remember apparently.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday, Week in Review

Ya! It is Wednesday! My WW points reset! I can start anew after the cookie binge that I had yesterday!

Somehow, someway, I lost .6 pounds this week. It isn't much but I will CERTAINLY take it. The week started off really good Wed. though Sat. Then, I took off for my dear aunt's 50th out of town & it all went downhill. The weekend included things like: a thick burger, onion rings, pizza, candy, lots of drinks, and probably other things that I have mentally blocked. Yikes!

Monday I was back on track and ready to go. Tuesday was going fine too. Then, I decided I would make cookies with my daughter. My self-control was so great the previous week that I only ate 1 cookie out of the entire batch. And no cookie dough to speak of! Ya. I made up for that yesterday.

I am no longer Shredding with the Sisterhood either. I know, I suck. You see, last week I ran into a fellow hockey mom who invited me to come to some of the fitness classes that she teaches. Last Monday, I tried her Muscle Work class and I LOVED it. So, so, much. She kicked my butt. My triceps have never been so sore. Anyway, I must love pain because on Wednesday I went to her cycling class AND her muscle work class. Right in a row. I burned over 1,000 calories and could barely move the next day. I am telling you, this chick is better than Jillian. She is a more likable version of Jillian and I know that if her classes can't whip me into shape and make me start losing again, nothing will.

So, here is what my new fitness routine looks like:

Sunday: Vinyassa Yoga
Monday: Cycling & Muscle Work
Tuesday: Nothing, maybe a walk outside with the kids
Wednesday: Cycling & Muscle Work
Thursday: Nothing except for possibly a walk
Friday: Run & Muscle Work ++ (this muscle work class incorporates more cardio that the other ones)
Saturday: Elliptical & Vinyassa Yoga

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

I recently discovered this recipe on a site I sometimes like to drool over called Real Mom Kitchen. She has a beautiful picture of this recipe on her site, I took one too but it didn't turn out;-) I am not very good at food photography I am discovering. I put my recipe below, I made a couple of minor changes & calculated WW points. Although I calculated 6 POINTS per serving, it will actually be a little lower, depending on how much liquid you drain off. I am thinking that I will also try to make it with Reduced-Fat Italian dressing next time which will also save some POINTS.

Anyway, this was just so delicious, not to mention super easy. It does make quite a bit, but I think it would freeze very well. I don't think I will be freezing any here though. Yum.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 12


3 lbs. raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6 breasts)
1 (18 oz.) bottle of barbecue sauce
1/2 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Place chicken in crock pot. I a bowl mix 2/3 of the bottle of barbecue sauce, Italian Salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. (I cook on low) Remove chicken from crock pot. Shred chicken and place back in crock pot. Mix with juices. Drain off any excess wetness. Add remaining 1/3 of bottle barbecue sauce to chicken and mix.

Load onto a bun and enjoy!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taco Soup

Mmmm, mmmmm, good.

I re-discovered this recipe while cleaning out my recipe cabinet. The last time I made it, we were still living in Fargo. That makes it over 5 years ago! I'm not sure why I forgot about it! It is quick, filling, & everyone here loves it!

Taco Soup

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 7
1 Serving = 1 cup


1 lb. extra lean ground beef
31 oz. (2 cans) kidney beans or chili beans
10 oz. Rotel tomatoes, undrained
15.25 oz. canned corn, undrained
1/4 c. (or 1 pkg.) dry taco seasoning mix
1 oz. (1 pkg.) dry ranch dressing mix


Brown and drain ground beef.Combine all ingredients and let simmer on low heat at least 15 minutes.

When I make this I always like to have shredded cheddar, sour cream, & nacho cheese Doritos out to top the soup with. I also like to throw a few jalapenos on mine;-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today, Grace and I made our family favorite chocolate chip cookies. Usually, I take a nose dive into the cookie dough, but today I restrained myself completely. However, when the cookies came all hot and gooey out of the oven, I couldn't resist. I ate one & it was glorious. I was about to reach for a second and I stopped.

I though to myself, "Is the second one going to give me as much pleasure as the first just did?" I decided that before answering that question, I would plug my recipe into the online WW recipe builder. I wasn't going to throw the towel in on the whole day just because I made cookies. I *know* I need to learn some self-control here. My kids shouldn't be deprived of homemade goodies because 'mommy is on a diet'. Heck, I shouldn't be deprived either!!!

Anyway, when I saw that each cookie was 4 points I decided that 1 was enough. It was delicious and worth it, but by eating any more, I would have sabotaged the healthy dinner plans I had.

I may be having a heck of a time losing these days, but I am proud of how far I have come with healthy eating & moderation. WW is definitely starting to feel like a life-style change for me.

Anyway, you have to try this recipe! It is SO worth the 4 points! The recipe comes from my hubby's aunt, a fabulous cook!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 36
Makes 3 Dozen cookies


1c. shortening
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. quick oats


Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt and mix well. Stir in chips and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350*.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Two Week Meal Plan

I did my shopping for the next two weeks today. I must say, in the beginning, it was a little overwhelming. When you are attempting to do ALL of you shopping for the next two-weeks you need to be very organized and prepared with a well thought out list. I am really falling in love with the system though. I find I am able to buy more at Sam's Club now than I used to, although I do watch prices pretty carefully. Sometimes they end up being more expensive than the other stores that I go to.

Anyway, today I came home with my Pilot FULL of food/necessities. Now I am set for the next two weeks! Did I say that I have noticed that I spend LOADS less money at the store since I started doing this? I estimate, not even really trying, that I am saving about $400 per month. That is HUGE.

Friday: Tacos

Saturday: Nada- Kids will be in Dickinson with Dad & Tony & I will be eating Prime Rib & sippin' vino at his work Banquet.

Sunday: Creativity in the Kitchen A.K.A Leftovers;-)

Monday: BBQ Cups & Mystery Veggie

Tuesday: Crunchy Baked Chicken & Whatever Fancy Strikes Me

Wednesday: Cheesy Potato & Sausage Soup, Salad, French Bread

Thursday: Glazed Mahi-Mahi (I might have to improvise with Salmon or something, I couldn't find Mahi-Mahi anywhere?!), Hash Brown Casserole, & Veggie

Friday: Homemade Pepperoni & Green Olive Pizza & possibly a Mushroom & Jalapeno one for me only (YUM!)

Saturday: Steak & some manly sides

Sunday: Kitchen Creativity Night

Monday: Taco Soup & Salad

Tuesday: Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken & Side

Wednesday: Ranch House Crock pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes & Veggie

Thursday: Skewered Mustard-Beer Shrimp & Cheesy Broccoli Rigatoni

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reindeer Antlers and Big Girl Bikes

Monday night Kade had his school music program. It should have taken place a couple of weeks ago, but with the flooding issues here, it had to be postponed.

Kade is already just TOO COOL. He did NOT want to wear reindeer antlers. He was humiliated and he has been giving me an earful about it at home. Thankfully, it is over and he did not die of embarrassment. I, for one, think he makes a mighty cute reindeer! Maybe he could wear them for next years Christmas photo?

This is all the 3rd graders. That is a lot of 3rd graders! It kind of looks like my entire elementary school when I was a kid!

Notice how Kade took his antlers off to play his instrument? Notice the smile? Different kid without the antlers.

Here are some of the kids doing a very exuberant dance. Those kids were havin' some fun, let me tell you.

Kade playing his instrument. This, he enjoys. The singing & antler wearing...not so much.

Here is Gracie with her new bike! We picked it up at Walmart yesterday with her gift card from the Easter bunny! Ya, ya, I know. The Easter Bunny was smart though. He knew mom & dad wouldn't want to deal with hauling a bike to and from MN. This way, she even got to pick her own. Unfortunately the stock is a little low after Easter. We ended up with a Bratz bike. I really don't care for Bratz but she REALLY wanted it because of the streamers & front pouch. I understand the need for accessorizing, so I gave in.

She got her gorgeous new helmet with the Easter money she received from her Great-Grandparents.

After a long day of playing outside yesterday, Grace passed out outside the bathroom door clutching her favorite dress-up shoes. She was waiting for dad. In case you were wondering, she was snoring;-)

Weigh in Wednesday

Yup. I am up .4 pounds this week. It could be worse. Much, much worse. I have no excuses aside from, I like Easter candy & holiday food. I worked out religiously this week, like usual. I just need to get back on track with eating.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

I hope everyone had a great Easter! We arrived home from MN last night at about 7:30 pm after spending the Easter weekend with Tony's family. His parents had a full house! It was very nice to see everyone (especially our new little niece, Hannah!) I can't BELIEVE I didn't even take any good pictures of her! I am such a slacker!

Our kids had a BLAST on their Easter egg hunt this year. The Easter bunny hid them around grandma & grandpa's house in the woods. The woods sure do make excellent Easter Egg hunting grounds!

And they are off! I couldn't believe how quick those kids can run when they are on a mission! Tony started off helping Grace, but then he saw that she was beating Quinn to several eggs so he quit;-) That girl can hold her own already.

Here is Kade in mid-sprint.
Eggs Spotted! On the deck!

Hey! This is getting harder! All the easy ones have been found!

Grace was screaming at Kade here. She thought he was trying to steal her eggs, LOL. In reality, he was trying to help her by giving her one of his.

I love this one of them. They were chatting it up and I can even see my lil' rag-a-muffin's eyes.

Time to count the eggs and see what is hidden in them!

Here is Grace, showing Tony's brother, Andy her loot. Daddy is hard at work doing something.

BIG robin egg smile.

Hey! Quinn found a dog in his egg! Lucky!

This is Tony's entire family including his Grandma Anderson. She is a sweetie!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hodge Podge Day

Today has been a very busy day. First thing this morning (after I did day #4 of Shred and took the boys to school, of course) Grace had gymnastics. I must say, she is so naturally good at it. I think it may be because of her utter lack of fear;-)

Unfortunately though, after gymnastics her and her little friend (also Grace) were the only 2 children who did not receive stamps on their hands. When we asked them why they did not have stamps, they said, "because we didn't listen". They really didn't seem to bothered or concerned by it though. I DO think Grace needs to listen & I had her apologize to the teachers BUT I must say that I have noticed that the teachers don't seem to be so great with kids. There is a BIG lack of patience going on combined with overreactions and just generally not really able to get down on the kids' level and relate in an appropriate way. I'm not so sure I will be signing her up again. Maybe we will try Mandan, she does seem to love it. Anyway, here she is doing her moves. I took lots more pics but they didn't turn out:(

After gymnastics, Grace sat VERY patiently through my dentist appointment. She did, however, require a step-by-step explanation from the hygienist on exactly what she was doing.

When we finished up there, we met Tony at Northridge to have lunch with Quinn, who is student of the week this week. Here we are eating the infamous 'Nacho Boat' .
Here is Quinn with his 'Student of the Week' display.

Our evening was just as action-packed. After picking the boys up from school, we discovered the neighborhood tramp- a miniature horse sized dog, that seems to somehow 'escape' from his owners quite frequently and for LONG spells, was waiting for us at our house. He has been friendly in the past, so I let the kids play outside with him there. Well, he ended up biting my daughter. It bruised her sholder but did not puncture the skin but I did call the Sheriff's office and had a deputy come out. He tracked down and talked to the owner (I did not know who the owner was, they live near, but not in our development) who says he will keep the dog locked up now. Hmmm.
After dinner we did Easter Eggs. I will let the pictures do the talking. That is always an adventure.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday

Well, it is that time again. It is Weigh-in Wednesday with the Sisterhood. I must say I had an AWESOME week. I stayed on track with my workouts and eating. As a matter of fact, I had 20 AP's that went UNUSED out of the 35 that I earned this week. I never do that. I ended up losing 1.8#. I am happy with that, but I was secretly hoping for more. As it stands, I didn't quite lose all of the 2.2# that I gained last week. At least I am on the right track now. I seem to have found my motivation and that is a very good thing. I am even planning on taking my new Shred DVD to the in-laws! I am determined to stick to the plan and do it every day for the next 27.

Here is my exercise journal for the past week:

Thursday: Nada

Friday: 1 Hour Run & 1 hr. Yoga

Saturday: 75 minute Yoga

Sunday: 1 hr. Yoga

Monday: 30 min. run, 1 hr. free weights at the gym, Shred day 1

Tuesday: Shred day 2

Wednesday: 15 min. run, 15 min. Precor (my ankles were bothering me running), Shred day 3

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Parmesan Herb Baked Tilapia

I really love this tilapia recipe. I have made it several times already, and I don't even remember where I actually got the original recipe from. If I stole if from you, I am very sorry. Let me know & I will give you proper credit. Anyway, it is healthy, quick, easy, & delicious. Does it get any better than that?

Parmesan Herb Baked Tilapia

POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 4


24 oz raw farm-raised tilapia
1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup(s) Light Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Green Onions
1/4 cup(s) dried bread crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine cheese, mayonnaise, and onions; spread evenly over fish. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients (I usually just use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs instead); sprinkle evenly over fish. Lightly coat fish with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creamy Italian Chicken

We had this for dinner tonight over rice & the kids really liked it. By no means is it a 5-star recipe, if I wanted to suit my tastes I would add in some peppers or pimentos to the mix. I did think it was okay though, as did Tony and like I said the kids (especially my picky Kade) gobbled it up. It was also just as simple as it gets so I'm sure I will be making it again.

Creamy Italian Chicken

Adapted from: Real Mom Kitchen
POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 6

With the chicken shredded, this makes 6 cups. So, 1 serving = 1 cup


2 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, About 5 breasts
1 envelope(s) Good Seasons Italian Dressing
21 oz Campbell's 98% Fat-Free Cream Of Chicken Soup, (2 cans)
8 oz light cream cheese


Put chicken breasts in crock pot. Sprinkle with dry Italian dressing mix. Mix cream cheese and soup in separate bowl. Pour over chicken. Cook on low all day ( 8 hours). Shred the chicken if you prefer (I did). Serve over rice or noodles. (Add milk if needed to thin sauce out- I did not need to do this, it was perfect)

Weigh-in Wednesday

Today is Weigh-in day over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. Not suprisingly, I am up .6 pounds since my last weigh-in 2 weeks ago. I am back on track though and ready to recommit myself. I already started my day off right with 40 minutes of running and 1 hour of strength training. Not that exercise has been my problem. No, my problem would be my love for my late night munchie sessions (I'm also sure the 500 calorie martini I had last night isn't helping).

Well, now if I want to do that, I am going to have to work out like a fool because I am counting every bite.