menu monday


menu monday

This is our menu for this week.
The recipe for Dr Pepper chicken is all over Pinterest. I'm not sure where I found the recipe originally so I didn't want to link to the wrong post.

Biscuits and gravy didn't happen last week so they got moved to this week.

egg & spoon

A fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs - Goodreads

I liked this book, but I felt like Gregory Maguire got bored and just started adding odd content into this story. It started out great and then he just went overboard with little details that didn't add anything but a distraction from the story. Baba Yaga is an amazing character, but I could have done without the modern references. The Far Side reference was weird.

It's a fun read, but annoying at times.

rating: 3 stars


menu monday

It's Fall Break for Casa de Chaos...
Which doesn't really mean much when you have kids in marching band. The Boyz have practice every morning, football games each Friday and marching competitions every Saturday. Our evenings should be a bit more relaxed during Fall Break so there will be more time to spend together. It makes it much easier to plan dinner when I know everyone will actually be home and eating at the same time.

At one time I was trying to keep Monday as a meatless meal. I've kind of given that up, but Mac-n-Cheese is a favorite. If you are still making it from a blue box please in the name of everything that is holy and good stop that right now. It's so easy to make from scratch and doesn't take much longer the the box crap. I found the recipe I use on a Betty Crocker app.

The Chicken Tater Tot Casserole recipe is here.


menu monday

Our schedule this week is a bit whack-a-doo so I'm not sure how much of this plan is actually going to happen.

Fall is kind of crazy with marching band season anyways, but this week it goes on overload. 
Monday I know is going to happen, because it's Monday. You can find the recipe here
The rest of the week is up in the air.
Tuesday the Boyz have marching band practice and Roo has a band concert with an early call time. Wednesday should go as planned.
Thursday the Boyz are marching at the football game and Roo gets to play in the stands with them. That means all 3 of them have to be at the high school by 4:30pm. Kinda hard to have dinner that early. And can I just say it: a football game on Thursday?!?
I can almost guarantee that the burgers will happen on Friday.
Saturday and Sunday are General Conference, so it is a weekend of watching conference on TV and spending time together as a family. Who wants to spend a weekend like that actually fixing dinner?


menu monday

I've been back on the menu planning routine for a couple of months and finally thought about posting it on the blog again.

We usually sit down as a family on Sunday afternoon and go over the upcoming week and what everyone has going on. This is also a perfect time to brainstorm the menu with everyone there to input ideas. I've found that I have less arguing about what we are going to have if the kiddos have a say in the upcoming menu...and I don't have all the pressure of trying to decide what to eat. It also helps when it comes time to actually fixing dinner when I know exactly what we are going to have.

I like using a task list in my Arc planner to keep it organized.

It's a complete accident that both recipes are from the same blog.

I have modified both recipes to be gluten-free for us.


The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. - Goodreads

Have you ever felt like you went into mourning after reading a book? That's how I feel about this book. I loved the beautiful descriptions and emotional imagery. The characters were delightful. The story was inventive and brilliant. I absolutely and thoroughly loved it all...and I am going to miss it terribly.

rating: 5 stars


hair’s to today

I have these pictures on my phone of ways I’ve done LaLa’s hair. I thought I would post some occasionally.
I’m still having a hard time finding a place to take pictures in the morning and get enough light to see the details.

1. This is one we do quite often. It’s just a simple french braid on each side and then I combine them in the back of her head into one big braid. It’s fairly simple and quick. The bow is from All Things Ribbon.

2. This is another look she really likes. It looks more complicated than it actually is, but it’s kind of complicated to explain. Basically it’s a zigzag part and braids added into more braids and added into more braids. She says that people always ask about it. The bows are from All Things Ribbon.

3. This is the one that really started it all. It’s one of the first hairdo’s I did on Roo a long time ago. It’s a simple ponytail with “snakes” or twists or whatever you call them. Sometimes we do more small twists, but this day we just did 5 twists with her ponytail. The bows are from Gymboree from about 8 years ago.
Here’s a close-up of her twists. Her hair is perfect for looks like this.

I keep taking pictures of her hair and post a few at a time. If it’s a hair-do that I found on another blog I will post a link to their tutorial.
I linked to All Things Ribbons just because I love her bows.


what remains

"What Remains" is a vivid and haunting memoir about a girl from a working-class town who becomes an award-winning television producer and marries a prince, Anthony Radziwill, one of a long line of Polish royals and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. Carole Radziwill's story is part fairy tale, part tragedy. She tells both with great candor and wit.Carole grew up in a small suburb with a large, eccentric cast of characters. She spent her childhood summers with her grandparents and an odd assortment of aunts and uncles in their poorly plumbed A-frame on the banks of a muddy creek in upstate New York.At the age of nineteen, Carole struck out for New York City to find a different life. Her career at ABC News led her to the refugee camps of Cambodia, to a bunker in Tel Aviv, to the scene of the Menendez murders. Her marriage led her into the old world of European nobility and the newer world of American aristocracy. "What Remains" begins with loss and returns to loss. A small plane plunges into the ocean, carrying John Kennedy, Anthony's cousin, and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Carole's closest friend. Three weeks later Anthony dies of cancer. The summer of the plane crash, the four friends were meant to be cherishing Anthony's last days. Instead, Carole and Anthony mourned John and Carolyn, even as Carole planned her husband's memorial. Carole Radziwill has an anthropologist's sensibility and a journalist's eye. She writes about families--their customs, their secrets, and their tangled intimacies-- with remarkable acuity and humanity. She explores the complexities of marriage, the importance of friendship, and the challenges of self-invention with unflinching honesty. This is acompelling story of love, loss, and, ultimately, resilience. –Goodreads

I'm not sure how to rate a memoir... Do you give it a lower rating because you don't like how the story ends? Or the characters? You can't really do that, since it's a memoir. I didn't like how the story ends, but I knew that before I started reading the book. I like Carole Radziwill. She's the "It" girl and she doesn't even have to try. I really enjoyed her style of writing. The flow of her writing is effortless to read. Maybe I should have given it a higher rating considering I couldn't go to sleep until I finished it... Which means it was very late at night and I was on the floor of my closet with tears streaming down my face.
rating: 3 stars


we’ve got spirit…well, kinda

This week was Spirit Week at the high school. I didn’t get very excited, because who expects their teenage boys to embrace spirit week. I was so wrong…well, kinda.

The pictures documenting spirit week aren’t that great. The Boyz leave really early in the morning and they are teenagers. Enough said…

Monday was Work-out Day. Since I didn’t get a picture the Man-Child was kind enough to share a bathroom selfie he took.
Einstein didn’t dress up and didn’t take a bathroom selfie to share.

Tuesday was Nerd Day. We love nerds.
The Man-Child went all out.

Isn’t he cute?

Einstein…he just couldn’t embrace his inner nerd for everyone to see.

Wednesday was ‘Merica Day (I’m not sure that was the official title, but that’s all I heard).
It was also picture day so the Man-Child kept it pretty tame up top. but let his ‘Merica spirit shine bright down below.

Einstein…he claimed since it was picture day he would just keep his ‘Merica hidden.

On Thursday was Crazy Day.
The school asked for Crazy and they got crazy.

The Man-Child wasn’t feeling well that morning so he kept it pretty tame.

Einstein finally joined the fun and let his Freak Flag fly for all to see.

When I picked them up from school they said it was the day with the least participation…how ironic that it was the day Einstein finally participated in.

Friday was Neon Day…
ummm…except for Drumline. They all wore black.

Tonight they were all ready for the Black Light Dance.
I’m still having a hard time believing I have 2 kids in high school.

I’m not sure who planned Spirit Week and scheduled pictures for the same week…but let’s just say I look forward to the yearbook this year since certain classes had their pictures taken throughout the week.