Wednesday, January 11, 2017


December was so full of memories, I know I forgot to capture them all. However, since my new phone I have become better at taking pictures... Still not going quit my daytime job yet.:)

We had our usual Chocolate making pizza factory going on. I think I made about 80. Each year we decide to "cut down" but I think instead it increases each year.

We did our annual fondue party with the Slades. It gets better each year.

Also, as a family we did our annual service project at Candy Cane Corner in Salt Lake. I was able to be involved a lot with Sub for Santa. (Helping with applications, working in the warehouse etc.)

Below is what I actually documented with photos:

Ward Christmas Breakfast. The Primary did a great job. Jaycie is in the pink sweater. I think she is an angel.

Braden playing Percussion in the Orem Junior High band. He played in every single band for the Christmas concert. And he was quite the rock star.

Making Gingerbread Houses. I fail at making them (even with the kits) but a good friend let me have some of her extras.  And so we had fun decorating them. This is Jaycie's side view.

Front view

Ayssa and Clark's. Alyssa was actually sick that day so no pics for her. The boys were at a basketball game

Alyssa singing at Temple Square. This was actually the Joseph Smith building.  We never made it to Temple Square as Alyssa was still sick.

Alyssa singing in the Christmas concert

This is the Hallelujah chorus. Mr. Taylor invited all Mountain View alumni to come and sing. It was beautiful!

Alyssa's present from the Mikaela where the bow is bigger than the present

Here I was just chilling and enjoying the ambiance of our Christmas decor

For the break, we made several trips up the canyon and it was enchanting! Here is an example

The kids went sledding and snowboarding up the canyon. 

On New Year's Eve we watched Ty.  He only would go to Jaycie. Here is Jaycie reading him a story.


Jumping, Serving, Adulting and Singing!

Raking leaves from our big maple tree and playing. Jaycie is hiding in this pile 

Serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Homeless shelter in Salt Lake

Jaycie being sworn in as "Mayor" of JA City.
Junior Achievment City is a city created for elementary students to go pretend to be adults. They have stores banks, businesses and it is run like a city. Jaycie was the Mayor

Jayicie singing in the Junior Jags Choir

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hey Here's an Idea! Menu Charts

I am starting a new blog post category this year. It's basically ideas I have that make my life more organized or at least give the appearance of being organized:) and make life a little easier. And I just wanted to share them if you are interested.My promise is I will be just as inconsistent with these posts as with my other ones, because that's how I roll.

Menu charts. When I am planning my menu, I have tried several things over the years, and this is one I really really like. I will attempt to explain with pictures. 

First, I come up with 20 to 25 dinners that I know my family likes and I like to make. 

I organize them by days and Color code them and make a "Bingo" chart.

In yellow, that's my Sunday list: I have Roasted Chicken with veggies, Hawaiian Meatballs, Cordon Bleu, Veggie Lasagna, and Steak and Everything Sandwiches.
Blue is Monday and I do mostly Italian dishes. Red is Tuesday and it's Mexican dishes. And finally Green is Wednesday and then I do Home style dishes. 

Thursday is leftover night. Friday is is Freezer night. We eat something from the freezer like pizza, taquitos, chicken nuggets etc.  Saturday is kinda of toss up of whatever we want. 

You can add more structured days than I did, but this is what works for our family.

Once I have prepared a meal, I cross it off. When the chart is all crossed off, I just print out a new one.

Below the Menu chart, I have the recipes for all the meals in the Bingo chart. I have them color coded on index cards. This helps me remember the recipe without looking it up and it helps me know what ingredients I need.

Left of the menu chart, I have my master grocery list. I have listed all the ingredients needed in my pantry for each meal. I also have other items listed for breakfast, lunch, snacks, cleaning supplies, and health care supplies. I have a perishable list that I look at each week to make sure I have what I need for the week. Ideally, I like to do my major shopping twice a month. And of course it's all color coded by categories; Red is canned and boxed food. Yellow is meats and so forth. 

And finally to the right of the menu chart, I have other recipes that I am not using at the time turned over because I do change my Bingo chart. In the Fall and Winter I have lots of soups, in the Spring and Summer lighter foods., I keep all the recipes I am not using dormant until I use them. Also, sometimes I change out a menu item just because I want to try something new.

I have all this on a cork board in my Command Center off the kitchen.

Below on the red board, I write the menu for two weeks. The notepad is my shopping list.

So that's my idea. It is a lot of work at first, but in the long run, I believe it saves me time and money. And it's so nice to not have to think of what to have for dinner every night.