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My place to dream, plan, vent, record, & share about life as myself, wife, and mother to four boys.

Cereal Deal (or How to Make Your Children Cheer!)

By kjkmom2boys · March 24, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

If you're a deal shopper, and don't mind buying a sugary cereal for your children occasionally, this one might appeal to you.  Walking through Wal-Mart yesterday, some peel-off coupons on boxes at the end of the cereal display caught my eye.  $1 off.  Upon closer inspection, they were truly $1/1 coupons, not some $1 off if you buy this, this, and this OR $1 off a completely different product when you buy this box of cereal.  Around here, anyway, that's a rare find.

The choices were Corn Flakes (not bad) and Cocoa Krispies (well, I warned you I was talking sugary cereal!!!), and they were on sale for $2 per box.  With the $1/1 coupons, that made them $1 per box.  Many boxes of the Corn Flakes also had a "Free Movie with 5 Tokens" banner, so technically, you could get $1 cereal plus a free movie by mail to sweeten the deal even further.

At check-out I had a coupon-friendly cashier who said, as we started peeling together, "Were there very many of these back there? I need to stock up at that price!" 

And, of course, when the boys got home from school? 
"You got Cocoa Krispies?!?! Woo-hoo!!!!" 
Yes, yes, I did.  You're very welcome.

Filed in: Deal of the Day
Tagged with: Deals & Steals

Menu Plan: Easy . . . Simple . . . Basic!

By kjkmom2boys · March 23, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I am trying to get back around to regularly planning our menus, and even to blogging on a regular basis again.  That won't mean daily posts, but maybe on days off from work?  Not quite sure yet, but I'm working on it.

The menu plan this week?  Very, VERY simple.  Funds are limited until payday at the end of the month.  And my time and creativity are just tapped out lately with everything else I'm doing.  But at least I have a plan, even if it's one that I mostly concocted while cruising the aisles at Wal-mart earlier today. 

What we're having this week:

Sunday:  Turkey kielbasa, tater tots, peas, and oranges

Monday:  Crockpot lasagna, broccoli, and pineapple

Tuesday:  Hot dogs, chips, and leftover peas

Wednesday:  Quesadillas, corn, and apples

Thursday:  Old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese, green beans, and peaches

Friday:  Cod nuggets, leftover mac & cheese, sugar snap peas, and pears

Saturday:  Pizza, salad, and pineapple

Nothing fancy.  Nothing the boys will reject because I just don't feel like fighting that fight this week. 

Next week?  Hopefully I'll have some more ideas!

The General - Take Two

By kjkmom2boys · March 19, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

One of my favorite blogs, We Are THAT Family, is hosting The World's Largest Nerf Party Linky in honor of Mason NERFING cancer.  Although I haven't blogged for quite a while (new job, busy family, sick kids, etc, etc, etc . . . LIFE), I thought Mason's victory was a reason worth celebrating. 

This post - originally published in September - is one I had a lot of fun with the first time around.  I hope you enjoy it too.  Congratulations, Mason! 


Bud has listened to me talk for quite some time about the blogs that I follow.  He has listened while I babble about Twitter and ramble about the Cleaning and Exercise Chat Room that I frequent  (Update: we hang out in this chat room now for Flylady motivation - feel free to join us any time!).  He has asked me before why I don't write my own blog.  And then, I started Mom's Just One of the Boys. 

His first response when I showed it to him?  "Just don't put my picture on it."  Then, a couple days later, "You can use my picture, IF . . . you use a 'face in hole' one."  Then, just the other day?  "I know - use the picture where I don't have any hair."  This, mind you, would be the picture from when he shaved his head pre-surgery last fall.  The picture that made me hope he goes nicely gray rather than bald as we grow old together!

This evening, however, he pushed me to the breaking point.  I was talking to my neighbor in her driveway, and her husband and children (11 year old daughter and 9 year old son) were fooling around with the Nerf dart gun that her 9 year old got for his birthday.  They've been having frequent Nerf gun battles within their family, and tonight her husband discovered that he could actually shoot from their back door to the end of the driveway where we were standing at the street. 

Bud was out there talking with us for a couple minutes, then returned to our house.  I came home, started cleaning up the kitchen, and wondered where he had gone.  A little while later, he came downstairs saying something about taking on the neighbors, and I turned to see him outfitted like this:

There's an extra dart gun in the back of his belt that you can't see, and the bandanas alone made me laugh out loud.  Oh, and the tail of the pirate scarf that didn't show up in the picture either!  He finished the preparations for his mission, while all four of the boys were at my computer, through a door immediately to the left of this picture.  NONE of them noticed him.  As if it was perfectly normal that Dad was walking around with Nerf guns strapped all over his body?  I finally had to say, "Aren't you going to take any of them with you?" 

At that point, they finally became aware of his get-up, and they all wanted in on the action.  I didn't want W to get shot in the face in the melee, so he and R stayed with me (R was sidelined due to his pink-eye, much to his dismay).  We transferred the bandanas from Bud's legs to B and H's heads, tucked a gun in the back of each of their waistbands, and took one more picture to record the moment:


This small platoon took off around the hedges to attack the neighbors' house. R, W, and I watched from the back porch as they hid in and around the garage; engaged the husband, daughter, and  - eventually (he was on the computer upstairs and missed the start of the action) - son; and then participated in a prolonged battle.  A few moments later the phone rang, and as I answered the wife simply said, "You might be a redneck if . . . " 

Tagged with: the usual suspects

Eat from the Pantry - Week 2

By kjkmom2boys · January 11, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


When I saw the Eat from the Pantry Challenge that Fishmama from Life as Mom and Crystal from Money Saving Mom were doing for January, I just had to give it a try.  I have never done much "Once a Month Cooking," so I don't have extra meals stashed away in the freezer (unless we're going to eat pie, Cool Whip, & lemonade for dinner!).  But I do have a LOT of food in our kitchen cupboards and on our basement shelves, and I know we need to rotate through what is stockpiled away - especially in the basement.  

I started with taking an inventory of all the food in our freezers, on our basement shelves, and in the kitchen - and discarding all the expired items, which amounted to more than I expected.  Feeling terribly wasteful, I decided that my main goal is to work through the excess that we have, and get to a point where our food supplies fit in our kitchen cupboards.  Most of what is in the basement came from great "deals," but they are only deals if I'm actually using the items, not letting them expire on the basement shelves.  

Normally, we plan to spend $100 per week on groceries, which includes toiletries and household items as well.  That $100 amount is my target, but we often go over it by a little, or pick up extra milk and bread throughout the week without counting it in the weekly tally.  For January, while attempting the Eat from the Pantry Challenge, I know we can't completely avoid shopping.  But I want to limit our purchases to produce, dairy, meat (as needed), and bread - spending as little as possible to fill in the gaps in what we already have available here at home. 

Last week, I was successful with my shopping goals.  I made one trip to the grocery store, limited my purchases to that "outer rim" of the store, and spent $53.  Those purchases included a beef roast for $2.29/lb and pork chops for $1.49/lb - both of which I will use in this week's menu.  Bud made a quick trip to Wal-mart yesterday to buy milk, a few other dairy items, some fresh fruit, and laundry supplies - spending a total of $32.  We will need to make at least one more trip for milk later in the week (the boys go through about a gallon a day), but I think we'll be able to stay under $50 for our grocery expenses this week.

"From the pantry" solutions and challenges from last week:

  • Used some of the frozen blueberries (that I had forgotten were in the freezer) in our pancake dinner.


  • Created a new topping for my baked macaroni and cheese recipe. It calls for croutons, but we didn't have any. Instead I used buttered whole-wheat bread crumbs and seasoned them with Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning.  I think I actually prefer it this way, because the bread crumb topping was more evenly distributed over the entire dish than when it is topped with croutons.  I'll definitely use variations on this topping for other casseroles in the future.


  • I didn't feel like cooking on Saturday, and the guys had requested pizza.  It would have been so easy to just order some, or make a trip to Little Caesar's, despite the cold weather.  But, thanks to the challenge, I dug out the from-scratch recipe I used when I was on a bread-baking kick a while ago.  The dough wasn't as cooperative as I remembered, but I made two batches (three large pizzas' worth), and everyone ate their fill.


  • I have a lot of Tastefully Simple baked good mixes in my kitchen cupboard.  Some are current, some are retired items that are no longer available.  I really want to make use of them, and I'm sure the boys won't complain about eating more baked desserts.  I mixed up cranberry pecan muffins on Saturday, which combine two of Bud's favorite flavors!


  • The only "failed" meal of the week was just a matter of picky eating.  Friday night, for our main dish, I used up the partial bags of popcorn shrimp, boneless buffalo wings, and cod nuggets - so everyone could enjoy their favorite.  I paired them with a box of parmesan couscous and some glazed carrots.  B refused the couscous, R rejected the couscous and the carrots, and W wouldn't eat the carrots.  I don't think I'll bother to buy more couscous for a while!


Overall, the first week of eating from the pantry was a success, we have spent significantly less for groceries so far this month than we usually do, and this week's menu plan came together nicely.  Next week?  Things might get a little more difficult!  Are you eating from the pantry this month too?  Check out Crystal's update and share your own Eat from the Pantry progress here

Menu Planning Monday - January 11th

By kjkmom2boys · January 11, 2010 · 0 Comments ·


This will be our second week of the Eat from the Pantry Challenge.  Last week, while I fed us almost completely from what was already on our shelves and in our freezer, I didn't really make a plan.  We ended up having:

Monday: Pasta and Meatballs

Tuesday: Pancakes (Blueberry and Regular), Bacon, and Scrambled Eggs

Wednesday: Bacon and Egg Spaghetti

Thursday: Leftover Night

Friday: Popcorn Shrimp/Boneless Hot Wings/Cod Nuggets and Parmesan Couscous

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This week, however, I am back to thinking ahead for my Menu Plan Monday.  Here's our continued Eat from the Pantry plan:


Breakfast Casserole, Home Fries, and Apple Slices with Caramel Dip


Slow-Cooked Pork Chops with Spicy Tropical Mango Sauce, Rice, Peas, and Peaches


Stuffed Shells, Cheese-Stuffed Bread Sticks, Broccoli, and Pineapple


Slow-Cooked Beef Roast with Celery and Onion, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce


Leftover Buffet


Baked Tilapia, Egg Noodles, Peas, and Applesauce


Oven-Baked Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Glazed Carrots, and Orange Slices 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .

By kjkmom2boys · December 24, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

Little Jimmy Franklin watched over the boys from his well-hidden location inside the Christmas tree.  On other days, he's been on top of the ceiling fan, in the dining room window valance, on a sconce, etc.  Special thanks to Aunt G for Little Jimmy Franklin, Elf on a Shelf, the newest member of our household.

The boys put out treats for Santa. Although they wanted to give him some leftover lasagna from tonight's dinner ("He probably needs some real food!"), they settled on Thin Mint cookies, homemade vanilla marshmallows, and Orange Crush.  Yes, I know.  We're terribly traditional here!  Along with ten carrots for the reindeer.  Why ten, you ask?  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph, and . . . Olive.  As in, " . . . Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names . . . ", which has been B's favorite joke during this holiday season.










B took a break from making silly faces at the camera to hang the Santa key on the front door. 

We're all ready for Christmas now!  How about you?  What family traditions are part of your preparations during this holiday season?

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday, and a wonderful new year!  Please be safe!

Tagged with: Christmas Eve

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Feet!

By kjkmom2boys · December 16, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

Ok, not quite wordless.  Ordered on-line from Lands' End - waterproof windfall squalls, weatherlys, trekkers, and more.  On sale.  Free shipping.  I am all set for the winter!

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Muffin Tin Monday

By kjkmom2boys · December 14, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

It's Monday.  And my menu isn't done yet.  Sounds like a perfect excuse to put up a Muffin Tin Monday post first, doesn't it?  I've been out of my blogging rhythm (if I ever had one?), so forgot to check ahead of time for the theme.  I put together W's lunch, with his help:

Took a picture:

Raisins, Club crackers, kiwi slices, dinosaur chicken nuggets, a Tootsie Roll, and fruit snacks.

And, then . . . W ate (Tootsie Roll first, of course!):

W loves his muffin tin meals, no matter what day of the week it is!  Join us next Monday for Muffin Tin Monday: Christmas.  If I start thinking about it now, I should be able to remember the theme!

Menu Planning Monday - December 7

By kjkmom2boys · December 7, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

First menu plan in a couple weeks because we had Thanksgiving week where we were only home for two days out of the entire week.  And then last week?  Well, I just wasn't organized! 

However, along with some of my flylady chat (this is a new one that just started last week!) friends, I am starting over with tracking my meals, water intake, and exercise on SparkPeople.  For that reason, along with the money-saving and convenience aspects, menu planning is back at the top of my list to start the week.  This week's Menu Plan Monday:


Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce, Garlic Toast, Salad, and Pears

Tuesday: H's 2nd Grade Holiday Program and Orff Concert are tonight!  

Seasoned Grilled Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, and Pineapple


Sliders, Baked Potatoes, Peas, and Peaches

Thursday: Bud's the chef for tonight because I have a party.

Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes, Bacon, Eggs, and Oranges


Baked Tilapia (Bud & I), Fish Nuggets (the boys), Couscous, Green Beans, and Applesauce


Kielbasa, Pierogies, Cauliflower, and Berries


Steak Salads, French Onion Soup, Fries, and Kiwi

Finishing Touches

By kjkmom2boys · November 21, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

$3.00 chair - picked up for free when neighbor moved out and reupholstered with fabric purchased on sale:

Small round table, which the boys have already used for a coloring station today:

And loads and loads of bulletin board space:

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