Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 30th

Sunday:  Burritos

Monday:  Chili Cheese Potato Bake (using leftover chili from freezer) with Veggie

Tuesday:  Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday:  Cheesy Beef & Pasta with Roasted Acorn Squash

Thursday:  Chipotle Cheddar Chicken Panini with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Friday:  BBQ Chicken Pizza

Saturday:  Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wraps with Baked Ranch Potato Wedges

I'm linked at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

Ditching commercial cleaning products in your household has obvious environmental and health benefits, but a bonus that I absolutely LOVE is mixing up your own products is so much cheaper than, yet just as effective as, their store bought counterparts!  No nasty chemicals AND better for your budget.  To me that's  a win-win situation!

I've previously shared my green cleaning tips as well as the cloth diaper soap that I like to use (which, by the way, we've been using for 7-8 months now and I still love!) and today I'm going to share a recipe for dishwasher soap that we've recently started using. 

This is a quick, cheap recipe to mix up and it works really well!  Now, I'm not going to say that it gets everything spotless, but prior to this we were using cheapie store brand detergent and this recipe cleans just as good if not better than that stuff.  I can't honestly tell you how it would compare to a name brand product, but I can assure you that it's cheaper than the name brand stuff and it's much better for you and your family! 

Homemade Dishwasher Soap
Source:  diyNatural

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda (if you have trouble finding this Penniless Parenting has a neat tutorial on how to make your own from regular old baking soda!)
1/4 cup Citric Acid (or you can substitute 10 packets of Lemon Kool-Aid)
1/4 cup Kosher Salt

I like to mix this up and keep it in an old 32 oz. yogurt container.  You will need just 1 tablespoon-sized scoop of powder per load. 

Cost = $0.08 per load!

Let's talk about why homemade soaps are better for you. 

According to poison control centers, dishwasher detergents are the #1 cause of accidental poisonings in the household.  All you have to do is look at the outside of a bottle to see a warning that says: harmful if ingested.  Yet we're washing our dishes and utensils - things that we put our food on and place in our mouths everyday - with these products and surely we're aware that soaps leave a residue behind, but they also release toxic vapors into the air during use.

What harmful chemicals are found in commercial dish detergents?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (surfactants)
alkyl phenoxy ethanols (APEs)
dichloromethane (DCM)
diethanolamine (DEA)

Among these are poisons, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and compounds that can cause skin, eye, and lung irritation.

And, as I mentioned previously these chemicals are all much harsher on a baby's underdeveloped system than on adults.

If you are interested in avoiding nasty chemicals found in a lot of commercial cleaners, but don't want to go the DIY route there are other options out there that you can purchase at the store, I just don't have any firsthand experience with them!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 23rd

Sunday:  Dinner at Parent's house

Monday:  Chicken Taco Soup (CrockPot)

Tuesday:  Mongolian Beef with Brown Rice and Green Beans

Wednesday:  Smothered Pork Chops with Veggie

Thursday:  Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

Friday:  Burritos

Saturday:  Meatloaf Sandwiches with Oven-Fried Onion Rings

I'm linked at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Real Food: Organically Nurtured

I recently had a conversation with a friend regarding Mark's and my decision to feed Jack organic foods and it made me realize how much our way of thinking has changed in the last year. 

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I'm very cheap thifty and I abhor paying even pennies more for something that I can find cheaper elsewhere. 

So, it may come as a suprise that Mark and I have decided to feed Jack organically grown foods. 

I know it surprises me. 

I'll be honest here, because we're all friends, right?  If you had ask me what I thought about organic food a year ago, I would have told you that I thought it was a fad for people who enjoy paying more for things just for the heck of spending more money.  Or maybe for dirty, tree-hugging hippies.  But, certainly not for me! 

And then I began to educate myself about food and I now understand the importance of eating organically.

Over the last several months, I have spent a considerable amount of time researching food.  It's actually an amazing topic once you start getting into it and understanding how things are produced and why.  There is a TON of information out there that I never knew and would never have known had I not started digging. 

My reason for digging?

This gorgeous, perfect little boy, whose complete care has been entrusted to me. 

Like other parents, I want the best for my child.  I don't think that "the best" is any one thing.  All families will likely define "the best" differently and it's certainly something you have to decide for yourself based upon your beliefs. 

Organic foods are just one of "the best" things that we want to do for Jack.

It's certainly not the cheapest option. 

The cost is something that I struggle with.  When I'm in the grocery store, it's hard to reach past that conventionally grown apple that's on sale for $0.99 per pound for the organically grown apple that looks EXACTLY the same, but costs $1.99 per pound.  Everything that I stand for is screaming at me saying, CHOOSE THE CHEAPER OPTION! 

But at this point, my conscience won't allow me to justify skipping organically grown items just because of cost.  Because there's more to it.  There are good reasons for why the organically grown apple costs more than it's conventionally grown counterpart.  And I've found those reasons to be very important.

So, why have we decided that this is "the best" option? 

There are certainly many benefits to organic farming, but to sum it up:  Pesticides scare me. 

Pesticides are utilized in conventional growing techniques in order to produce the most crop for the least cost.  Although there are clearly benefits (hello, cheap food!) there are also serious consequences.  More is known about pesticides today than when they first came into use.  Although we now know more than we used to, I don't think we fully understand the impact of these chemicals on our bodies. 

As of now, we know pesticides have been linked to serious health problems such as cancer, lung disease, reproductive problems, endocrine and and immune system disorders, asthma, and both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.  Testing has also found that pesticides can cause permenant changes in brain chemistry that may contribute to Autism spectrum disorders, behavorial disorders such as Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, as well as other learning disabilities. 

The more research that is done on these chemicals, the more we find that they are bad for us.

One just has to take a look around our society today to know that there is a higher incidence of chronic diseases.  (I recently read that more than 25% of youths are on long-term prescription medication along with 51% of adults who have medical insurance, which could be a whole separate post.)  The truth is that it's often hard to pinpoint the exact cause of many of these problems.  I don't think that eliminating the use of pesticides would eradicate all disease, but I'm of the opinion that reducing their use could certainly improve the situation. 

Pesticides are scary for anyone to consume in my opinion, but they are especially bad for children.  Here are some reasons why: 
  • Children consume more food relative to their body weight than adults do.  This means, that they have to process and eliminate more chemicals from their small, underdeveloped systems.
  • Children's bodies and brains are immature and still developing making it easier for their body to absorb pesticides and other chemicals, but harder for them to elimiate from their system. 
  • Pesticides actually block the absorbtion of vital nutrients that help children's bodies to grow and maintain a healthy immune system.

Even if we don't currently know all the answers, I think it's safe to say that what we as a society are currently doing isn't working.  Chronic diseases are on the rise, the health of Americans is declining, and although "they" like to blame it on individual diet and lifestyle choices alone, that can't be the whole story.

I know that as hard as I try, I can't keep Jack's little body from being exposed to all nasty chemicals, toxins, and pesticides.  There are just too many of them out there.  And I know it's not the end of the world if he eats some birthday cake, or a snack at a friend's house that's not necessarily something I would feed him at home, but I want to do the best that I can with the parts of his life that I do have control over. 

I want to make sure that as much as possible of the food that he consumes every day is as healthly and safe as it can be. 

The foods that are fed to a baby or a small child are vital to their growth and development.  It's the fuel that allows their systems to mature, their bones to grow, and their brain to achieve higher function.  That's a tall order from some humble green beans or squash and this is why I want to make sure that the fuel I'm introducing to my child's body is the best that I can provide.

Interested in the Real Food Movement? 

Here's some recommended reading:

Nina Planck's Real Food: What to Eat and Why and Real Food for Mother and Baby
Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals
Barbara Kingsoliver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

And watching:

Food, Inc.
The Future of Food

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

10 Months!

And not a baby anymore! 

This month has brought A LOT of changes!  Jack has officially graduated from baby to toddlby - not quite a toddler yet, but definitely no longer a baby!  I think this term was originally coined by Grumbles and Grunts and it certainly describes Not-Baby-Jack to a "T". 

Who is Toddlby Jack? 

Toddlby Jack is a little explorer whose greatest aspiration in life is to touch all the NO-things in the family room at the same time.  If only his hands could reach the DVD and DVR players, the outlets, the cords, and the dog's toy basket all at the same time!  Oh, what a wonderful new world that would be! 

I can only assume that Baby Jack spent all his time sitting complacently, awaiting the day when he would be mobile and making a list of all the things he couldn't wait to get his hands on!  It's no longer a wonder why he was stationary for so long, the list of things to touch was long and detailed! 

Because Toddlby Jack's new favorite thing is not one of the many toys he got for Christmas, noooo, those mostly just get in the way of his exploring, but getting his hands on anything he shouldn't.  He is expert at figuring out what he can and can't have and has made it his life's mission to get his hands on the can't-have. 

Jack travels far and wide across our family room to push buttons, pull out cords, and pick up dog toys.  He pulls things off tables and shelves and one of his new favorite things is to crumple and shred junk mail with his toddlby hands.  Anything new and different is exciting to him.  He's exploring his new world.

So, I'm sure you assume he's crawling now, right?


He's scooting. Right around the 10-month mark, Jack started scooting. On his butt. He has zero interest in crawling and at this point, I'm certain he's going to move straight from scooting, which is infinitely harder than crawling, to walking.

Here's a peak at how he's getting around these days:

Anyway, with mobility we said goodbye to our formerly relaxed, stationary baby.

This new stage is fun and frustrating at the same time. It's amazing seeing his development change. Practically overnight, literally, within a few short day's time, Jack went from a baby to not a baby. The things that interest him have changed. His attitude has changed. He now has an OPINION! And when he gets his mind set on something, say getting the computer cord, if his plans are thwarted by momma or daddy redirecting his attention, he'll let you know of his displeasure. It's amazing seeing his brain develop. Seeing everyday objects become exotic in his hands. Watching him test his limits.

At the same time, it's frustrating because we now have to have eyes in the back of our heads! He gets into everything and we spend all day redirecting him. Anyone know how long it takes for babies to figure out that something shouldn't be touched? Because I already feel like it's been eons. The simple sound of him scooting along is enough to strike fear in our hearts as we wonder what he's going for now.

Just the other day Jack discovered that when I "disappear" I'm really just in the kitchen.  He now knows where it is and will follow me.  Sweet as anything to know that my baby boy wants to be with me, but hard to get even a few minutes worth of something done. 

For example, last week... it's late morning and we have to leave the house momentarily and I'm trying to throw something in the CrockPot for dinner.  As I have my hands covered with icky meat juices I hear the dreaded pitter patter of little feet hands coming as Jack scoots himself into the kitchen.  And not only does he discover Momma with meat juice covered hands, but the dog's water bowl is just sitting there, out in the open, begging for him to play in it! 

I immediately see his eyes fall upon the water dish and I say, "Jack!  No.  Do. Not. Touch!"  He scoots over towards the bowl, arm outstreched.  I say, "Jack!  NOOO!".  He looks up at me, arm still outstretched, then slaps his hand down right into the bowl, upending it in the process.  And of course water goes everywhere.  Needless to say, we were late getting to where we had to be that day.  *Sigh*

But with the bad and frustrating comes the good and amazing.  He has changed so much just since he hit 10-months old.

One day he started trying to pull himself up at the edge of the coffee table and was only able to pull his bottom a few inches off the ground.  The next day he figured out how to pull himself up onto his knees.  The next day, he's got one knee on the ground, but has figured out how to get into a kneeling position with his other leg.  The following day he figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position! 

A mere 11 days ago was the first day he successfully pulled himself up to a standing position.  Now?  He's pulling up on anything and everything.  And I know it's a great accomplishment for him because you can see him working at it and getting frustrated or pleased with his results.

{This is one of the first times Jack was standing without us holding him up}

And with Jack's new found freedom and need for exploration comes a new state of parenting: Discipline.  Cue ominous music *dun dun duuunnn*  The importance of bonding with my baby during his early months has been replaced by letting him be to find his independence.  Implementing tummy time, knowing the "right" way to encourage my baby to sleep, teaching him how to eat from a spoon, all have been replaced by things like redirection, creating boundaries, and babyproofing.

At this point, I feel like I'm old hat at parenting a baby.  I know how to do that.  But a toddler?  Scary!  Jack and I are back to learning together.  He's learning how to be a toddler and I'm learning how to be a parent of a toddler. 

What else is 10-month-old Jack up to? 

He has *finally* mastered sitting up from a laying position.  He used to struggle to sit up and all he accomplished was baby crunches before getting frustrated, but now, he has figured out how to manuver his body and use his muscles (toned from all those crunches!) to get himself into an upright position. 

Jack decided it was time to go on a hunger strike recently.  About 2 weeks ago, our formerly awesome eater decided he'd start refusing food.  I thought maybe it was because he was sick of the same old purees (heck, I would be!), but when we tried to feed him bites of things he still had a really strong gag reflex and wasn't really sure what to do with the food.  Well, apparently the hunger strike was his way of telling me he was ready to move on from purees because about a week later, his gag reflex was much improved and he was nomming on bites of things like banana, avocado, black beans, and eggs.  I'm so excited for this next stage as it really opens up his diet to new foods! 

He has 6 teeth!  For the longest time, he only had one of his front two teeth on the top.  His second one has finally come through and he's starting to look older with such a mouthfull of teeth!

{Here's a peak at his teefers before his 2nd front tooth really came through.  He's more balanced out now!}

His new favorite game is playing with the dog.  He loves to put his hand out to call her over and he giggles and belly laughs so hard if she licks his hand, head, or face (:-/).  He just really thinks she's the funniest thing ever right now.

Jack can wave!  We've been working on this for the last few weeks.  First, he started by just kind of throwing his hand awkwardly out to the side.  Now, he'll actually make a waving motion, but he turns his hand towards himself instead of facing out.  I guess it's because it's what he sees us doing from his perspective!  Waving is still kind of hit or miss though.  Sometimes he'll wave on his own or throw his hand out to the side like he was doing at first (randomly), sometimes he'll do either of those things when prompted.  But this is how he started with his clapping (which he still loves to do) so I'm thinking he'll have waving mastered by next month! 

It's hard to catch a toddleby in his natural habitat because they are rarely stationary, but here are a few shots:

We are getting dangerously close to Jack's 1-year birthday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tidy Home Tuesday: Week 8 - The Reunion Show

Does anyone watch terribly bad reality T.V.?  No?  Me neither...

After The Real World, Jersey Shore, Challenge, or any other bad MTV reality show that I'm embarrassed to admit to watching, they have a reunion show where they all come together on stage to be interviewed by a second rate MTV personality to talk about the show and what's been going on since we last checked in. 

That's what I'd like to do today, minus orange skin, fake body parts, and second-rate MTV personality of course ;) 

Based upon the goals that I set at the end of each weekly challenge I came up with this chore chart:

{Click Image to Enlarge}

I have posted it before but after using it for a month I tweaked it a bit.  You can find a blank chore chart like mine {HERE}.

I have done a good job of sticking to it, but I definitely can improve in some areas - mostly with sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor and vacuuming bi-weekly.  I find vacuuming is hard to do because it can't be done when Jack's awake, because he's always underfoot, and it can't be done while he's sleeping, because it's too loud.  So, I either have to do it when Mark's home to help with baby wrangling or right after I lay Jack down for a nap, before he actually falls asleep.  I need to make sure that I get it done though! 

But otherwise, I've done a good job of keeping up with things.  I think I've done especially well with the everyday chores like keeping the kitchen clean and the dishwasher emptied , making the bed every morning, and straightening the living room at the end of the day. 

I've found that my chore chart really helps keeps me organized and makes the chore-load manageable because I know at the beginning of the day exactly what I'm planning to get done and I can organize that around Jack's schedule. 

Unfortunately, now that every room in my house has been organized and cleaned from top to bottom, I'm finding that it's time to start over again as the kitchen is in need of another deep clean.  The work is definitely never done! 

How have you been doing with your household chores?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of January 16th

Sunday:  Dinner at parent's house

Monday:  Three Cheese Garlic Chicken Pasta with Veggie

Tuesday:  Dinner out with friends

Wednesday:  Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin (CrockPot) with Mashed Potatoes - we didn't get to this last week

Thursday:  Chipped Beef Gravy over Biscuits with Collard Greens

Friday:  Homemade Pizza

Saturday:  Asian Sticky Wings with Baked Egg Rolls

I'm linked at

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tidy Home Tuesday - Week 7: The Nursery/2nd Bedroom

And by Tuesday, I of course mean Wednesday Thursday!  Gah! 

This week's assignment is The 2nd Bedroom, which happens to be Jack's room in our house. 

Although I did get this task accomplished on Tuesday, but by the time I finished it was pretty late in the evening and then I slacked on getting the "after" pics taken so... yeah. 

Understandably so, Jack's room was lovingly set up during my pregnancy and hasn't had much organization since!  It's a very functional space which has gotten very disorganized because we only seem to put more stuff in it!  It was due for some TLC.

Here's a look at before:

Basically, just a whole bunch of disorganization!

Let's get started!

Step 1:  De-clutter

First, I started by sorting through clothes.  It was past time to pack up outgrown clothes for storage to make room for new clothes that fit.  What is not pictured is that Jack's stuff has been living in a laundry basket since before Christmas because his drawers were filled with outgrown items.  Not a good idea. 

I had been putting it off sorting through everything because I needed bins to put the old stuff in.  We finally picked up some bins on sale (not without trouble, HATE K-mart... more than Wal-mart!  Ugh!) for $3.99 each for 18-gallon tubs.  Not bad! 

So, I sorted through everything.  Packed up outgrown items (*tear*) into a storage tub and filled his drawers with things the he can actually wear, plus a drawer of things that he will be growing into shortly.  Pretty big task, but I'm so glad it's done!  At least for now...

I then rearraged some things so I could actually put his books on his bookshelf, novel idea, and I found places in his closet for more things that he has outgrown, like the boppy.  We used that thing everyday from the time he was born.  I was really sad to pack up things like that! 

And I pulled my poor husband into the room to help me play with the furniture to see if there was a better, more funtional arrangement.  After 20 minutes of his moving things around I found that there's a reason we put stuff where we did in the first place because it was the best arrangement for his small room. 

Step 2:  Clean

Thankfully, after spending most of the day alternating between packing things up and chasing a mobile baby whose new favorite game is called GET INTO EVERYTHING!  All the cleaning that needed done was some vacuuming and dusting, which I actually saved for today. 

And here's after!

It looks sooooo much better now that everything has a place!

My goals for keeping Jack's room clean and tidy:

Daily:  Put things in their place!  Everything has a home now, I need to keep it that way! 

Bi-weekly:  Change the sheets.  (But really, Jack's sheets get changed more often than this anyway out of necessity.)

Monthly:  Vacuum and dust.

Quarterly/Semi-annually:  Sort through clothes and pack up things that have been outgrown.  Right now, this needs to be done quarterly, but I believe that his growth is supposed to slow down soon as he's approaching 1-year so it will probably need to be done on a semi-annual basis, but maybe not... because the seasons will change... Hmm... I guess I'll figure this out when we get there! 

Whew!  I'm finally done with my self-imposed cleaning challenge!  Next week, I'll post an update on how I've been doing keeping up with everything and the chores that I have listed on my chart! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 9th

I was the lucky recipient of some icky germs and ended up with a cold last week so our meal plan kind of got off track.  We didn't eat out, but we did make do with some leftovers from earlier in the week to get us through so a few things from last week will reappear in the menu plan for this week.

Sunday:  Dinner at parent's house

Monday:  Cook's Illustrated Classic Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash for me, Pasta for Mark and Broccoli

Tuesday:  French Dip Sandwiches (CrockPot) with Green Beans

Wednesday: Burritos

Thursday:  Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin (CrockPot) with Mashed Potatoes

Friday:  Asian Sticky Wings with PW's Sesame Noodles

Saturday:  Spiced Chipotle Honey Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

I'm linked at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tidy Home Tuesday: Week 6 - The Master Bedroom

This week's assignment is The Master Bedroom.

Thankfully, our bedroom isn't too messy so this week's challenge won't be too hard!  I try to reasonably keep up with the clutter and mess in our bedroom because I hate going to sleep and waking up in a messy room!  I feel like your bedroom should be a relaxing place and I don't want to walk in, ready for bed, and then get frustrated and stressed because I have to kick things out of the way just to get in bed. 

I try to start my day out by making the bed every day.  It's really a great thing to do because it makes the room feel instantly cleaner and more put together AND if you do it as soon as possible in the day, it's something you can always get accomplished and make yourself feel at least a little productive - even if the rest of the day happens to fall apart! 

I also find that it keeps the sheets and blankets neater.  I'm not sure if this happens to everyone else, but our sheets constantly come untucked and our blankets are all over the place after a night of sleep.  If I make the bed every morning it keeps the sheets better tucked in and the blankets are already pulled back onto the bed so they're ready when we go to bed at night.   

Let's get started!

Here's what our bedroom looked like before I touched anything.  This was taken on a particularly messy day:

Step 1:  De-clutter

Everything needs a home.  Pick up dirty clothes off the floor and put them in the hamper, shoes go in the closet, old glasses belong in the dishwasher, and of course the baby swing that hasn't been used in months needs to be moved to "storage" (storage right now is the overflowing garage, but luckily that's not my department!).  My husband is guilty of throwing clothes everywhere.  I'm guilty of throwing them on the wicker chest next to the bed and we both hoard water glasses to the point where sometimes we end up with all of our glasses in the bedroom and no clean ones to use ::blushes::

Step 2:  Clean

Dust and vacuum.  Anyone have a suggestion on how to dust lampshades?  The lampshades in our bedroom get sooo dusty, but when I try to dust them is seems like it just moves the dust around and actually makes it look worse :-/

Change the sheets.

Do laundry if your hamper(s) are now overflowing! 

And after!

It's not perfect (i.e. the Christmas gifts that need a home, and the pile of clothes on both The Husband's side, and on the trunk on my side), but it's much improved, I think!

Side note:  Does anyone else have piles of clothes that they're going to re-wear?  What the heck do you do with them?  We can't be the only ones.  I have things that I only wear for a short time because I'm leaving the house and then I come back home and put on something comfier and Mark spends all day in work clothes and then comes home and changes into something for a few hours.  The clothes aren't ready for the hamper, but I don't want to re-fold them and put them back in with clean stuff, so... what's your solution?  Where do you put your clothes that are to be re-worn before they're ready to be washed? 

My goals for keeping our bedroom clean and tidy:

Daily: Put things in their place, especially clothes!  Make the bed.  Take water glasses from the night before to the kitchen so they can be put in the dishwasher. 

Bi-weekly:  Change the sheets.

Monthly:  Vacuum and dust. 

Let's see your Master Bedrooms! 

You have until next Tuesday, January 11th to complete the assignment and blog about it (feel free to right click and save my "Tidy Home Tuesday" graphic to use in your post!). Come back to this post and link up to your post. If you don't have a blog just leave a message in the comments about your progress!

Next week will be my last installment of the Tidy Home Project because I only have one more room left to tackle: The Nursery!  Having a small house is beneficial in a whole home cleaning and organizing challenge!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 2nd

Sunday:  Corned Beef with Cabbage and New Potatoes - we didn't get to this on Saturday because we went to visit my parent's and ate at their house instead! 

Monday:  Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Panini - I'm having some dental work done (the only cavity I've ever only "kinda" had needs to be refilled!  Grrr...) so I'm not sure how I'll feel about food shortly after.  Hopefully I'll be able to eat soup with no problem. 

Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner - Corned Beef Hash

Wednesday:  Chicken and Noodles with Mashed Potatoes

Thursday:  Cook's Illustrated Classic Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash (for me, and probably pasta for Mark) with Veggie

Friday:  French Dip Sandwiches (CrockPot) with Veggie

Saturday:  Mexican Pizza with Chips & Queso

I'm linked at