Weekly Menu

I hate cooking.

No, that’s not actually true.

I really really dislike cooking.

It’s not calming for me, it’s not enjoyable, I just don’t like it.

I don’t like menu planning either.

(I have obviously now entered my Archie Bunker phase of life).

But I do both because it’s hard to be a stay at home mom and not be the one in charge of cooking. I have I tried to lobby to hire a cook, but somehow, my husband sees that as my role.

So seeing as this appears to be my gig for awhile, I decided to make a menu planning board.


I used a frame I already had, printed out a free menu planning printable, and used an old expo marker I had from teaching to write out the meals.

We’ve been using this for a few weeks and somehow it just makes the whole process a little more enjoyable.


And yes, we eat out once a week.

I need to keep moving toward that white light at the end of the week or else I’d completely give up and just serve cereal for every meal.

*In case you are interested I found the meal plan printable here.

*And just for the record, my husband is awesome and always helps me cook.

Dress Like a Cow Day!

In keeping with yesterday’s free food post,

Chick-fil-A’s “Dress Like a Cow” day is today, July 12th!

Every customer who comes dressed as a cow from head to toe will receive a FREE MEAL.

If you are partially dressed like a cow you will receive a FREE ENTREE.

Here’s a look back at some of our looks:


Wonder Moo


Our Star Wars year…





Our  Musical Year with Moo Hendrix, Black Eyed Cow, Sheryl Moo, Moodonna, and 6 yr old cow who refused to go with the theme


Have a wonderful weekend!

Olive Garden Dinner

Last night Derek and I took the kids to the Olive Garden to eat.

Right now my sister is seizing at just the thought of eating in that, so called, “Italian Establishment.”

I, however, have kids and count their endless salad and bread sticks as a lifesaver.

So we go to the Olive Garden.

We were having one of those meals where it seems as if your children have never eaten out before.

They seem to lose all concept of appropriate restaurant behavior.

Touching each other constantly. Clanking their silverware together. Arguing over crayon colors. Sitting on their feet. Talking loudly.

(Of course our third reason for going to the Olive Garden, behind the endless salad and bread sticks, is that everyone else is talking loudly. But let’s move on.)

We were almost through our meal, you know the point, when you just want everyone to finish eating as fast as they possibly can. You are already planning how to throw everyone in the shower in record time, limiting everyone to five minutes of reading time, turning off the lights, guiding a little one to bed, guiding her again to her bed and making some sort of threatening statement about not visiting the zoo the next day IF YOU DON”T STAY IN THIS BED.

Anyway, we were at that point.

When it happened.

To some other parent.

While spooning some pasta into my mouth, the restaurant fire alarm started to go off.

Near the exit door a mom was looking just as frazzled as us and looked mortified that her daughter had just made the alarm go off.

I could feel her pain.


Derek and I just laughed and said to each other, “Well at least our kids have never done THAT!”

Frozen Cheesecake

I was at the Cheesecake Factory the other night when I watched a young girl make a complete fool of herself.

I had just eaten dinner with a friend when I decided to stop by The Cheesecake Factory and grab a surprise treat for my husband.

Ahead of me in the to go line were three young women who couldn’t have been older than twenty-two. Two of them ordered quickly while the third hummed and hawed over her decision.

I was thrilled when she decided on the Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake.

Little did I know that would be the end of my excitement for awhile.

The woman behind the counter prepared a piece of the cheesecake and placed in the to go box.

When the young woman saw the piece of cheesecake she flipped.

“This isn’t what I ordered! It doesn’t even look the same. I said the Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake.”

“Ma’m this is the Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake.

“No it’s not. Just look at this piece. It looks pale and white compared to the piece in the display.”

“The piece in the display has been sitting out for awhile. I got this piece from the refrigerator so it’s a bit fresher.”

“I didn’t say I wanted a fresher piece! I want one that looks like what I ordered. This is just ridiculous. Why are you trying to give me a different piece of cake?

“Ma’m, the piece I prepared for you to take home is what you ordered.”

“I ordered the Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake and this doesn’t look anything like it.”

At this point the manager appeared, quickly resolved the issue, and apologized for the misunderstanding.

I meanwhile, continued to stand there stunned.

Who is this person? Why does she think it’s okay to act this way?

While my husband was thrilled with his cheesecake surprise I’m not sure the young woman had the same reaction when she got home and finally tasted her less than fresh display case cheesecake.



A Proud Mom

My six year old has come over to the dark side with me.

At least that’s the opinion of my husband.

To really understand this scenario you have to go back with me thirty years.

The place I remember going out to eat more than any other growing up is Pancho’s.

Glorious Pancho’s.Enchiladas made with cheese from a can.

Tamale sauce with a one inch top layer of fat.

Sopapillas still dripping in oil.

And the pinatas at your birthday…….

…..don’t even get me started over that thrill.

When our family gets together at the holidays, there has to be at least one trip to Pancho’s.

Well, my husband doesn’t get it.

Neither does my brother-in-law who is married to my sister.

They’re what we like to consider, “Pancho outsiders.”

They weren’t as fortunate as us to grow up with this delicacy so they don’t understand.

When our family goes to Pancho’s for the holidays, my husband always chooses to work that day. Whatever. More chiquitos for us.

So yesterday, my son and I were discussing places to eat for my birthday.

“No way,” was my response when Steak n’ Shake was suggested.

“No can do,” when Pizza Hut was offered.

But then he said, “What about Pancho’s?”

“Now there’s an idea son. I like it.”

And then he said the words I will never forget.

“When I grow up I want to work at Pancho’s so I can eat their food everyday.”

There just couldn’t be a prouder moment for this mom.

My family was equally proud when I told them.

Imagine, mother and son eating lunch together everyday enjoying tacos and refried beans.

Just the two of us making wonderful memories.

After all, my husband will be stuck eating leftovers at the house because he never came over to the dark side.

Where to Go? – Restaurant Printable

My husband and I had a date night on Saturday.

Once the babysitters were settled we left.

We then drove around aimlessly for 40 minutes because we couldn’t think of a new restaurant to try.

 It seems like every other time we are in the car, driving from one activity to the next, we see a new place and say, “Next time we should try that place.”

But inevitably, we never remember the restaurant when its time to choose a place to eat.

We even say to ourselves, “We need to write that name down.”

But we never do.

So I decided to make a list.  If you would like a copy of this form, click here.

If you download the form, please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me.

My husband and I eventually settled for a steak place and had a great meal though next time I hope we don’t waste forty precious child free minutes deciding on the restaurant.

Tuesday To Do Party Todays Creative Blog


I was a shameless mother to Caroline.

But in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you this.

After consuming a dinner of milk, orange slices, and cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster last Friday night, Caroline proceeded to vomit her entire stomach contents on the restaurant floor.

It was a lot. I’m talking change of shoes and clothing bad.

I’m pretty sure I will never eat another cheddar biscuit for as long as I live.

Oh, and it was our first and only trip to Red Lobster.

The following day Caroline and I ended up in the children’s book section of Borders while the boys finished up in a movie. One hour into the movie and she was done so we went for a walk.

Caroline and I were standing side by side browsing the movie section when I let quite a foul smelling gas escape. It was silent. I do have some pride.

At the moment of release, a woman stopped directly behind us to examine a book.

I’m not proud of what I did next.

I bent down and said, “Caroline, do we need to change your diaper?”

Yes.    I     Did.      I blamed her for the smell.


A little tit for tat.

I am pitiful and shameless.

And smelly.

Moooooooove Over Pride…We’re Eatin’ for Free

Last Friday, much to Derek’s dismay, we dressed in our cow costumes and headed to Chick-Fil-A for our free meal. Two years ago we dressed as Star Wars characters so we decided to be “Rock Stars” this year.

Derek was completely mortified as we walked into the building. I reassured him this was only temporary, we’d get a free meal, the kids would enjoy it, and he wouldn’t have to dress like a cow for another 364 days.

Well, as we entered the restaurant, the store manager came over and took our picture. She very excitedly informed us that our picture would be on the stores’ Facebook page. I kept staring and smiling at her, completely ignoring the look of horror that suddenly came across Derek’s face.

When the manager walked away I looked at Derek and said, “It’s for the children.”

“And more importantly, the $25 meal we are about to receive for free.”

So I present to you…..

Moo Hendrix, The Stubborn and fiercely independent 6 year old who refused a name, The Black Eyed Cow, Sheryl Cow, and MooDonna

Picture of Family Dress for Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a

My chicken sandwich and waffle fries were delish!

Already contemplating our theme for next year….Derek is desperately hoping he’ll be out of town on business.

Happy New Year!

Long time, no write.

I took some time off of posting since we got kind of crazy around here and had lots of family come in for a visit.

Hope everyone has had an amazing start to 2011!

We have rung in the new year by staying in our pajamas for two whole days – love it!

Derek and I decided to make some financial goals for our family this year.

Along with those large goals, I’ve made some smaller financial goals for me to focus on. Hopefully, these smaller goals will help us reach the larger goals.

I’m probably going about it in an odd fashion but I think it’s a method that will suit me.

I’m going to make new goals each month in order to save some money. Hopefully after the month is over I will have made some long term changes. You will have to check back every month to find out what our goal is.

January’s financial goal is: to spend $125 less on groceries/eating out a month.

After looking at 2010”s financial statistics I think we spent entirely too much in this catergory. My hope is to carry this into other months but for now the focus is saving on groceries/eating out in January.

I’ll let you know our progress at the end of the month – plus give you our new method for February – it’s definitely an out of the box one.

Have you made any financial goals for 2011?