First, I want to review my Busy Bags! I made some up, and they were a blessing when I had to recently take my mom to the doctor with all 4 kids in tow. I grabbed a ziplock bag of color wonder markers and their color wonder books, easy enough. I grabbed the sticker bags I had made up (stickers and a piece of paper.) I grabbed a couple board books that I've had "put up" for awhile, so they seemed new (and almost indestructible by Four, always important.) So, while we waited in the waiting room the boys were able to color without me having to worry about them getting marker/crayon on the dr's chairs/tables/floor and then they were able to do some stickers and sit and read a book that was "new" and therefore worthy of their attention. It was WIN all around. Also, at home, I found a few more things I already have that will work for quiet time.
Leaf Rubbing plates. My MIL found these at goodwill for a quarter (or some such insanity.) I put 4 of them in a bag, took a piece of white paper and cut it into quarters-as that is roughly the size of the plates I have, added a peeled crayon making the rubbing easier and voila.
Wedgits. How.Did.I.Forget.These! If you don't know what these are, or you don't own a set...google it. Right.Now. We have a double set, and a set of cards that give you patterns for building LARGE, FANTASTIC structures with them. I lucked out and found them at a consignment sale. I'm cheap.
Magnet Set. I am pretty sure I have this pinned. I laid out an alphabet magnet set on a piece of paper and snapped a pic. I printed it and laminated it. Place the paper on a cookie sheet, and let the kids match the magnet to the letter on the sheet.
Small chalkboards and chalk from $$Ttree. Chalk is another medium I can confidently let Four have without supervision as it is easily removed from all surfaces.
Playdough. The boys do pretty well with playdough unsupervised....but this will probably be something I only allow when I'm going to be near by.
Second, I'm working on things like meal planning and cutting our grocery bill. I'm about to list out all the meals that I make on a regular basis. I also like to try new recipes, and occasionally they make the cut into the permanent rotation. Which means the list will be ever changing and growing. At the end, I'd like to have a smaller grocery bill, and a list of a couple months worth of healthier meals. :)
Third, we tried "swedish meatballs" this week. The recipe was simple...meatballs (I used oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs and for ME the texture was a little off. They were still good, but not great for me.) The sauce was chili sauce, bbq sauce, and grape jelly. I served it over rice, and everyone ate it up. Even Three who is by far the pickiest eater in our house. I don't think we'll be putting it in the permanent rotation though as we didn't LOVE it, and chili sauce is not a staple I keep (so I'd have to buy it special for this dish...) Also, grape jelly. We eat an almost organic grape jelly that costs an arm and a leg, and this dish calls for a 1/2 cup of it, making it not very frugal. Maybe, if the kids ask for it, I would make it special for them, but I don't think they will.
Lastly, I leave you with a video...I really enjoy this song.