A few Random things

Hello out there!

I did not plan to take such a long hiatus from blogging but truthfully I am exhausted and the demands of my family are great!

Usually I am running around frantically trying to gather things for Holy week so that our children can have some meat and potatoes at devotion time. I wish I could say that I’ve planned ahead and my home is decorated with symbolism of Jesus’ death and resurrection and that we have been crunching through the story of that all week but it’s not.Not that is what it’s about anyway.

In fact I have “dropped the ball” at planning anything for our usual festivities let alone decorated something. Lately the energy it takes to walk up to my attic to go get stuff stops me dead in my tracks. It’s just that season we are in. We are tired, worn and just want some peace and quiet with our curtains shut. Ever been there?

At the start of each week we all gather on the floor in the boys’ room at bedtime and pray for God to give us strength to “survive” each week. I have muddled through tears listening to my guys send up prayers that their momma would give herself grace and have enough to give. Happy tears. Those have been our weeks.

Well with us in mid Holy week what we have started on is reading Exodus 11 and 12 and discussing the symbolism in these stories of the coming Messiah. It has been wonderful to be real and intentional and be excited about it. Unplanned but purposeful.

( you can check out our previous holy week traditions here, here and here

This week we plan to create our grace garden, rest and enjoy knowing and resting in the security of Jesus’ sacrifice. Sure we have some fun things coming up too.

Our eldest child re-dedicated his life to Jesus and is over zealous about living his life before Jesus! We are ecstatic about this and are doing as much as we can to equip him and encourage him! One goal that I have for this year is to start my boys on a daily devotion time and teach them how to read, meditate and study the bible on their own-without us. I want to see them eager to know God and not riding our coat tails for their relationship with God.We are using this , along with our own ideas to help train our children in character.

Again our weeks have been hard and exhausting. I hope you all are encouraged by this video as I have been lately. Press on!

 

 

 

Quieting My Home

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Fasting. This week I read a devotion about fasting that sparked a greater inspiration in me. because I had a post scheduled to talk about quieting my home and ridding us of distraction. Well with this I had the idea that removing distraction from my home is simply cleaning up some cluttered areas around that were eye sores and causing us dysfunction. While that may be a link to quieting my home and a key part to ridding it of distraction, we do not have stacks and piles of dysfunction so much that it pulls us away from God. That’s the key part right? Quieting my home means much more than surface cleaning it up. Because after all if I clean up the outside of my body and never touch my heart there are still some nooks and crannies that need some refining. I want quieting my home to become a habit that hits my core not a fad and I am hoping to do some deep cleaning in some areas that we struggle in.

In finding areas to “deep clean” I not only want to make room for my people to live freely in Christ. I want to make room for Christ to dwell freely in us. I’d like the habits of my home to become habits o our hearts. I no longer want my people to see Christ scrambled into my day but I want them to see him intentionally scheduled-for an appointment with me. In turn I hope that they will develop this idea of putting Christ first.

Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed. -Proverbs 16:3

I firmly believe that order is a necessary step in a mom’s life for us to bear the fruit of the spirit and see our children carry this too. My husband and I have been deeply convicted in how we manage our time. We feel that with teaching our children to be people of integrity we need to walk along side of them more than we do. We feel that it is unfair for us to expect obedience without teaching it first. So our first step is creating a family schedule so that we are predictable to our children and they know what is expected of them daily. With this we are also drawn to digging further into teaching the character qualities that we want to instill in them. We want to do this by posting the definition of said character quality each month and finding what it means to live it out together-the whole month. This is key for my husband and I in raising our family together and having a vision for our family together since how we were both raised were completely opposite of one another.

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So my first step in creating a family schedule-because this can seem so daunting with everything we do in a day, week or month and us not having the “normal family life” due to our custody schedules is to write down everything we do in a day-in a week, and then separating the “wheat from the tares”, the important from the unnecessary. With this comes learning again how to say no and protect our family times. It’s very easy to pile up more than the day holds and end up frustrated and exhausted. I am hoping to learn to say no more than I do and grow in doing life well as a family. I am learning that I just can’t do everything and to try is unwise.

I am also in the process of creating a command center that works for us-which I will post about later. It has been so hard for me to create something simple, because there are just too many options out there. So creating our schedule will help me to identify what fits us and what we are in need of.

So if you are interested in doing so, I challenge you to write down everything you do daily and pray over what is necessary and unnecessary. I will share my next step soon.

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Meal Plan Monday #32

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Howdy!

Jumping back into this week seems so unreal. After being down with mastitis this week and a weekend of dreary weather I am ready for some sunshine! Thankfully the sun allowed its presence to be known today and now I can get on with why I am writing. 🙂

I am always trying to perfect the way I plan meals around here; being careful to allow flexibility and proper spacing so that I don’t end up with too much and throw good food out. Being off Monday and Thursday are perfect and make the difference in my attitude every week. I certainly love cooking but sometimes it seems like a chore rather than being enjoyable no matter how many times I try to convince myself of the benefits it has for my family. Making a weekly snack has been working a lot for us because then I am not scrambling at 3:30 trying to figure out what snack to throw out for the circus.

-Anyways.

Since the weather is growing colder and the leaves are starting to change I am darning my meal plan with themed nights again. My husband reminded me the other week how much he loved them so. 🙂 I typically rotate through a couple of themes each week and it also helps me to stay organized at best with things like soup, crock, takeout, casserole, nacho/burrito, breakfast and U pick night.

Over the weekend we watched a few episodes of Pioneer woman and my guys had stars next to meals they had to have me make this week.

Here’s what we’ve got coming up this week:

Breakfast

Overnight bread and egg bake

Basic oatmeal with fresh fruit

Vanilla donuts with chocolate peanut butter smoothies

cinnamon raisin french toast and sausage

Dinner

Crockpot chicken stuffing and beans with white pasta shells and basic brownies  (My Kid Hero made the brownies on his own!)

Soup Night-Pioneer woman Chicken and noodles

Casserole night- Pioneer woman Beef and bean burritos with veggies and dip

U Pick-English muffin pizza and crinkled carrots

Easy-Foil sandwiches with homemade apple chips and peanut butter dirt pudding

 

Our snack for the week is finger jello and snack mix

Lunches this week are bagel sandwiches or whatever I throw together (survival!) 🙂

 

Baby led breakfast

Old fashioned oatmeal with peaches

Blueberry breakfast cookie

Egg with toast and ricotta

Baby led lunch

Alfredo with macaroni noodles

Peanut butter toast and peas

 

What are you cooking this week?

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Meal Plan Monday #31

 

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Hello sweet friends!

I’ve been super lazy this summer with meal planning and I’m ready to get back to it. One thing that I’ve been trying to do more of is use what I have which can sometimes make meal planning difficult. I’m not really a fly by the seat of my pants girl so you can imagine what this doing to me. ha!

We have also recently added baby led weaning to our house. I will try to link things that I am trying with my princess pea’s meal time as well as time goes on.

In efforts to improve the way I plan and to update my current style and methods I re-purposed my old menu board which used to look like this.

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(Old Photo from my earlier blogging days. I lined this with burlap )

 

And now looks like this. (I love Chalkboard)

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One of the ways I save my family money is by finding things to make on my own. I stock up on staples like meat, seasonings, flours, sugars, milk and cheese. I can my own food, make my own bread, tortillas, condiments, yogurt, snacks, salad dressings (most of the time). I also freeze summer produce in bulk so that we can enjoy it throughout the winter months. This is exhausting and some may say why would someone ever do this much but in the end it’s worth the hassle, saves us a ton of money and I know what my family is eating. I feed my family with 300 dollars monthly/(150 dollar bi-weekly) including meat, Costco and produce.

When I meal plan, I think about what I have and try to think of meals from that. It helps me to shop for groceries after I do that because I am not buying groceries for a whole new plan or more stuff. I usually only have to restock my staples and buy a few snacks that will help stretch the snacks I make at home. We’ve been loving Annie’s Homegrown snacks and Horizon Organic snacks lately.

I’m not a huge organic fanatic because things can be organic in they way they are grown and not necessarily free of chemicals, preservatives, and things I can’t pronounce. I do however buy organic produce for my daughter sometimes, depending on what it is; things like carrots that are high in nitrates or apples and broccoli. Since summer though I have been doing a bit of meat-less meals and using up summer vegetables to get our fill on Vitamins. We have tried some really good recipes lately that have involved spaghetti squash, eggplant and zucchini! I hope you are encouraged to try some of these recipes!

Here is what was on our meal plan last week :

Breakfast

Peaches and cream french toast

Mini egg muffins and bacon

Coconut banana bread and apple peanut butter smoothies

(we had leftovers for lunches at home and the boys had homemade pizza lunchable on wheat tortilla’s)

Dinner

Meatloaf mashed potatoes and peas (homemade peach pie for dessert)

Honey Mustard Chicken (with a few modifications) Cheesy potatoes and green beans

Homemade cheese, green pepper and onion pizza on wheat crust

Spaghetti squash chicken enchilada (with double homemade sauce, dried cilantro and a little more chicken)

Our snack for the week was rice crispy squares, zucchini stix

 

This week:

Breakfast

Homemade egg Mcmuffin and fruit

Apple baked oatmeal

Egg casserole and fruit

Homemade donuts and yogurt

Dinner

Spaghetti squash shrimp scampi and homemade cheddar biscuits

Fried eggplant with Mexican rice

Chicken enchilada Soup and cornbread

Shrimp fried rice and sesame chicken

Ranch chicken nugget wraps with toppings

Our snack for the week is Jello roll ups and peanut butter chocolate chip muffins (I also offer cheese, yogurt, fruit and veggies)

(Our lunch this week is egg salad, pizza muffins and apple sandwiches along with fruit, cheese, pretzel or muffin for snack)

As I mentioned above, we have started baby led weaning and are in month 2 of doing so. With baby led weaning she feeds herself without our help and receives finger sized pieces. We are pro baby led! My sweet pea enjoys frozen or fresh blueberries for breakfast with a scrambled egg (no seasoning), Apple meal muffins, assorted fruits like bananas and grapes, homemade toast, banana pancakes, blueberry cookies Coconut banana bread and I am experimenting with dairy free yogurt.

For lunch she eats a mini veggie muffin ( I used broccoli, carrot, and corn) and diced cheese or some kind of veggie with fruit pieces or cheerios. For dinner she eats a clean version (meaning with little or no seasoning) of what we are eating.

 

I hope you find something here that you can use on your own meal plan!

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Nursery Reveal

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I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now because I am so excited about it. What intrigues me about this space is that it compliments the style of my husband and I. My husband is creative and crafty, I cannot take credit for the workmanship. We are most like Joanna and Chip Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Very quirky, down to earth and fun. I give the idea to my hubby and he tells me how we can best execute it the way I want it.

One of the things we love to do together is thrift or antique. We are huge fans of old junk rusted stuff and things with character that tell a story. Each piece has a story of how we picked it and what it reminds us of.

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Our bedroom was small and I wasn’t exactly fond of my baby sleeping in another room; neither was my hubby. So we wanted to make this corner fit into our room without taking away from it. Essentially a room inside of our room.

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nurse6

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I am such a creature of habit. Earth tones are my friend! If I tell you how nervous I was to paint our changing table you might laugh. My heart raced at every minute with thoughts like, “what if it doesn’t come out the way I was hoping? What if we can’t fix it? What if I mess up?” Here is what it looked like when we picked it up from a thrift store. It was asking for a home.

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We had so much fun working on this little project!

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Meal Plan Monday #30

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 Welcome back guys! The warmer weather is here and spring is in our future. This time of year I’m pulling myself out of cabin fever and rushing to get outside to be welcomed by soft wind against my skin and peeping bulbs everywhere. I have to admit, I haven’t tried new recipe’s lately and the one’s I’ve indulged in haven’t quite made it to camera. Go ahead. Call me unreliable. Being stuck in the house with dreary weather has been so uninspiring. Rain rain go away. The addition of B12 deficiency anemia doesn’t help my case either. Well, enough with excuses. I’ll try not to be away so long this time. Some time a few weeks ago I tried this recipe. I used boneless pork chops and grilled them. You can hardly taste the cocoa and it adds a nice smokey flavor. I usually don’t try pork recipes very often because they can be overly flavorful, dry, or not flavorful enough. I pretty much stick to a basic lemon garlic baked dish. But oh man did we devour this! They were very juicy (without brine- but I did sit them in the fridge for 30 mins) and moist. I served this with buttered noodles and iceberg/strawberry salad. My hulk smash did complain that they were a bit spicy and I would agree the second day we had them but not too spicy, just a tiny kick. He’s 5 now and he slopped them up anyway. Try them please! I’m getting much better at indoor photography but I’m still working on the lighting situation. Here’s what’s coming up this week on our meal plan. Breakfast: Amish breakfast casserole (my way) Chocolate chip banana muffins and homemade strawberry yogurt Blueberry breakfast biscuits with sausage and honey Cereal (gasp) and leftover muffins Oatmeal and strawberries Dinner: Whole roasted chicken, broccoli casserole, sweet corn spoonbread with homemade muffin mix Zesty Italian Chicken bake Linguine Casserole Angel hair pasta Bbq burgers and dogs, with homemade cole slaw   How do you like your pork chops? howtotrainasuperhero.com

Linking Up With:  Living Proverbs 31, 

Meal Plan Monday #29

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The week is on!

We are down to our last days of packing to move so this weeks meal plan and next weeks will be about survival…isn’t it always? Oh yes, but I’m that mom. The one that needs to say it out loud to process it. Because I’m that mom that does the extra and will continue to do that when there needs to be a break. Being that mom is okay, we just have to recognize when a little is enough. I’m in therapy. I promise.

I’m also trying to defunk my house from two perspective sickies and one sick 2 month old. Sick kids are no fun. Sick babies are no fun..please guys wash your hands and stay away from babies! Seriously. No. Fun. Sickness happens but there are measures that help us help them stay healthy. Rant over. I digress.

I didn’t realize we have so much stuff. A craft room is definitely on my list of must haves for the next place. I’ve dedicated these next few weeks to slow. Since we will be settling in I need to find what slow looks like when it’s picked up and moved to another place. That is why slow is not mostly outward living but inward as well. Our hearts need to be set already at slow. Our work and lifestyles need to be motivated by rest in God. This way we aren’t finding rest but building a life of rest and working from that. Isn’t that amazing!??

Anyways, here’s what’s on our meal plan for the coming weeks:

Breakfast:

Banana Breakfast Bar

Mini Pancake Muffins and sausage

Cereal (gasp)

Applesauce pancakes and fruit

Blueberry muffins and yogurt

German Pancakes and egg casserole

Cinnamon raisin baked french toast

Bagels with fruit preserves and creamed cheese

Crockpot Quiche

Eggs in the hole toast bacon

Dinner:

Lasagna Soup (my own recipe)

1 lb beef ground

6 cups chicken broth

2 tsp garlic

1/4 cup chopped dry onion

1/2 cup each rotini, campanelle and penne

1 quart pasta sauce (my own canned it already has green peppers and seasonings, can use marinara)

1 tsp each oregano and basil

Sautee garlic and onion in 3 tbsp grapeseed oil then add beef and brown. Add broth, pasta, seasonings and pasta sauce and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow pasta to come to al dente. Topp with ricotta mix of 15 oz ricotta, 1 cup of shredded mozarella, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with cornbread. Done!

Creamy chicken and noodles

Fish sticks and sweet potato fries

Hot ham, turkey and swiss sliders with potato soup

Pizza muffins and orange salad

Crockpot Pork ribs

Hamburger gravy with peas and mashed potatoes

Tuna casserole

So here’s a look into our coming weeks. Berar with me guys. It’s only Monday! Oh, we had this cake for dessert after the lasagna soup with peanut butter frosting. Oh. My. Gosh! so good.

How do you meal plan?

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Linking Up With: Titus Tuesdays, Living Proverbs 31, Joy Dare