Apples to Apples {Slow} Day

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Slow days have been much more meaningful in our busyness lately. When I sit down to write my mind is so cluttered that to organize a post is painful at times. We’ve enjoyed several slow days lately. So much so that I didn’t even bother to take a picture. I hope you enjoy some of these photos of what we’ve been up to lately!

I wanted so much to enjoy a themed night lately. Just to be able to be with my boys more and enjoy them. So last-minute I pulled some things out and they were super excited. We enjoyed church Sunday morning together and then worked on building some monster trucks.


I made this apple cider and we loved it so!


Our dinner was no fuss tuna casserole with bacon and cheese salad.


Apples to Apples


After dinner we went out to bob for apples..


How have you been slow lately?

Meal Plan Monday #32

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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.


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:


Overnight bread and egg bake

Basic oatmeal with fresh fruit

Vanilla donuts with chocolate peanut butter smoothies

cinnamon raisin french toast and sausage


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?




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.

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


And now looks like this. (I love Chalkboard)


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 :


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)


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:


Homemade egg Mcmuffin and fruit

Apple baked oatmeal

Egg casserole and fruit

Homemade donuts and yogurt


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!




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































My Goals for the school year


Looking ahead, setting goals seems more like a chore than a plan. There has been so much that has hit my life this year and asking God to show me what Joy looks like through it has come alive in more ways than not. The need to breathe is certainly an understatement. Finally though I feel like I have the brain cells to sit down to write a post. No one told me a third child would shake the game and leave my idea of “superwoman” to crumble at the cracks. ha.

We have a third grader this year and a kindergartener. For my third grader I can already see that this will be a year that will thoroughly influence his outlook on life. He’s starting to pay more attention to what functional and dysfunctional looks like.

With that in mind I want to provide a better healthy platform for all of my children. For me this year, that means cleaning up some of the raw edges in our family life and organizing better. So here are a few things that I’d like to challenge myself to do better or give up better.

Organize- I think we can all use some extra help in this area raising children so I won’t even hark on my messy life. Chores, papers, meals, appointments…life. It all needs a big cup of organization.

Family talent shows- I forever want to be building my children up. If they never want to shine anywhere else, they should at home. My husband and I think that this is a great way to spend family time and draw out our gifts and talents leaving conversation for how we can use them.

Prepare ahead of time- Though I am a natural planner, I don’t do a great job at preparing ahead. In my head things will go over easy until I’m down to the wire and stressing out my entire family because I’m frantic.

Learn to say no- I’m a party girl! I love entertaining and extra curricular activities but sometimes I can get carried away and overload our schedule. My children don’t need to do everything and neither do I.

Volunteer twice a month at school- This may seem like nothing but at one point I volunteered once a week. Thinking ahead to future children, I think it is wise to cut back on being overly involved. The whole school knows who I am.

Live Simple- In America we are always needing more. More stuff, more time, more friends. I don’t want any more stuff. I want to better be content with what I have and not have a an attitude of entitlement. I want this for my children, to be good stewards over what we have first and know the importance and blessing of family, friends and community.


There is certainly nothing special about my goals. They are very real! I need so much help in these area.


Do you have any goals for the school year?



How the Cross Changes Motherhood

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I write about being a mom here with the intentions of a fellow or expecting mother gaining from it.

I struggle with the in and outs of motherhood though. The need for my progress to be compared to the next and my lack thereof.

Motherhood is a redeeming road.

One that shows grace to us before we ever ask….through eyes that trust us no matter how many times we’ve lost it.

There is something amazing about those stubb little toes and flimsy ponytails creeping down to the basement door because the bad guys are lurking and they’ve named themselves ninja’s. Yet I can’t deny that there are bad days and down days that sometimes drain the life and emotion from me.

The one’s where depression sinks in because the duties kill the Joy. Constantly picking up after my children, telling them to be responsible, quoting family rules and the importance of togetherness. Dealing with strong wills day in and day out…it all becomes blurry and then I miss the beauty in my life.

This beauty…..

That the cross changes how I live my life everyday. And is ever sustaining and freeing me from the too high bar that I set for myself. And then God challenges me to see the brush that he’s painting with. The art in the life of this journey.

How do I serve well without letting the stresses of mother hood bring me down? How do I pull myself from that bottomless pit of mom blues and see this art-the cross and its ever-changing me power-to see the picture of-grace laced parenting.

The great part of this is that we have so many components to look at when we think of what Jesus dying on the cross symbolizes. It is not just a safety net to catch us when we fail but allows us freedom to embrace our weakness and Christ’s love for us and our children. To see through eyes of unfailing love and redemption. We can leave our failures and our hang ups at the cross and walk in the truth of it. That we are not perfect but Jesus is and is continuing his work in us so long as we allow him to. He gave us strength to combat the voices in our heads that say we are failures and our children are a burden. Strength to endure through the long hours and 24hrs on call. Joy to serve well. The cross brings us no condemnation and encourages us to forgive ourselves and stop comparing ourselves. Jesus and his cross brings us a new meaning to “waking up this morning”. He called us each to our own journey. No two look the same though similar. Our walks are all unique in his eyes for his glory.

Motherhood can quickly look like imprisonment if we don’t seek out the truth of it.

We must be committed to God and his word, repenting and reapplying daily. So that the cross-that Jesus carried and died on-symbolizes our newness and glorifying him purpose. Jesus foresaw our purpose that day-that we are not perfect for roles that he called us to and weak in them but because he is strong we can be too and choose persevere through the tough days with gladness. The cross foresaw that we are fearfully and wonderfully made to reflect Christ’s love for the church through our mothering and most importantly sinners in need of a saving Savior.

My husband heard something profound recently “that we have the same holy spirit that Jesus and Paul had….He has experience! He knows what he is doing!”

And we need to trust that. That God created the process and will has given us help to press through it. We are not alone. We have a helper.

But the helper, the holy spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

John 14:26 (nasb)

Jesus gave us purpose by modeling a perfect life on earth and perfect love on the cross. Through his death he gave hope that we can model that same love and life to our families. No matter how many times we mess up. We are raised to life in him.

He gave us freedom check and balance our lives by his word.

Your righteousness is and your law is true.

Psalm 119:142

Jesus gave us accountability through his death. The word of God, which he fulfilled that day, exposes our hearts in love and provides direction.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Hebrews 4:12

The cross gives hope- that Christ is perfecting us through this journey. That he is fulfilling his purpose and love through us and to us by making us holy- sanctifying our souls through the messes of daily life.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:1-5

The cross gives us joy in the fact that God is not finished with us yet. It is a reminder of the grand scheme of things.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.              2 Cor 4:7-10

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.             2 Cor 4:16-18

As mother’s we need to make a daily decision to allow the cross to impact us deeply. In essence the cross should influence how we think and act everyday because our lives were ransomed for purpose and change. We need to practice and pursue, repent and live again and let the Lord guide our lives through his word.

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119: 105

In truth the cross changed us by washing us clean and giving us grace to try again.

How will you choose to let the cross change you?

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.

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.


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.

We had so much fun working on this little project!



What I’m Reading Wednesday

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(I received this book via bloggingforbooks in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own)

My biggest goal for my sweet little girl since before she was born has always been to give her a more natural and healthy lifestyle. Up until now I’ve been super excited about feeding her solids and trying new menu choices that I didn’t do with my boys because let’s face it, I did what my mom told me to do-which is not a bad thing- now I have my own style to bring forth.

Feeding my baby has been a joy to watch. Seeing her pucker lips and twitch her nose to new textures and tastes assures me that she is growing up. She’s 5 1/2 months old now and so far we have tried ground oatmeal, avocado, bananas, sweet peas, sweet potato and apple sauce.

My hubby and I’s number one goal throughout this process has been to feed fresh. All of the foods that we’ve introduced to our baby girl have been fresh and locally grown/produced and prepared by me. We didn’t want any additives or things we couldn’t pronounce. Along with this we give a tri vitamin that includes iron.

When I got make ahead baby food by I was excited to review it. This book is a simple and easy guide that comes with practical tips on preparing foods fresh for your baby and freezing them for later serving. It includes guides on how to prepare as well as menu plans and tips on how and  when to introduce new foods. It also has a section on foods that compliment each other well.

This book was really helpful in my make ahead process in fact I’d go as far as saying it will make it to my recipe book section for reference. I most like how it breaks down why you need to go through certain steps and with the help of this book I’ve frozen things like avocado, mango, sweet pea blends etc in ice cube trays and my OXO baby food containers. All of these foods have frozen well.

I’m curious to know what others are feeding their baby’s and how. Would you let me know?