Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's Task: Planning a New 8 Week Menu Plan

It has been about 5 years since I've pulled off an 8 week menu plan and shopping trip.   Theoretically writing down 7 meals for 8 weeks wouldn't take up that much of my time, but when you factor in special occasions, holidays, community group, our budget, sales, coupons, adding 1 or 2 new recipes, finding out which ingredients are needed for everything, figuring out what's currently in our pantry vs. how much I need to buy.... plus taking into account the 150 interruptions and breaks as a result of my daily household chores, my two wonderful children, and our 3 pets, it results in nearly a 3 day process that is onlly about 80% complete.

Thankfully, next time I go to create the list I can for the most part just copy and paste and make a few tweaks here and there to account for the current sales and coupons and whatever else, and I won't need to start entirely from scratch.

Life just got to be so busy and tiring once Avery was born and before that I couldn't really do any big shopping trips while pregnant so I haven't done a lot of money & time saving things in the past two years.  I'd try to have a monthly plan to go by for food but always forgot to buy something so we'd run out of food earlier than I'd planned for and more often than not we end up eating either super cheap food or fast food for dinner. I don't even want to know how much money I have probably wasted... :-/

For some reason I'm motivated to get this stuff done now!  I think it may have had something to do with reading Stepping Heavenward a couple weeks ago.  My perspective changed on many different things and I think it gave me that push that I needed to get my act together again.  Look, I'm even updating my blog for the second time in a week! :)

I should get back to work on the meal plans. I'm enjoying a brief moment of quiet now that both kids are finally in bed. The kittens (who are about 2 1/2 lbs each and not yet de-clawed) are currently running around the room like mad (I've been watching/reading way too much Sherlock), scratching everything in their path... I can't even count the times they've clawed me since we adopted them about a month ago.  Most of the time it is an accident but nevertheless, it is painful.  So as I write this I am silently praying for protection from these little monsters.

Okay, "play" time is over.  Back to work I go!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 2014 - Family Updates

We are 3/4 of the way through the month of July already. This summer has been a good one so far.  Only about 2 weeks left though until I need to really start planning and preparing for the next school year!

Here is a list of updates on our family this Summer.

Family Travel: We spent a month in California from mid-May to mid-June.  During this time we celebrated my sister's marriage to Caleb Romo, Joseph Holiday's graduation from high school, and several birthdays!  We spent a day at Sea World, a day at the Safari Park in Escondido, spent a few days at Pacific Beach, and we visited Old Town San Diego, something I haven't done since I was a little kid! Overall it was a nice trip.  I'm ready for a break from CA though... I'm not sure when the next trip out there will be.

Update on Avery: Avery has just recently begun to talk! She says several words now and yesterday she said "I love you" for the first time! Some of her most frequent words are, "Outside" ("Asiiide"), "Mommy", "Daddy!!", "Book", "Eat", "Kitty" (Kiiieeee), "Cup" (Buck), "Hug" (Ug), "Slide" (Siiii) and she says a lot of things that sound like short sentences but it really is difficult to tell if she's actually saying a sentence.  She loves to give hugs, she says, "awwww" whenever she gives someone (or a toy, or a kitty) a hug.  

Update on Zoe:   Zoe has been enjoying the summer by playing with the neighbor kids as much as possible. Her friends' names are Karly, Hayley, Kailah, Jacob, Mataya, and Noel.   She also spent last week attending VBS at Oak Hills Baptist Church with her friends Kjersten and Max.  Whenever she goes over to Grandma and Grandpa's she always runs a few houses down to visit with her friend Max.  The two of them are such good friends. I hope they remain friends!

Update on Gage:  He just sold his drum set that he's had since he was a kid! He intends to purchase an electronic drum set instead.  It'll probably be a few months before he makes that purchase though.  Aside from that he's been busy working at RAS and doing a side job for his Dad that is requiring a lot of extra time.  Occasionally in the evenings we watch a show called Once Upon a Time.  We're also watching Revenge, Parks & Recreation, Community, Burn Notice, and Cheers...although our TV watching times are pretty sporadic.  One night we'll watch several episodes of a show then not watch any for two weeks.

Update on Me: A few weeks ago I decided it was about time for me to start reading again.  I ended up reading a book that my friend Katharine had given me several years ago.  She said I would like it then and it ended up sitting on my bookshelf all this time.  How I wish I had read it when she gave it to me!! My entire perspective on life has been altered as a result of reading this book. It helped me gain an eternal perspective on just about everything. The book is titled, "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss.   Now I'm reading "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper, and a small book titled "Grieving: Your Path Back to Peace" by James White.  I also just started reading a collection book of Sherlock Holmes stories.

I'm sure there are a zillion other things I could cover but that's just the basic idea of what our life is like right now.  I thank God for allowing such a wonderful life for us right now.  I have so much to learn and so much to teach my kids! God is so merciful for allowing me to be a wife and mother full time.  I am so grateful for His faithfulness and His love.  Without Christ, I am nothing.  All that I have and all that I am is because of Christ!

Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...