Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meal Plans June 29 - July 5

Here are the plans for our week... it's a pretty simple/frugal week for us with Matt's birthday dinner thrown in the mix as a splurge!  We were able to afford more produce this week as our dinners are meatless for the most part, stretching our budget a bit.

Friday -
Papa John's pizza, salad, no bake cookies
(we enjoyed visiting with friends who came over for dinner and contributed the salad!)

Saturday -
BLT's, macaroni and cheese, baked beans

Sunday -
muffins, yogurt parfaits, hard boiled eggs

Monday -
egg salad sandwiches, fruit
(ALDI had Hawaiian rolls today, which will make the egg salad sandwiches extra tasty!)

Tuesday -
nachos with black beans and avocado

Wednesday -

spaghetti, carrots, peas
(we may have 4th of July plans, so this dinner could be scratched/saved for later, and any of the "extras" below could be prepared for a 4th of July party with friends)

Thursday -
pecan salmon, basil avocado pasta salad, strawberry birthday cake
(Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband - these are some of his favorite things!)

"extras" on hand...
brownie mix
lemon bar mix
country blueberry dessert
Northern bean and rice salad

I'll hope to share some of these recipes this week, especially for our favorite muffins, pecan salmon, basil avocado pasta salad, and country blueberry dessert - look for another post soon!

Monday, June 25, 2012

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love...

and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. ~ Psalm 25:10

636. an especially helpful and gentle ER staff last Wednesday
637. the doctor who ordered a CAT scan
638. my mom, helping me drink the dye by holding my nose and the cup
639. a nurse who came to help when I pulled the cord
640. kind friends who loved Moriah and played when I was too weak for fun
641. God's orchestration of all things, the CAT scan read just in time to inform the doctor at my next appointment
642. a timely colonoscopy, first thing in the morning
643. a cancellation making a spot for me
644. regaining strength each day
645. God's grace and healing, I don't deserve it, and He would be good even if I were still sick
646. food again
647. the smell of our favorite muffins
648. sending a small gift of thanks
649. a Father's Day celebrated one week later
650. new shoes and a new belt for my dear husband and Moriah's daddy, who deserves far more
651. the cereal mom shares when she visits, we really don't splurge on cereal
652. a t-shirt quilt in the works years after the college t-shirts were first worn
653. a big kiss from Moriah after her nap, God's way to welcome me back to my days as a mom after sharing the mom-duties for so many days
654. summer reading at the library, and a fun hat for Moriah 
655. time to read
656. our church who cares
657. an elderly friend who recovered from bronchitis
658. old men who tease a little curly red head in church
659. a 4th of July invitation extended
670. thoughtful Believers who walk with us in this path
671. old friends visiting
672. a robin still sitting, babies arriving soon
673. naps every day for this recovery
674. a resolve to healthier eating
675. energy for the park, at least for a little while
676. sitting close to enjoy a soccer game with Matt
677. the thrill of penalty kicks
678. holding Moriah and singing to her before bed
679. cooking for our family again
680. the Lord who "instructs sinners in the way" Psalm 25:8

enjoying a sunny day with her baby

Saturday, June 23, 2012

meal planning June 22-28

I'm eating real food again, and couldn't be happier about it :)  I really started imagining and dreaming of food in my last days of being really sick, so now that I can eat I'm very thankful.  I'm still needing to eat a "bland" diet the doctor has told me, and I'm also only eating about half as much per meal as I usually would, but progress is encouraging!  I also just realized that I posted no plans for last week... I was SO sick that I literally couldn't eat, and lost 10 pounds (the most weight I've ever lost other than baby weight) in 7 days which was not good.  My mom came to stay and cooked from what we had for herself, Matt, and Moriah - I really can't remember what they ate, but I'm thankful for our normal life again.  This week we're enjoying...

Friday June 22 -
avocado, bacon, turkey, and cream cheese sandwiches with macaroni and cheese
(panini style on our George Foreman and inspired by a Planet Sub sandwich we both loved)

Saturday -
TGI Fridays cheesy potato broccoli bake with fruit
(a freezer meal my mom brought us during her visit, glad to have it on hand for an easy supper)

Sunday -
Hawaiian chicken with rice and sweet potato fries
(I've started using chicken tenderloins as they're less expensive and cook more quickly)

Monday -
chicken and spinach pasta with roasted carrots
(the last of the freezer meals mom made to help me make a fast dinner on my first full day with Moriah as I regain energy)

Tuesday -
(so helpful after my first day back to work, Lord willing)

Wednesday -
waffles with eggs and bacon

Thursday -
Southwest chicken chopped salad
(a Pinterest inspiration, hoping the lettuce and corn won't be upsetting to my stomach)

I was also happy to find lots of yummy summer produce on sale at ALDI this week, so we'll enjoy fresh peaches, blueberries, and avocados as well - yum!

Monday, June 18, 2012

in sickness or in health, still thankful

I've been pretty sick for the last 4 days which is why this post and list of "thankfuls" will probably be a bit different.  It's amazing to me how much more I realized I ought to be thankful for when I'm not feeling quite up to par and can't do the normal things I do most of the time.  Perhaps God gives us these good and humbling reminders to encourage us along the way and rely on Him alone.

612. a Psalm of the day reading (Dr. Don Whitney's suggestion, read more here) that is timely and true
"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge" - Psalm 16:1
613. a servant hearted mom who drove to help, 9 hours alone one-way is no short drive as I experienced recently myself
614. a husband who has been extra helpful
615. a redeeming redbox movie
616. extra Grandma time for Moriah who LOVES every minute of it
617. doctors who really do care
618. good nurses who draw blood without a pinch
619. understanding employers who are so kind in caring for our family too
620. willing friends to help
621. walking around with normal strength and the blessing that simple ability really is
622. the amazing thought and truth that God does not EVER get sick, there is no weakness in Him
623. kind family that lets me offer suggestions from a good spot on the couch, so "normal" life stays sort of normal in little routines Moriah likes
624. a mom who will cook for my husband and sweet girl
625. a daddy daughter outing to the sprayground, wearing Moriah out after a full day of doctors visits for me
626. a toddler who likes to observe life out and about, helpful when the outings are in less fun places though she's just as curious and hasn't seem to mind a bit
627. water to nourish me, and that I can even have ice with no difficulty
628. health insurance that helps some, probably really more than I know
629. friends who pray
630. resting time at home rather than in a hospital bed
631. books read with ample down time - I finished two lingering books and have started more!  see my "recently reading" list if you'd like ideas
632. that hard times help me learn how to serve others more, now I empathize in a way I otherwise probably wouldn't have
633. JELLO, also a bit refreshing at just the right times
634. help with laundry when it's urgent
635. blog suggestions that come to mind at just the right time... Moriah enjoyed a shoe match and window crayons during our time at home

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

where are the meal plans?

If you've been wondering I haven't posted meal plans this week because I haven't really had any :)  I worked last week Monday through Thursday and left bright and early Friday morning for our wedding whirlwind trip.  I was able to keep things well stocked for Matt which is easy and he loves to be a "scavenger" as he calls it.  All he requires is oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas, haha.  I added a few freezer meals and some deli meat to round it out and he did in fact survive well while we were away.  So since we've been back this is how the Lord has provided for our meals, with a few things we had and His goodness...

Sunday -
calzones from our local Lotsa Pasta were waiting for us in the freezer

Monday -
small group, "breakfast for dinner" theme, and I brought a 3 cheese souffle, it was one of our best pot-lucks ever with all sorts of yummy dishes

Tuesday -
pumpkin pancakes with eggs

Wednesday -
a $5 Subway gift certificate (given to us by my employer) will cover a foot long sub for Matt and I to split, we'll add sweet potatoes to round us out and Moriah will enjoy some deli meat, cottage cheese, sweet potato, and fruit

Thursday -
a friend is in town and will be over to visit so I saved our best meal for tonight!  cilantro lime chicken with Northern bean and rice salad - two recent favorites with new recipes, both perfect for summer

I'll head to the grocery store Friday as it's my day off and make real meal plans for the upcoming week.  I did brave Wal-Mart yesterday with three little ones and one regular cart, so it was a quick trip for only the simple items I'd absolutely need before Friday (beans, rice, tomato, bananas, fresh fruit, and a few household essentials like trashbags!) I'm thankful to have a few more days to get organized and inspired :)

I did "cook" with Mr. S. today so that he could enjoy a treat after his afternoon rest time... it's too good not to share with you all!  If you have little ones, or would just like a treat for yourself I'd highly suggest trying real strawberry milk...
Just make a simple syrup with
1 c strawberries, sliced
1/2 c sugar
1 c water
Boil all ingredients for 10 minutes
Strain syrup and store seperately from berries (the berries can top ice cream, etc.)
Stir about 2 TBSP strawberry syrup (more or less depending on preference and how long you want to stretch the syrup) into 1 cup whole milk
Enjoy!  Serve in a frosted glass from the freezer for a really special treat, at least your three year old will think so, haha :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

every good gift

581. a 20ish hour round trip with safe travels all the way
582. a clever shadow puppet show, fun for little ones
583. medicine to relieve migrains
584. planning birthday party fun
585. freshly baled hay lining the highway as we traveled through farm after farm
586. flat land as far as I could see, a sudden difference from our hilly Kentucky which has become the norm to me
587. a borrowed DVD player for Moriah's entertainment on the ride, 2ish hours of Scholastic storybook movies were SO helpful at just the right times
588. catching up with friends along the drive
589. a mid-day treat, ice cream while children nap (or rest quietly)
590. thirty minutes of grace time before work began today
591. Matt coming out to say welcome home as Moriah and I pulled in, she woke blearly eyed and smiled to say "Daddy" with pacifier and all :)
592. hospitable friends who welcomed us for a lovely weekend
593. the reminders and encouragement of a wedding ceremony and sermon
594. the way some things stay the same
595. the way the Lord changes us along the way
596. our small group meeting again

597. a tiny flower girl who made it down the aisle (then fell quickly to sleep in the church nursery!)
598. the joy of a wedding celebration
599. serving punch to happy guests
600. a week full of "normal" life - I like routines
601. the fun of a playdate for both moms and kids
602. the love of grandparents
603. a breakfast date with dad
604. the kind gift of a Starbucks favorite drink - in the biggest size
605. extra hands when I'm alone with a little one
606. stuffed animals shared
607. the excitement of new learning... comparisons are a thrill for Moriah these days as she finds two of the same thing and declares "big! little!
608. fellowship among Christians in the body
609. home
610. listening to Moriah shout "naked jaybird!" before bath time :)
611. seeing a devoted teacher 9 years post-high school and catching up

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

And we're off...

On our first mommy/daughter road trip :)  It seems quite fitting that our destination is the wedding of two friends, who've asked Moriah to be their flower girl!  I hope the flower girl part goes smoothly.  We've practiced up and down our hall, and she knows that a "special treat" will be waiting afterwards.  She also has "pink piggy toes" for the occasion - such a little girl!

having a tea party

While the wedding day events are a bit out of my control, I have tried to be extra prepared for our 9+ hour drive there.  I've been packing bit by bit all week in hopes of remembering everything.  I also have a few lists going!  Here are my car entertainments for her.  Let me know if you've found something especially helpful that's not on my list.  I've been reading most every "traveling with kids" post I've noticed on Pinterest in preparation and pulled out the things we had on hand.
~ baby doll and bottle
~ my old Fisher Price radio (she hasn't quite mastered winding it!)
~ see 'n say (farm animal sounds which might make me crazy, but her happy)
~ twistables crayons with clipboard of paper
~ coloring book
~ stickers
~ board books
~ Little People with a tiny airplane to ride in
~ toy phone
~ discovery bottle (from busy bag swap)
~ I Spy bottle (also from busy bag swap)
~ magnets and cookie sheet (pom pom magnets from busy bag swap as well)
~ tiny purse (Vera Bradley from my mom) with $1 spot Target jewelry
~ small slinky
~ finger puppets
~ wooden rhythm sticks
~ books on tape
~ small ribbon blanket and two old decorative handkerchiefs (she does all sorts of funny things with them, one covering each leg, etc.)
~ small snacks in little bowls already/sippy cup of water
~ potty chair (it's little and she's in the midst of potty training so we'll need it for stop between real stops I have a feeling)
~ mittens, sunglasses, hat (she LOVES to dress up in them all)
~ glow stick bracelets

in her new swim suit for the summer, smiling at daddy

I also have music for myself in between kids music and books on tape, snacks for me, a few phone dates planned, and a trash bag for us.  I'm going to pick up disposable bibs tomorrow because they're SO helpful for fast food stops and quick clean up then throw 'em away!  I have our roll up place mat which is also great, but not disposable so I try to rinse/wipe it off in the restroom before we hit the road.  I have a small package of Clorox wipes for the potty seat but was thrilled to read a great tip... leave an outgrown/extra diaper in the bottom of the potty to "catch" anything, then throw it away rather than trying to dump a mess or drive with it... SO EXCELLENT!  I also had a well traveled friend tell me that she saves the best/newest toy for the last hour before you reach your destination as that's bound to be a restless time.  Such a helpful tip!

serious faces while playing Doctor these days

We'll be driving a FULL Escort to save on gas money, but the good news is that Moriah will be easily within reach as I hand her new toys and snacks :)  I'm sure we'll both be thrilled to arrive back home Sunday night, happy to see Matt who is staying to preach at church Sunday.

Any last minute suggestions you'd offer?

Monday, June 4, 2012

thankful for all my days

581. generous church members who give so much, today 2 large Chinese cabbages, added to our fried rice and shared with neighbors who have more familiarity with it
582. God's provision through all things, even garage sales and extra work
583. my husband who faithfully preaches ALL of God's Word, even a difficult imprecatory Psalm, may God be glorified through His Word
584. fresh local honey, from another church member and beekeeper
585. trips to the zoo with little ones
586. evening walks as a family
587. smoothies for dessert, gulped down by Moriah
588. a little flower girl dress that fits perfectly
589. meals for the week prepared in advance
590. a serving husband who washed the dishes
591. friends for years, watching the Lord at work in many seasons of life
592. the enthusiasm of teachers looking for classroom treasures
593. an office cleared of clutter
594. the comfort of a new-to-us office chair
595. finding perfect small surprises for those I love most
596. shopping for gifts
597. time ahead with family and friends
598. windows open and fresh air
599. cell phones connecting lives far apart
600. a longer than normal chat with a good, but faraway, friend
601. reading a book that's gripping from the start...

I'm off to do just that, I've also updated my Recently Reading list and had a hard time decided how "recently" to start the list, I started with the last month though I have a head full of good book suggestions from previous months, hopefully I'll blog about them soon in case you're a summer reader like me!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

meal plans June 2-8

I have more meal plans to share... I hope some of you have been able to try something new or modify one of these suggestions to fit your own likes!  I have a full week ahead of me as I'll be adding a 4th child to my days a nanny while also trying to pack and prepare to travel alone with Moriah this weekend for a wedding.  I decided to make most of our suppers in advance today, freezing parts or refrigerating them for smooth dinners with less prep time and less mess in the kitchen during the evening.  I've never tried it before with so much food, but I found it helpful for a busy week.  Do you ever cook in advance?

 Here's the plan for this week:

Saturday June 2 -
out to Jason's Deli!  this is a big treat, but we had a successful garage sale this morning and chose to use some of our earnings to eat out

Sunday -
Martha Stewart's bean burritos (this recipe makes A LOT of burrito filling, the filling freezes well also) with copy-cat Chipotle cilantro lime rice
pineapple mango smoothies for dessert*
*I've modified it a bit by adding 1 banana, and using plain yogurt or the Chobani pineapple Greek yogurt, ALDI sells frozen mango which I recently bought with these smoothies in mind

Monday -
chicken fried rice* with egg rolls (I had a coupon for a frozen variety at the grocery store)
*I added a bit of Chinese cabbage from one of our generous church members who bought it from a local farmer

Tuesday -

Wednesday -
quiche and muffins (the same one that's been on our meal plan for the last three weeks, since it's been frozen I've been able to shift it around until we really needed it!)

Thursday -
spaghetti (nothing fancy, but our local Lotsa Pasta marinara sauce makes it amazing! I add ground turkey, mushrooms, and basil from our container garden) with asparagus

Friday, Saturday, Sunday -
I'll be out of town with Moriah, so we're leaving Matt with goodies... deli meat, oatmeal, eggs, frozen homemade waffles, sweet potatoes, and leftovers... though he wouldn't ask me to make anything I'm glad to help as he'd be thrilled to live on not much more than oatmeal for the weekend!  (the thought of only oatmeal with scrambled eggs in addition isn't thrilling to me at all)

Moriah loves to cook and be a chef!
Grandma Theresa sent this outfit as a Valentine's gift which Moriah still enjoys

I often feel like I hit a rut with Moriah's lunch food... as a nanny I eat from the family's fridge and really enjoy it :) I bring Moriah's lunches, not wanting to take advantage of their generosity, but have found myself in need of new ideas.  This week we're trying...
leftover bean burrito mixture (rice and cheese included) with blackberries and pineapple on the side, I may also supplement with some tortilla chips if they help encourage her to scoop the beans :)