Monday, August 31, 2009

Menu Plan --- August 30- September 5

This weekend was a weekend spent getting things accomplished and spending time with family. We did not get as much done as I had hope but that is the way things go sometimes!

This week is full of last minute "get me done" things before school starts next week. The main big things needed done are finishing the house, getting ready for the garage sale (Thursday), having the garage sale and then last but not least... The phone call every frugal (cheap!) woman waits for... The apples are in, the apples are in!! That means I will be spending a ton of time putting up apples! Everything things is done from the garden except for pumpkins, apples, carrots, and fall beets! Wooo hooo! I'm almost there!

So here is a menu plan for the upcoming week.

Leftover breakfast cake, eggs, grapes
Hotdogs, homemade relish, chips
Shrimp, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, green beans

Baked pumpkin oatmeal
Jelly sandwiches, pretzels, grapes
DP Goulash

Baked pumpkin oatmeal
mac and cheese, apple slices
Pizza, carrot sticks

Cinnamon toast
Leftover pizza
Church Family Meal

Baked oatmeal
Lunch meat sandwiches, pretzels, grapes
Bourbon Chicken, rice, and applesauce

Whole wheat waffles, sausage, grapes
chicken salad sandwiches, fruit plate
Taco Potatoes, Spanish rice, grapes

Pancakes with fruit topping
Pasta and sauce, garlic toast
Hamburgers, pickles, homemade oven fries, fruit

While y'all are thinking about it, would you mind sending up a prayer for my garage sale? I'm not a huge money wanter (is that a word? :) ), but it would be nice to make enough to take my husband to a movie and dinner! Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Quick Little Update...

I am quickly typing this post for three reasons:
  1. To tell y'all that I'm not going to be on here ALL weekend.
  2. To make a to-do list that I can follow and that my dear, sweet husband can see when he read this... :)
  3. To let my friends and family, who check this blog to see what I'm up to, know that I am one busy girl this weekend!!
So here is my to-do list (I'm getting anxious just typing it):
  1. hang our pictures up in the back room since we rearranged it.
  2. can my last bushel of green beans.
  3. make and can salsa and tomato soup.
  4. catch our laundry up.
  5. get our home picked back up.
  6. finally get our bedroom finished.. I've been cleaning out! Our bedroom is the last "in house" room.
  7. clean our our garage.
  8. my nephew's birthday party.
  9. and last but not least.... spend time with my precious little blessings... :)

Frugal Friday and some Serious Yet Random Thoughts

In the economy that is most certainly hitting everyone, as a parent I am always looking for cheap (translated free! :) ) places to take the kids. The library is a great resource but so often (having boys full of energy!) we want to go some place where we can talk and run around.

We so happen to live walking distance from a widely-known (supposedly, I never thought it was that great until now!) metro park. It's called Carriage Hill. About 3 weeks ago, my aunt and I took our boys there looking for something to get their energy out. They had so much to offer. Outside, there were animals and it was set-up like a Settler's or Early Days colony. They were churning butter and sewing. So much for the kids to learn. Inside there was all kinds of rooms for play and learning. It was a really neat experience! So this Frugal Friday, I am encouraging everyone to look into their metro parks, there could be a great (free!) experience waiting for you!

For more money saving tips, check out Life As Mom.

Now for some serious yet random thoughts:
  • I have began reading Revelation in my quiet/Bible time. I am truly on the move to tell people about Christ! Can you imagine the people you love most not with you for eternity?!?
  • That is (above) is one of my greatest fears!
  • I am also reading the book Home the Most Important Place on Earth (book review in a couple of weeks) by Robert Wolgemuth (I think I spelled that correctly!). It is a powerful book about how our Christian homes should be. Today I read about how we need to quit using "You are.." and then something negative in our homes. It talks about how words are bullets and they are lethal! So today my focus is to stop saying " You are so loud!" or "You are a mess!", etc....
  • Life as a mom is always exciting. As I am writing this, Lincoln is "butt bumpin" down each of the stairs with a poopy diaper and laughing as the poop flings out the side. Oh the thrills of parenting! These are the kind of parties you miss out on, Honey! Better go and clean that... Be right back!
  • Okay here I am... And my final random thought is.... Drum roll, please! I read Dr. Dobson's book Bringing Up Boys! and in it Dr. Dobson talks about how every boy is going to "play with guns" it's just part of being a boy. If you don't give them a gun, they will use their fingers or find something to pretend. Now, I will admit, we are a country kind of family and guns are part of hunting. There are NONE in our home! I have bought the boys guns, but here is my dilemna. When does it go overboard? When is it okay to shot someone? Where? Is it necessary to be shouting "I shot you dead!" every time they run down the stairs? If y'all can help me out on this one I would greatly appreciated the advice and tips...
So there is my frugal, random thought, crazy day! Hope y'all have a good one!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In and Out of the Home Schooling

So this is a very scary year for me. This is the first year of homeschooling. After talking to tons of people my conclustion is to not try and do everything perfect, Dylan and I will get burned out.

I never would have thought that trying something (which I think will be good for our family) would have brought so much criticism and opposition.

Therefore, today I wanted to spend a little time posting what my plans, curriculum, and prayer for the year.

This year's verse that we will be focusing on comes from Psalm 139:14 and it proclaims:

I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I not only want Dylan to feel that way about himself but all that God has made. I want him to view everything he encounters with love.

We will also be using:
I am also going to be doing an activity book called The Absolute Best Play Days. This is a wonderful book that has activities on all different topics and all different ages. We are going to be doing an activity a week on Monday.

We are also going to begin a home-schooling Judo group. We tried out Judo this week and it just didn't seem like something we wanted to commit to all the time, therefore we decided to just try the home-school group so Dylan can meet new friends. We will be doing that once a week.

We will also be doing the normal midweek church activities and play dates. I am getting extremely excited about moving into this new season of our life!
all things
Now to what I have been doing... I have not started actual "sit down" schooling yet. In concordance with our focus verse for the year, we have been outdoors talking about nature and our relationship with God. It has been a great experience. We will be starting our first day of "sit down" school the first Monday of September.

What about you? What are your plans for schooling this year? Are you excited?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Easier Method to Cooking Down Tomatoes...

I have been a canning and freezing fool! I have gotten a ton done this summer and I have been blessed as you read yesterday. There are a few things that are not my favorite to do when it comes to harvesting and preserving food, here they are in order of my dislike:
3. Getting silks off of corn so that you can cut it off the cob. They just keep appearing!
2. Dicing and seeding tomatoes for sauces and salsa.

And the number one thing I dislike is:

1. cooking down tomatoes for sauces and salsa. It's hot, it's time consuming, and I really, really dislike sitting there stirring.

But alas, I found a way to get around my number one dislike! Here are the steps in preparing them for whatever you are going to make with the tomatoes.
  1. Clean the tomatoes thoroughly and let dry.
  2. Drop tomatoes in a rapidly boiling pot for 30 seconds and then take them out and put them in a boil of ice water (called blanching.)
  3. Skin them (when blanching the skins should just fall right off.), core them and cut out all bad spots.
  4. Seed them! That yucky number two dislike!
  5. And finally put them on a slow cooker over night on low. Then the next morning take the lid off the slow cooker for about 45 minutes and your tomatoes are beautifully cooked down. No standing in front of a hot stove and stirring... Just sleep! walah!
This is a quick shortcut that works for me. For more Works for Me Wednesday head on over to We Are That Family.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GratiTuesday -- A Plentiful Harvest

I cannot get this picture thing to work today but I hope you get the idea! Today I am so thankful for the plentiful harvest the Lord has given us. As we were out in the garden and the heat, it was a bit overwhelming. Though, after a lot of work and prayer and the Lord's hand, we have put up enough food to last us through the whole year- plus!

The other major blessing coming from our garden is the means to give others in need food. Locally, the economy has plummeted. Many of our friends are out of work and struggling. Andy and I are so blessed by the good job he has been given. It was really hard watching our friends struggle and feeling like we could do nothing to help, but through our abundant garden we have been able to bless them as well!

While tending to the garden, I was reminded that the Lord knows our needs. He sees that his children are struggling and he cried with us but rejoices when we are faithful. The Lord knew that we needed this garden and he provided. So while I am thankful for the garden and the blessings of nourishment it has provided, I am also most thankful for a Lord that knows our needs and provides and loves us.

Now I am going to put up my last bushel of green beans for the year... I am at 154 quarts so far do you think I can get to 200? :) Blessings today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lesson Learned from Teaching my Kids

Today it hit me that often I am trying to teach my children lessons that I struggle with and if I just learned to listen to what I try to teach my children, I might just be better off. Have you ever had that feeling?

Today we were discussing being thankful for what we have been given. That included four bullet points:
  1. Give thanks to God. We have MANY MANY things that other people do not and we should be thankful that God has blessed us abundantly.
  2. Be content with what we have.
  3. Take care of what we have.
  4. Don't waste what we have been blessed with.
I think this is a hard lesson for everyone but as I was talking to Dylan, it hit me that often I am not grateful and content with what we have and I so often want more. I am thankful that God put that little discussion on my heart so that I could remember that it is something that I struggle with also.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday and Weekly Plans

I am trying to get back in the saddle again. I love summer and the freedom it brings but I am READY to get back in the swing of fall things. I miss Wednesday night church, I miss routine, I miss Fall- I love fall. So here goes the menu plan for next week:

Dylan's First Judo Lesson!
Leftover Chicken, Green Beans, and watermelon

Chicken and Gravy over White Rice with green beans and watermelon

Pizza Night!

Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, and Baked Potatoes

Hamburgers with corn and oven fries

DP Goulash (This is incredible recipe! The goulash I've ever found that I like!)

Hotdogs and Chips

This is a week of getting things ready for a garage sale, school, and just routine life in general. We are going to be staying home a lot more and making scheduled trips to the store and library. Dylan is also starting Judo. I am so excited for him. I think it is because he is so positive and excited! I am hoping it helps get some energy out. Lincoln is getting big and is a ton of fun to play with. We have been truly blessed this summer! How about y'all if you are still out there from my big blogging break, how blessed was your summer?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sick and Tired....

I am sick and tired of people thinking that their words don't hurt people. People think since they are being honest, it's okay to say anything. Being a former "diarrhea of the mouth" person, I understand that it is hard, but God has gotten a hold of me and the "honest" things I said. The Bible says:

Let me tell you something: Everyone of these careless words is going to come back to you and haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful, take them seriously. Words can be your Salvation, but also your Damnation.

Matthew 12:36-37

Please keep this verse in your hearts and minds as you deal with people that annoy you, you don't agree with, or people you just feel like telling where to step off. Words are powerful and impact people.