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Category Archives: Homemaking

Getting Intentional

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One of the goals I set for myself this year was to get intentional about our eating habits. We’ve become lax in eating out, in spur of the moment shopping trips, and in casualness of what we’re eating.  This year, we’re going back to the basics.  Our goal is to shop local, shop organic, shop sustainable, shop fresh.  Farmer’s Markets, co-ops, CSAs, grass-fed ranches.  They’re all around us when we make the time to source them out, do our research, and do the bulk of our shopping away from the grocery store.

This past weekend, DH and I visited a fruit/veggie co-op and a large Farmer’s Market in town. We liked what we saw, and I look forward to our future finds.   For the first real go-round though, we shopped local – as in two of our local grocery stores.  We stocked up on chicken (whole and boneless), ground Angus, organic grains and beans, fresh fruits, and frozen vegetables as dinner staples.  I bought almonds and rolled oats for granola, steel-cut oats for porridge, sliced meat and cheeses for quick sandwiches, and lots of eggs.

I spent time searching online recipes and my cookbooks looking for recipes that won’t need shopping trips for the extras.  I looked at each recipe carefully, asking myself how I could alter it to make it work with what we have.   I spent hours in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon mixing and cooking the ground beef into frozen meals. I realized that DH really doesn’t care what we eat or how I freeze the meat. He just wants to know what we’re having and when.  Then I spent more time searching recipes, sorting dinners, balancing meats and starches to avoid eating too much of one thing at a time while still accounting for leftovers.

Do you know what I’ve learned from all this?  Meal planning is hard work.

But I know it will be worth it.  It’ll reduce dinner time stress when I don’t get home until 6pm.  It’ll force me into the kitchen thawing or soaking. It’ll introduce us to new vegetables, new grains we wouldn’t normally eat. It’ll need me to always think ahead, be aware of what’s in season, what’s on sale.  It’ll be intentional.

Monday, Jan 21

  • Crock pot Roasted Chicken w/ potatoes
  • Mixed vegetables

Tuesday, Jan 22

  • Spaghetti w/ meatballs
  • Peas & Carrots
  • Garlic bread sticks

Wednesday, Jan 23

Thursday, Jan 24

Friday, Jan 25

  • Eggs & Tortillas

Saturday, Jan 26

  • Dinner out with friends to celebrate a birthday

Sunday, Jan 27

  • Sliders
  • Baked fries
  • Garden salad

Monday, Jan 28

  • Meatloaf
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Candied carrots

Tuesday, Jan 29

  • Baked chicken breast
  • Rice
  • Vegetables

Wednesday, Jan 30

Thursday, Jan 31

  • Breakfast for Dinner (bacon, eggs, refried beans)

Friday, Feb 1

  • Homemade pizza
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Food & Fitness, Homemaking

 

31 Days to Cleans – Rebooted

Edited 8/12/12:  I have to admit that this was a complete and total bust.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that as long as the bulk of the housekeeping falls to DH and the children, something as major as this isn’t going to happen.  Honestly, I don’t want to argue and fight and make it happen, nor do I want to do it all by myself.

Since my house is pretty much this side of being a disaster and Sarah Mae has put out a call for help, I decided I’d accept the challenge.  Click her image below to get the full scoop and then stay tuned for more posts on our progress.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Homemaking

 

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Even little accomplishments boost the spirit

Just a short post before I head off to get ready for bed, but I wanted to share my accomplishments from the weekend.

Goal #2: Filing – Yesterday we went shopping and I decided to hold off on buying anything new for filing until I can determine (a) what all we’ll have that needs to be filed and (b) whether my current filing cabinet can be fixed to work properly. Ultimately I’d like to get a small portable locked metal box that we could grab and go in the event of an emergency, but that’s something for a future purchase.

Goal #1: Cart Clean-Up – On a later shopping trip, I did buy a crate type box that I decided would be perfect for storing the extra school supplies in.  I have a ton of them in various locations around the house, although I think I’ve maybe consolidated the majority into my craft cart.  I want to pick up a few of the oddball extras like protractors and such since those are cheap right now and not so cheap 6 months from now, but inevitably will be broken by the time my child actually needs them.  I also plan to pick up a small plastic pencil box to hold the extras once the package has been opened.  My kids love to take 2 pencils out of a package that is then put down and never found until after another new package has been opened.  LOL  Hopefully having all the open extras in an easy to grab spot will make the homework battles and 6:30am oops, I forgot I needed more of this situations less prevalent.

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends emailed me her 31 Days to Clean Mission Statement.  I decided that I was going to come up with mine that very day, and I did.  Although I didn’t think mine was as good as hers, she reminded me that it doesn’t matter!  You can view my final Mission Statement here, but it says:

  • I want my home to be a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • I don’t want to be embarrassed to have visitors over.
  • The Lord is directing me to step up to my duties in my home and I want to be obedient to him.
  • I want my kids to learn good cleaning habits and they need to see me cleaning to do that.

It was several weeks ago that I finished my Day 1 task, but I can happily say that today I finished Day 2 (cleaning inside the fridge and freezer).  I had originally only intended to cut up the fresh veggies I’d bought this weekend, and dump the assorted fruits out of their bags and into the fruit bin, but when I pulled open one of the drawers and saw again how icky it was inside with dried bits of this or that veggie, I decided it was well past time to get to cleaning.    We won’t even discuss how icky the bottom of the freezer looked once I took everything out.   Suffice it to say that both are cleaned and deodorized and everything was restocked nice and neat where they make sense to be.  I’m sure it’ll look totally different by the time I get home tomorrow.  LOL

I did manage to get almost all the veggies sliced, and tossed the celery tops and wilted carrots into a freezer bag for future stock use, which is an entirely different accomplishment.  🙂   The only things that didn’t get done were lettuce and strawberries, and that’s b/c Alex had already started emptying containers and I no longer had any room to work.  By the time he was done washing everything, I was too.

I’m going to make it a goal to do those in the morning but that means I’ve gotta get to bed NOW or I’ll never get up on time in the morning!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Homemaking

 

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Small Town 4th of July

{This post is picture intense!}

The boys and I met up with my friend Alicia and her boys for the local parade on Main Street.  We were a few minutes early but got a really good spot. 
I can’t imagine how hot these guys must have been standing there.  At 10am, we already have a heat index of 95*!

Old time fire truck.  I love this one!

I think they must have had half our fire trucks in the parade.  

Ladder truck from our next door neighbor city. I’m pretty sure Andy’s been on this one before.

Local and state officials.  I don’t play the political scene, but I think it’s good that they come out for this kind of stuff.  Or maybe it’s just a representative for them?

Cool cars – take your pick!

WOW – Broadway sure got crowded!

Lots of local groups showed up to participate.  This one is a church group!

4 wheeling on the 4th!

Boy scouts!

Cool Jeep!

Buggy!

And now for the Cub Scouts

We have a plethora of golf carts in LP. They’re street legal. 🙂

More local groups…

FEZ!

Small tall parades are never complete without the obligatory John Deere.

Still more small groups…

And the Girl Scouts wrapped it up this morning. 

Coming up next is grilling {of course!} yummy food, concerts this evening, and fireworks over the Bay tonight. Stay tuned!
 
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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Homemaking

 

Packing for Vacation

Ever have one of those days where you’re exhausted but too excited to sleep?  That would be me right now.  🙂

Almost all of tomorrow has been devoted to shopping, cleaning, visiting, making final plans, and lots of driving.  Tomorrow we pack the last minute stuff, load up the car, and head for the New Braunsfel area for a long weekend with friends.

Right now though, I need some down time to settle this overloaded brain.  I’ve got Randy Travis on my playlist, Ministry of Motherhood and my Bible beside me, and I’m ready to spend some quiet time with the Lord, thanking him for the opportunity we’ve been blessed to have.

Follow me on FB if you want to see our vacation pictures. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Homemaking

 

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Triple Blessed

Our day started extraordinarily early with a knock on the door by Alex and a frantic cry of “Ginny just had a baby!”

We rushed out of bed and into his room and sure enough, there was our almost 4 year old female cat and a brand new and still wet kitten.  I rushed back into the room to find a box big enough to keep the new Momma in while Manny grabbed for towels.

After getting them situated and instructing Alex to pet her and love on her and keep watch over her, I heard Manny mention it was 4:00am.  *sigh*   No point in going back to bed now, as I headed into the kitchen to start coffee.  Google is my friend, especially in the early morning hours when I have no where else to go for advice on laboring cats (which are called Queens, in case you ever wondered).

Ginny and her early morning surprise baby ~ 4:30am 3.28.11
Two pots of coffee later, Manny was waking Andy up (he sure got up quick at the thought of a new kitten!) and I was hopping in the shower to get ready for work.    We were concerned about Ginny, even though she seemed to be doing okay.  She was our bottle-fed furbaby when she was barely bigger than this one and is precious to us.  We didn’t have any idea she was expecting, and didn’t have any idea of how many kittens we could be facing.  It looked like it was going to be a long day ahead.
Just before I left for work, baby #2 arrived.  After this one was born, Ginny was laying with her back legs on the placenta and couldn’t get a good enough grasp of the baby because the first one kept getting in the way.  We moved #1 out of the way long enough to get the new baby and the placenta in a better position for Momma.  That’s all it took and she took over from there.
Baby #2 cleaned and nursing for the first time ~ 7:15am 3.28.11
A few hours later, I got the phone call… Number 3 was here.  This one was even more of a difficult birth – the placenta hadn’t been delivered and Manny had to take over and help Momma out.  All was successful in the end though, although I worried for the health of this baby b/c it looked so much smaller than the first two.
Baby #3 being cleaned by Momma just after birth ~ 9:00am 3.28.11
In the end though, all the kitties are doing just fine.  God heard our prayers and we have a healthy Momma cat and 3 beautiful little babies.  All 3 kittens have Momma’s coloring and Daddy’s white markings, although none of them have his cute little black nose.
The new family ~ 6:00pm 3.28.11
Rory, the presumed Daddy
My wonderful big Sister Zee has claimed the oldest baby. Light gray and white, it’s already a very pushy cry baby.  That is one little kitty with a very big personality.  God certainly had a purpose for putting the desire for this one on her heart this morning.  
Manny’s claimed the second baby, the brown and white one.  He said there is something just so sweet about the little blonde one, and has already chosen to name it Sam – a name of honor among our kitties as this will be the third Sam that has graced our family.  
The third baby is darker gray and white, and is quiet and docile right now.  It just seems to go with the flow, whether it’s Momma rolling from one side to the other taking it with her or the oldest always trying to take over whatever place this one happens to be in.  I don’t have a taker for this one yet so if you’re local and interested, let me know!  LOL   (I do have someone that my gut instinct says may want it, but the person hasn’t spoken up yet and I’m not going to say who it is until/unless they do.)  
Today has been a blessing.  God has reminded us that no matter how big the storms may seem, no matter what our struggles and trials are, there is always something good just around the corner when we least expect it.    Tonight, I got to witness God first hand as I watched my sweet Ginger pull her sweet new babies close to her and wrap them up safe in her arms, close to her heart and under her protection.  
I felt God wrap His arms around me Sunday morning, as my heart was torn by the grief I feel for my boys, the uncertainty of their future, but the knowledge that someday they’ll find their way into His arms where they belong.

There is a God who loves me
Who wraps me in His arms
That is the place where I’m changed
And that’s where I belong

Lord, I pray that I never lose sight of this special moment – this tangible love that You have for me, Your daughter.  When doubts creep in, when worries work free, when all seems dark, You still love me. You are still there for me, and all I have to do is allow myself to be wrapped in Your arms once again.
 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Homemaking

 

Tuesday night update

Woohoo!  My 4-day work week is half over.  Gotta love vacation days — esp when they fall on a go-live weekend.   🙂

Manny decided we’ll start our 90-day Bible Challenge this Saturday.  I guess he figures it’s a good day to do it since he’s trying to incorporate a Saturday Sabbath into our household routine.  I strongly feel that in the culture we’ve evolved into, the practice itself is what is important, not whether it occurs on Saturday or Sunday.  He’s not convinced of that yet, but neither is he putting forth significant effort into ensuring the house is cleaned up and chores are done and meals are cooked before Friday night.  As a SAHD, I feel that’s part of his responsibility, esp since he’s expecting me to essentially give up my entire weekend.   If he drove, or once Alex has his driver’s license, it may be very different b/c they can go run errands after school.  Right now though, I’ve got enough on my plate with a FT job, an hour commute (if I get out on time and traffic cooperates) and church activities Wed pm and Sun am/pm.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for the concept of practicing Sabbath as we’re commanded to. I just feel very strongly (and after a lot of prayer and my own research) that God won’t mind what day we practice it on – just that we DO set aside a day devoted to him.  Besides, I think it completely and totally defeats the purpose of a Sabbath (even on Saturday) if you only sit around watching TV/movie marathons from morning to night.

Time for me to start planning for tomorrow and get to bed.  Hoping to get some reading in on my MOM book too before I fall asleep.  🙂

Night!

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2010 in Homemaking

 

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