Monday, December 30, 2013

A mother's secret hideaway...

There is a place where mothers often seek refuge from the struggles of the day.

Sometimes we hide there to catch a brief moment of peace, make a phone call, read a book, etc. Although, I never remember feeling like I needed this place of refuge until I started homeschooling my oldest. But it doesn't really matter why we hide there as much as the fact that we actually do it.

Unfortunately, it doesn't usually take long until the yelling for "mom" and knocking begin, especially in a house like ours that only has one bathroom. Happy hiding, busy moms. :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Motherhood Changed Christmas

Tonight as I sat and watched our Christmas program at church, I couldn't help but think about how motherhood has permanently changed Christmas for me. As I child, I thought of the things that we would do, the people we would visit, and the gifts that we would open. We would gather at my grandparents' house on Christmas eve for the reading of Luke 2, singing of carols, and opening gifts with extended family. Then we would spend Christmas Day as a family, opening gifts and, yes, cutting wood. :)

But there was something about Christmas 7 years ago that has made me view this day with different eyes, the eyes of a parent, and more specifically, the eyes of a mother. Seven years ago I was closing in on my due date with Mr. R. I'd had steady contractions for over a week and was anxiously awaiting his birth. I felt I could relate to Mary in a new way, as an expectant mother. I could just imagine her traveling to Bethlehem with Joseph, thinking of how uncomfortable it must have been to do so. I wonder if she new how close she was to delivery?

Then as each of our children came along, motherhood further changed my view of Christmas. Sitting tonight listening to our choir sing about the birth of Christ and seeing the actors portray the visit from the shepherd, I became so overwhelmed with emotion. How much did Mary understand about what her precious baby was sent to do? Did she realize the agony that He would one day feel as He hung on the cross bearing the punishment for her sin and the sin of the rest of the world - past, present, and future? Now that I have children, I cannot hope to imagine how she felt as a mother watching God's son, the son she'd carried and cared for, suffer and ultimately die. Then I think about the love that God has for me, a love that made Him willing to give His only begotten Son to save me from suffering the punishment for my sin. So, I guess, motherhood has helped me to realize how grateful I am that the God of the universe would stoop so low as to be born into the world as a human child, to live a perfect life and die a horrible death so that I might have eternal life. Thank you, Lord, for the greatest Christmas gift ever to be given, your Son.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

[Guest Post] A.P.P.L.Y. our Hearts unto Wisdom

We have a dear lady at our church whom I have really come to appreciate. For sake of privacy, we'll call her Mrs. R. She has seven children and still teaches the younger five, which range in age from 11-17, at home. She gives me hope that I can not only learn to survive life as a homeschool mom but also thrive. A month and a half ago she shared a devotional at our ladies mission society meeting and it really blessed my heart so I asked if I could share it with you. She agreed, so here it is. I hope you are blessed as much as I was.

"A.P.P.L.Y. our Hearts unto Wisdom"
Written by Mrs. R.

Our theme this year is “Apply our Hearts Unto Wisdom” drawn from Psalm 90 vs 12 and 17, with the emphasis on verse 12 today. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” 

Looking briefly at some thoughts on Psalm 90 written by men of God from the past: It is a Psalm written by Moses. 
Title. A prayer of Moses. Moses was an old and much tried man, but age and experience had taught him that, amidst the perpetual changes which are taking place in the universe, one thing at least remains immutable, even the faithfulness of him who is "from everlasting to everlasting God." How far back into the past may the patriarch have been looking when he spake these words? The burning bush, the fiery furnace of Egypt, the Red Sea, Pharaoh with his chariots of war, and the weary march of Israel through the wilderness, were all before him; and in all of them he had experienced that "God is the Rock, his work perfect, all his ways judgment" (De 32:4). But Moses was looking beyond these scenes of his personal history when he said, "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations." (De 32:7), and we may be sure that he was also looking beyond them when he indited the song, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Yes; he was casting in his mind how God had been the refuge of Jacob and Isaac, of Abraham, Noah, and all the patriarchs. Moses could take a retrospect of above a thousand years, which had all confirmed the truth. I can do no more. At this point of time I can look back to the days of Moses and Joshua and David, and descending thence to the days of the Son of God upon earth, and of Paul and Peter, and all the saints of the Church down to the present hour; and what a thousand years avouched to Moses, three thousand now avouch to me: the Lord is the dwelling place of those that trust in him from generation to generation. Yes; and to him who was the refuge of a Moses and an Abraham, I too in the day of trouble can lift my hands. Delightful thought! That great Being who, during the lapse of three thousand years, amidst the countless changes of the universe, has to this day remained unchanged, is MY God.—Augustus F. Theluck, in "Hours of Christian Devotion", 1870.
Looking especially at verse 12,
Verse 12: So teach us to number our days. Instruct us to set store by time, mourning for that time past wherein we have wrought the will of the flesh, using diligently the time present, which is the accepted hour and the day of salvation, and reckoning the time which lieth in the future to be too uncertain to allow us safely to delay any gracious work or prayer. Numeration is a child's exercise in arithmetic, but in order to number their days aright the best of men need the Lord's teaching. We are more anxious to count the stars than our days, and yet the latter is by far more practical. That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Men are led by reflections upon the brevity of time to give their earnest attention to eternal things; they become humble as they look into the grave which is so soon to be their bed, their passions cool in the presence of mortality, and they yield themselves up to the dictates of unerring wisdom; but this is only the case when the Lord himself is the teacher; he alone can teach to real and lasting profit. Thus Moses prayed that the dispensations of justice might be sanctified in mercy. "The law is our school master to bring us to Christ", when the Lord himself speaks by the law. It is most meet that the heart which will so soon cease to beat should while it moves be regulated by wisdom's hand. A short life should be wisely spent. We have not enough time at our disposal to justify us in misspending a single quarter of an hour. Neither are we sure of enough life to justify us in procrastinating for a moment. If we were wise in heart we should see this, but mere head wisdom will not guide us aright.
Verse 12, from Hints to the Village Preacher
1. The Reckoning. (a) What their usual number. (b) How many of them are already spent. (c) How uncertain the number that remains. (d) How much of them must be occupied with the necessary duties of this life. (e) What afflictions and helplessness may attend them. 
2. The use to be made of it. (a) To "seek wisdom"—not riches, worldly honours, or pleasures—but wisdom; not the wisdom of the world, but of God. (b) To "apply the heart" to it. Not mental merely, but moral wisdom; not speculative merely, but experimental; not theoretical merely, but practical. (c) To seek it at once—immediately. (d) To seek it constantly—"apply our hearts", etc. 
3. The help to be sought in it. "So teach us", etc. (a) Our own ability is insufficient through the perversion both of the mind and heart by sin. (b) Divine help may be obtained. "If any man lack wisdom." etc.—G.R.
And finally from the Plain Commentary
Verse 12. To number our days. Number we our days by our daily prayers—number we them by our daily obedience and daily acts of love—
When the Bible says we need teaching…that means we need to LEARN. I believe that the Bible instructs to our weaknesses so if there is a command to “DO” it is because we are very prone to “NOT DO”.

In this Psalm we are asked to learn to number our days so that we can apply our hearts to wisdom. I am a mom of 7 and have been homeschooling for 16 years. I thought at the time I would be schooling forever but now with 2 graduates, 3 high schoolers, and 2 middle schoolers time actually seems short. Time flys and as Christian Ladies we need to number our days so that we can serve God in whatever capacity he has us. 

Applying our hearts to wisdom - 

Our Hearts are the center of our mind, emotions and will. Martha Peace in the Excellent Wife used this illustration. I like it because it reminds me to acknowledge all three parts of my heart but also to keep them in balance so the heart is wise. Sin in any of these areas divorces the heart from wisdom.

Here is an acrostic that I came up with with help with the concept:

Attitude: How I feel and respond (Mind and emotion)
“This is a day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is a act of the will that rules my emotions. I have a choice when things are good or bad. I can choose contentment, I can bring my thoughts and emotions captive to Christ, or I can act in pride, selfishness, fear, and anger. Its my choice.

Perspective: My view of the situation (Mind)
“ All things work together for good to them that Love God….” Do I believe that? Does my view of the situation show that I believe that. When Jesus healed the man with the whithered hand he asked him to stretch it out. He was asking him to do something impossible that He then enabled him to do and healed him. One thing to ask God to do is to reveal any blind spots in my perspective…..they are not blind spots because I can see them!

Perseverance: An act of the will in which I choose to keep going
We are to press for the Mark of our High Calling in Christ Jesus. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is when God tells Moses that he put them through the wilderness for all those years to test them to see if they would obey and walk in the way God wanted them to. Sometimes we just need to do the next thing….

Love: The Greatest of these is Love
Love is an emotion but it is also an act of the will! Read I Corinthians 13….memorize it, meditate on it…LIVE IT purposely with vigor!

Yield: Giving it all to God 
Applying our hearts to wisdom takes the yielding of all things to God. Our Mind, our wills and our emotions. I cannot yield to God if I don’t know him. I need to get into the Word and see what it says to me. The Bible tells me that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. We know the way, we need to choose to walk in it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Menu 2013: December 2-January 5

It has been incredibly busy the last few weeks, which is why I am posting so late. Jared and I had the wonderful privilege of organizing our church's annual Christmas banquet so that took precedence over blogging for a bit. I did try to post weekly menus on my Facebook page for those of you who also follow me there. Here is a recap of the past couple of weeks and also a start to my list of the rest of this month's menus.

December 2-8
  • Crockpot venison roast, sweet potatoes, green beans, and dinner rolls
  • Sausage and bean soup with dinner rolls
  • Chili dogs, fries, and carrot sticks
  • Grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches
  • Pizza
December 9-15
  • Venison Stew
  • Tacos (well, Taco Bell anyway)
  • Our Christmas banquet menu (with recipes) will be posted soon, but this is what we prepared - apple cranberry stuffed pork loin with a cranapple balsamic glaze, pepper crusted roast beef, baby gold potatoes, garlic almond green beans, and dinner rolls. An assortment of salads, relish/veggie trays, stuffings, and desserts was also provided by our church ladies and gents.
  • Date night - one family at church gave us a gift certificate for dinner and another offered to watch our kids (and then they even did most of my dishes)
  • Leftovers
December 16-22
  • Chicken and stuffing bake
  • Pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, and green beans
  • Potato soup
  • Chili and cornbread
  • Crockpot meatball subs, side salad, and veggie tray
December 23-29 (Merry Christmas)
  • Pumpkin pie pancakes and fresh fruit
  • Tater tot casserole
  • Ham, potatoes, veggies, and rolls
  • Subs
  • Pizza
December 30-January 5 (Happy New Year)
  • Turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, and fresh bread
  • Spanish chicken with chorizo and potatoes
  • Roast beef, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies
  • Spaghetti, green beans, and French bread
  • Turkey BLT paninis and side salads

Saturday, November 30, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 30

[Day 30] As I sit here thinking of all the things that I am thankful for, trying to pick just one to complete my "month of Thanksgiving", I am realizing that I am so incredibly blessed. This brings me to a conclusion, I am thankful for life. This life. The one that God has given me. Period.

My life is not what I dreamed it would be when I was a little girl, a teenager, or even as a freshman in college. I never would have imagined this life for me, and I'm sure that most of my family and friends probably wouldn't have pictured me here either 11 years ago. But, you know what. This life is so much better than what I ever could have imagined. I'll be the first to admit that there are rough times but God never promised ease. He only promised that He'd remain faithful, good, true, and unchanging. His grace and mercy do not fail. He is the definition of love. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and always-present. He is my rock and my salvation. He is the giver of life, of this life, and I am thankful.

Friday, November 29, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 29

[Day 29]  I am thankful for friends who taught me how to coupon and get the best prices for things. I was able to replace the lower quality cookware that we got when we were first married with a higher quality set for less money than the original set cost. :)

$36.80 (after all discounts, rebates, etc.) for this 15 pc Farberware Stainless Steel Set (78% off retail)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 28

[Day 28]  I am thankful for morning snuggles with 5 of my favorite people - Jared, Mr. R, Miss E, Miss A, and Miss S.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 27

[Day 27]  "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5

I am truly thankful for the "older women" who I have had the privilege to learn from - grandmothers, mothers (mine and other people's), aunts, pastor's wives, teachers, and friends. I appreciate their godly examples and their patience in teaching me. I wouldn't be where I am today without you, and someday I hope to be an "older woman" like you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 26

[Day 26] I am thankful for my in-laws. They have always made me feel welcomed and loved, just as if I'd been born into the family and not joined by marriage.

Monday, November 25, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 22-25

[Day 22] Today I am thankful for moments of quiet in a busy world. We got to spend the evening (and tomorrow) at a hotel with an indoor water park. I so enjoyed having nowhere that I had to be and nothing that I had to do except enjoy the squeals of delight as my children enjoyed swimming and going down water slides.

[Day 23] Today I am thankful for God's provision. He has provided for our family in innumerable ways this year, but I am especially thankful that He provided the 2 deer that my hubby got today. It was the only day that Jared was going to be able to hunt and I had prayed that God would provide A deer. God blessed doubly and I am excited to have meat in the freezer!

[Day 24] On a day when all six us are feeling under the weather, I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps and leftovers.

[Day 25] We are all still under the weather today, which makes me thankful that I have the option to be a stay-at-home-mom. It takes sacrifice (and some of my sanity) but it is worth it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 21

[Day 21] Today I am thankful for my sisters. I don't know what I'd do without them! They provide a shoulder to cry on or a slap upside the head when needed. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 20

[Day 20] I am thankful for my church family, they are such a wonderful encouragement to me!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 19

[Day 19] Today I am thankful for the right (and, yes, privilege) to vote. It is a right that should not be taken lightly as many brave soldiers have died to give and keep that right in our country.

Monday, November 18, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 18

[Day 18]  Three years ago I was already 8 weeks along with our little Miss S and right from the get-go she has kept us on our toes. She is very much her own person. She is silly, mischievous, sweet & cuddly, stubborn (unfortunately she gets that from me), happy-go-lucky, imaginative, and a bit OCD (I know, odd for a 2 year old). She likes to clean up spills, worries about dirty hands, freaks out if things are not even, and in general is our little "Monk". We are so thankful for her and couldn't imagine life without her.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 17

[Day 17] "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I am a perfectionist. I don't like to even try to do things if I know that can't do a "perfect" job on them. But today, I am reminded to be thankful for my struggles and failures. For it is through those struggles and failures that I learn to lean on Christ more fully for His strength. When I do things through Christ's strength I am given opportunities to bring Him glory.

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11

Saturday, November 16, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 16

[Day 16]  Five years ago, Mr. R was a few months away from 2 and Miss E was 6 months old. We'd been on the path to financial freedom for two months and Jared was in his 2nd year of Bible Institute. I was struggling with balancing life and staying within our budget with two babies in diapers. We'd "planned" to wait a minimum of 2 years before even considering adding another kid to our family, little did I know that very soon I'd be expecting Miss A. When I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test the day after Christmas, I was seven weeks along and I was mad, mad that God would add another burden to my already heavy load.

Very soon after she arrived, I realized that God didn't add a burden but a blessing. I am so thankful for my quirky little Miss A. She is such a silly, sweet kid and I love having her in our family.

Friday, November 15, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 15

[Day 15]  I am thankful for Miss S. She is my domestic, girlie girl. She can be super sweet most of the time and actually enjoys washing the dishes, sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, and, of course, anything that involves cooking or event planning.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 14

[Day 14] "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  Jeremiah 29:11

I am thankful for how God prepares us now for things in the future, even when we don't realize it. If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would be a pastor's wife and mother of 4, I wouldn't have believed you. But it has been a blessing to look back and see how God has used different circumstances and experiences to teach and train me for this position. God used parents who believed that if they trained us to serve God they could multiply their efforts. I learned to sing, play piano, cook, plan events, etc. working with my parents. One of my first jobs was managing data and being a receptionist, which has helped to prepare me for secretarial side of being a pastor's wife. Then I started out studying education in college, preparing me for homeschooling, before feeling God lead me to study church ministries. God has used all of these things to prepare me for His service now and I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

[A Months of Thanksgiving] Day 13

[Day 13] Today I am thankful for Mr. R. He is our miracle. At 6 weeks gestation, we thought I had miscarried, at 7 weeks our doctor was concerned that it was an ectopic pregnancy, and finally at 2 days old he wouldn't stop bleeding after his circ. He was transferred to a NICU an hour from our hospital. After 5 days in NICU (and much prayer), we were able to take him home at a week old. The doctors were all baffled at his speedy recovery, and to this day no one knows why he wouldn't stop bleeding in the first place because he got better before they could figure it out.

He is a very special young man. He is very sharp and is a big helper. He has such a heart for the lost and wants everyone to know about His Savior, Jesus Christ. I look forward to seeing how God will use him.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 12

[Day 12]  After waking with two of my kiddos last night, I am VERY thankful for coffee and sunshine. They do much to help my disposition. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 11

[Day 11] On this Veterans Day, I am thankful for those who have fought for our freedom, for their willingness to serve, and the sacrifice that they and their families have made.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Days 7-10

I was without internet for a couple of days and then just too busy to do more than post on Facebook.

[Day 7]  I am thankful for my parents. They taught me so much but most of all they taught me that there is GREAT joy in serving Jesus.

[Day 8] Today I am thankful for prayer and a heavenly Father who wants us to talk with him, to share our burdens and blessings. He is never too busy for us. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philipians 4:6

[Day 9] I am thankful for godly friends who encourage me when I am struggling and lovingly speak the truth to me when I need to change my behavior, thinking, etc. "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17

[Day 10]  While sitting in church this morning I was reminded how thankful I am for the gift of music. There are many times that words alone cannot reach a person in their time of need but music will. We've had some setbacks with selling our house, we discovered that the basement is leaking again and now there is a leak in the roof going into the bathroom (which we just remodeled last fall). I was really discouraged but God brought the song "Burdens are Lifted at Calvary" to mind and then this morning we sang "You can have a song in the night" as a congregation and the men's quintet sang "It is Well with my Soul". 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 6

[Day 6]  After doing what seemed like mountains of laundry yesterday and today, I am thankful for the modern conveniences of a washer and dryer. I don't even want to think about how much time and energy washing my clothes by hand and drying them on the line. I do dry laundry on the clothesline in the summer but with all the rain yesterday and today it wouldn't have been much help to me. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 5

[Day 5]  Today I am so incredibly thankful for my husband. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have him. He is such a blessing to me. He encourages me when I am down. He challenges me to be better and to expand my horizons. He loves me unconditionally. He is the best teammate I could have in this game of life. Thank you, Jared, for giving me the best 9 years of my life!


Monday, November 4, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 4

[Day 4]  I am thankful for trials. Trials in life help us remember where our priorities need to be. They help us to grow, to mature mentally, emotionally, physically, and most of all spiritually. I have come to the conclusion that trials in my life help to strengthen my faith and my relationship with God. Often it takes a trial in my life for me to see my weakness and seek to lean more fully on Christ.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Menu 2013: November 4-December 1

It has not slowed down even one little bit since our move back in March! Don't get me wrong, I am having a blast. :) At the moment, I am working on plans for our annual church Christmas banquet and I thoroughly enjoy event planning. I also get to start doing some part-time secretarial work. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving and then Black Friday shopping since I have a bunch of gift cards that I've been saving. What are some traditions/recipes that your family has at Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday? Free Printable Menu available here.

Menu Format for the Month
Spicy (Tex-Mex, Cajun, etc.)
Crockpot
Duo Night ("Sandwich" & Soup or Salad)
Italian
Miscellaneous

Week 1 - November 4-10
Week 2 - November 11-17 (Happy Birthday to my wonderful hubby)
  1. Mexican Gumbo 
  2. Rotisserie Chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted butternut squash, and glazed carrots
  3. Quesadillas and 10 bean soup
  4. Baked spaghetti, brussell sprouts, sauteed green beans, and breadsticks
  5. Asian chicken, stir fry veggies, and rice
Week 3 - November 18-24
  • Texas Caviar Casserole
  • Biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs
  • White Chicken Chili and cornbread
  • Meatball subs with side salad
  • Sausage mushroom ravioli (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/calling-all-cooks/roasted-portobello-with-caramelized-onion-ravioli-recipe/index.html) in garlic cream sauce with steamed broccoli and cheesy garlic bread
Week 4 - November 25-December 1 (Happy Thanksgiving)
One final thought, shop responsibly! Don't get in over your head financially, if you don't have the cash for it don't buy it. :)

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 3

[Day 3] Today I am thankful for the Bible. It showed me my lost estate. It showed me my the way of salvation. It provides comfort in time of sorrow. I find encouragement and hope among its pages.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 2

[Day 2]  Today, I am thankful for God's mercy and compassion.

I fail on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis but God's mercy and compassion do not. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Lamentations 3:21-26 

Friday, November 1, 2013

[A Month of Thanksgiving] Day 1

I love Thanksgiving. It is a simple holiday dedicated to being thankful for what we have. And I, for one, have so much to be thankful for in life. With that in mind, I am challenging everyone to join me for "A Month of Thanksgiving". Post something that you're thankful for each day for the month of November.

[Day 1] 
On this first day of November, I am reminded of many firsts, fresh starts, new beginnings, etc. But most of all, I am reminded of THE first, "In the beginning God..." (Genesis 1:1)

Today, I am thankful for my God and His love. He created the world and mankind knowing that man would rebel and sin against Him. He knew from the foundation of the world that because of man's sin, it would be necessary to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth where He would die to pay the penalty for my sin (and yours).
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:4-9

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blackened Chicken over Dirty Rice

The hubby and I really enjoy spicy food (and the kiddos are beginning to). I have always been a fan of blackened chicken so I decided that it was high time I attempted some. It was so simple, spicy, moist, and delicious we will definitely be making it again! You can prep your chicken (pound and lightly rub with oil ahead of time) and seasoning mixture ahead of time (combine and store in an airtight container), then quickly throw it together at suppertime. I used the spice rub from Guy Fieri's Cajun Chicken Alfredo and served it with my version of Emeril's Dirty Rice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salted Caramel Sauce

It all started out because of Starbucks' Salted Caramel Latte. Everything went downhill from there. I love caramel, BUT adding salt to it really takes caramel to a whole new level. I'd made homemade caramel before so I figured I could learn how to make salted caramel. I decided to play around with this recipe from Cooking Channel and it came out absolutely delectable!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grilled Chocolate Cake

We were having another "Dinner at 8pm" and I decided that I wanted to make dessert on the grill so I made up my mind to attempt chocolate cake and the grill. It turned out lovely and we enjoyed it with some homemade vanilla frozen yogurt. It didn't take very long to whip together either, which is always a perk!

Grilled Honey Cinnamon Plums

This is such an easy and delicious dessert to make on the grill while plums are in season. Top your freshly grilled plums with homemade whipped cream, vanilla frozen yogurt, or lowfat ice cream.

  • Plums (however many you what to make, you can get about 4 thick slices out of one plum)
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
Directions
  1. Sprinkle plum slices with cinnamon, then drizzle with honey. 
  2. Place on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes each side. Serve warm with any of the above mentioned toppings. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Philly Cheesesteak Flatbread Sandwiches

One night, I decided that I didn't want to make sub bread for Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. I determined that I would much rather have flatbread, but...I didn't want to run to the store with the kids. Yes, a lot of the time it's just more work than making something from scratch or finding a substitute that I have on hand. So, I determined to find a flatbread recipe. I am so glad I did, too. I LOVE it! It's fairly quick and easy to make and has such a great texture and versatility to it. Anyway, I made up my flatbread on the grill and then decided to try cooking the filling on the grill as well. I pulled out my awesome 14" cast iron skillet on created something delicious! In fact, it
was so delicious that there wasn't anything left over.

[Guest Post] Grain Free Pizza Crust

I have several friends who are allergic to gluten and one of them recently shared a recipe with me that she
developed for grain-free pizza crust. I asked if I could share it here for your benefit and she so graciously agreed.
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of tapioca flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
Directions 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine the butter, water and salt and bring to a boil. 
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and then the tapioca flour. 
  4. Combine well and let cool for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Next add in the eggs, combining well and then the coconut flour. Knead the dough until it comes together nicely. 
  6. Plop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread it out with your fingers. 
  7. Place it in the oven for 35 minutes. The underside should be a golden brown. Take out, and top with your favorite toppings. 
  8. Place back in oven at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted & browned. Enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Temperance: WE'RE DEBT FREE!!

It has taken me a lot longer to post this than I had hoped but it is finally up, and we're still in the black 8 months later! God is good! 

On February 13th, 2013 we accomplished a goal we've been working toward since Miss E. was only a few months old (September 2008). We made the final payment on my student loan, the last of our non-mortgage debt. The moment when I logged in to my student loan account and scheduled the final payment was AWESOME! This feeling of  relief passed over me and I couldn't help but remember the day when Jared told me that we were going to attempt what I thought was impossible and live without credit cards. If you remember my original post, Temperance: Getting Out of Debt, about our journey toward freedom, we were hoping to be debt free by Christmas 2011 so we could call the Dave Ramsey Show to make our "Debt Free Scream" as a Christmas present to ourselves. 
But Murphy came knocking and delayed our progress. We had to replace our van (since it was the only vehicle that could fit our whole family) and wanted to pay cash for it so extra money went toward that instead of debt. Then the company Jared worked for hit a rough patch and all bonuses stopped. Needless to say, those last 18 months were really hard and we wanted to make a big deal out of our accomplishment so we did something big. We decided to take Mr. R. and Miss E. on a road trip to Financial Peace Plaza to make our "Debt Free Scream" live on the show at the beginning of April. Grandma graciously took Miss A and Miss S, we rented a car, and headed for Nashville, TN. We drove pretty much non-stop till we got to Bowling Green, KY where we spent the night. Then we got up and drove to Nashville. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip but it was worth it. It took a lot of work to become debt free and the reward was awesome! Of course, we had to fit a trip to Puckett's Grocery in while there as you'll see from a few of the pictures. :)

Here's a short picture video of our trip and live appearance on the Dave Ramsey Show. I still get a little emotional when I listen to it and think about all that happened in those 4 1/2 years that it took to get things paid off.
video

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pigs in a Blanket

My kids love pigs in a blanket and, well, I guess I do, too. I mean who wouldn't - a hot dog (turkey, pork, or beef) and cheese encased in a crescent roll "bun". No more hot dog falling out of the bun or the bun breaking apart. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pepperoni and Sausage Flatbread Pizza

Ever since I learned how to make flatbread a few weeks ago I've worked to expand my list of uses for it. I've made sandwiches, appetizers and finally I've even made pepperoni and sausage pizza for supper. I'm almost to the point where I like grilled flatbread crust more than my usual hand-tossed crust. The crust comes out nice and crunchy like a wood-fired thin crust pizza. This recipe makes 3 pizzas.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Menu 2013: September 30-November 3

It's Fall. You feel the chill in the air as you walk from your car to the house and as you open the door, wonderful smells permeate the air around you. Nothing says Fall better to me than soups and breads so I will be including a lot of them on the menu this month. Here's the menu format for the month.
  • Italian
  • Comfort Food
  • Crockpot
  • Duo Night (Sandwich + Soup or Salad)
  • Tex Mex/Cajun
  • Misc.
September 30-October 6
October 7-13
October 14-20
October 21-27
October 28-November 3
Snacks & Sunday Breakfasts
I am bringing snacks for a couple of events this month as well as needing to figure out Sunday breakfasts ahead of time so here they are.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grilled Flatbread: A blank canvas

I've been wanting to learn how to make flatbread for a long time. I made all sorts of different breads and rolls from Naan to crescent rolls, but never had the courage to try my hand at flatbread. But with our oven on the fritz and the budgeted funds for groceries being too small to buy flatbread I decided that it was time to try my hand at it. I wasn't disappointed. This is such a good, solid yummy recipe that I have found several more ways to serve it than for just a sandwich!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pepper Crusted Steak with Mushrooms and Onions

I really wanted a major "wow factor" type entree for our last Dinner at 8pm. We'd had a super busy and stressful couple of weeks leading up to it so I needed something amazing yet quick and easy. This pepper crusted steak recipe is all of those. The flavor is "out of this world" good, super tender and juicy, and, best of all, simple and easy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pear Butter: A Fall Treat

When went to the old house for a few days to check on things and discovered that the pears were ready to be picked. Since we didn't get a chance to spray for bugs and things, they weren't really "for eating" pears but they have lots of flavor so they work well in baking and such. I gathered a decent sized plastic totes' worth and brought them home. I didn't have a lot of time so I knew that I needed something that I could make in the crockpot. That's when I remembered a Pin I'd seen for crockpot apple butter and I figured Pear Butter was a good alternative so off I went to experiment.

Salted Caramel Bacon Ice Cream

salted caramel bacon ice cream
Today was Battle: Bacon for our Homebuilder's Group (young married couples and families with minor children) at church. Everyone was to bring a bacon dish(es) for a fellowship dinner/food competition. I wanted to be as creative as possible so I decided to make a caramel ice cream and use bacon instead of nuts (kind of a twist on a maple nut or butter pecan). I got on Pinterest to see if anyone else had done something similar and found several recipe ideas. I wandered through each of the recipes and picked out my favorite ideas. It turned out great and even won best overall bacon dish. It combines a couple of opposites, sweet'n'salty along with smooth'n'crunchy, and it is also a VERY decadent dish so you can only handle about 1/2 cup before the richness overtakes you.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sauteed Kale with Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar

We've just discovered how much like kale. I've enjoyed it in smoothies and Zuppa Toscana (an Italian sausage, potato and kale soup) so I decided to try it sauteed. I was not disappointed, it was delicious!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Donate your Hair and get up to $30 back

I decided not to chop my hair to it's usual bob last fall. The last time I grew my hair out was right before my wedding in 2004. I kept my hair long most of my youth and didn't cut it shorter than mid-back until the summer before my freshman year of college. I kept it a little longer than my shoulder until my honeymoon when Jared took me to get it cut into a short bob. That's how I kept it till now. When I realized how quickly my hair was growing I thought, "You know, maybe I should grow it out for a good cause and donate." I've known several cancer victims and survivors, a friend's mom, another friend's sister, an aunt, an uncle, etc. so it wasn't a hard decision to make. Now, deciding who to donate it to was a difficult decision for me to make and I ended up deciding on Pantene Beautiful Lengths (check out their blog). They provide wigs for free to women suffering with cancer. When I saw that Pantene is giving $30 rebates to people who donate between 9/1/13-10/31/13 I just had to let you know. My hair might not be long enough to participate during the promo but I want to encourage you to do it.
Check this post out on My Milwaukee Mommy for more info - My Milwaukee Mommy - Extreme Couponing Milwaukee: Donate your Hair and get up to $30 back with Pante...: Do you have long hair and are thinking of cutting it? Have you ever considered donating your hair? Did you know that Pantene also accepts...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dinner at 8pm: September 2013

The entire meal (including dessert and coffee)
only cost us between $25-$30. If we would
have gone out, the meal would have cost us
between $50-$70 with tip, plus another
$40 or so for a sitter. 
This summer has been so incredibly busy that we've had no time for date night "in". With school starting, and the craziness it brings, I decided that Dinner at 8pm was a must! I love how it gives time to cook and chat with each other (without interruption) on a completely different level than when the kids are awake. I will also admit that I enjoy the fact that it's way more economical for us than hiring a sitter and paying for dinner, dessert, and coffee. On September 13th, we will put the kids to bed a little early, make ourselves a delicious dinner, and enjoy some time together without breaking the bank. :) Here is our delectable menu for the evening. By the way, everything except the rice and frozen yogurt will be prepared on the grill so the kitchen will be quiet, which helps the kids to fall asleep faster.

Menu 2013: September 2-29

Our summer has flown by all to quickly and September looks as if it will be just as crazy busy as this summer was. We have church activities every weekend except one, school begins on September 4th, we're having Dinner @ 8pm on the 13th, the kids are having a play date on the 14th, and the oven is still not fixed (no, I'm not complaining as I have two grills, a griddle, and the stove top, it just means that I have to be a little more creative in my dinner selections). Here is the menu format.
  • Special Event Food – we’ve got special events at least once a week this month. Some of these events involve me cooking and others don’t so I’ll be sure to specify.
  • Tex-Mex
  • Leftovers/freezer meal
  • Salad / Sandwich
  • Crockpot
  • Grilled
  • Comfort food
September 2-8: Happy Labor Day everyone! We start school this week. Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!
  • We’re grilling out with family and I am bringing beverages and mac’n’cheese 
  • Steak fajitas with black beans and rice – I need to use up the leftover steak from our family grill day last week. 
  • Santa Fe Salad
  • Cowboy Skillet
  • Zuppa Toscana and potato flatbread
  • We have our Sunday School Picnic today. I am to bring a main dish and a salad or dessert. I am thinking about bringing
    • Pepperoni Pasta Salad
    • Cookies 
  • Hamburgers, green beans and carrots, and French fries 
September 9-15
  • Grilled Cheese and tomato soup 
  • Mexican Gumbo (basically chicken tortilla soup over rice and black beans with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole) 
  • Red beans and rice
  • Dinner @ 8pm for Jared & I (see the menu here) – Corn dogs (I froze 6 of these last month) and fries for the kids
  • Play Date - Mac'n'Cheese, hot dogs, and fruit salad 
  • Spaghetti and meatballs (frozen meatballs and marinara in the crockpot), mixed veggies, and French bread 
September 16-22
September 23-29
  • Beef and Bean Burritos with a side salad 
  • Philly Cheesesteak Flatbread and sauteed green beans 
  • Brats/hot dogs, side salad, chips, and veggie tray 
  • Buffalo style pot pie (this is at the request of Jared who LOVES spicy stuff, if you'd prefer a traditional pot pie you can check out my recipe here
  • Tater Tot Casserole - I may be getting away for the day (by myself) so I am planning to make up something so that Jared and the kids can just pop it in the oven. 
  • Crockpot low country boil (this recipe sounds like it makes a really big batch so I might half it)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Most of our family really enjoys pancakes (Miss S asks for them at breakfast a LOT). I wanted to try something different than my standard buttermilk pancake so I play around with my pancake recipes and some fresh blueberries.

Cookies: On the Grill

Don't they look like they came out of the oven
instead of off the grill?
I've done it before for fun, but today it was a necessity. Yes, my oven decided to go on strike. What are the chances that two different gas ranges, in two different locations, would both have the oven ignitor break? The first oven issue happened almost 3 years ago while I was roasting squash. It ended up being an easy fix for Jared after Googling it and watching a YouTube video. :) However, this time around the oven went out as I was prepping food to take to a family from church. I had French bread rising, cookies ready to bake, and tomato sauce simmering for lasagna. This was NOT the time I wanted my oven to go on strike!

Grilled Green Beans and Carrots

Grilled Green Beans and Carrots = YUMMY!
I needed a veggie for dinner the other night but wanted to make it on the grill. Mr. R has an aversion to summer squash and zucchini (it's a texture thing, not the taste) so I really didn't want to make that. What other veggie can be made on the grill that all my kids like? Hmmmm...then I saw it. A recipe for green beans and carrots on the grill (thank you, Pinterest!). Now, you know me, I can't leave a recipe alone so here's my take on it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops

I had gotten some beautiful thick cut pork chops from the store the other day and wanted to do something delicious with them. I came across a recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops and decided that was the way to go. I wasn't disappointed, they were yummy in my tummy (and the kids seemed to think so as well).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Homemade Corndogs for the Birthday Girl

Miss A requested corndogs for her birthday lunch and I already had hot dogs on hand that I'd purchased when they were super cheap with coupons this summer. So off I went in search of a homemade corndog recipe that looked quick and easy. I found such a recipe at Out of the Box Food. I did tweak the recipe based on what items were in my cupboard and they turned out just great! The best thing about these corndogs is that they are freezer friendly. :) I made up a big batch (15 of them, although I would have had enough batter for a 16th) so that I could pop a few in the freezer for consumption at a later date. It only took Mr. R and I about 45 minutes from start to finish.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Laundry Monster is tamed!

There's a monster who lives in our house and I never seem to be able to keep it under control. It haunts me on regular basis but especially at night. It's at it's meanest when I just want to fall into bed and sleep. It's name, you may ask...

Clean Laundry!

With 2 adults and 4 children, we almost have enough dirty clothes for a large load by the end of the day, which means I go through roughly 7 loads off laundry a week. Now that doesn't include soiled bedding and towels. I used to have 1 set laundry day a week but since we moved my schedule just doesn't allow for that. I now try to do a couple of loads every other day, which has helped a bit with taming the dirty laundry monster. We also use a laundry sorter and that helps even more. 

Now our biggest problem has been the clean laundry. I struggled with getting it all folded right away and many times the clean clothes would pile up unfolded in the laundry baskets till they all needed to be ironed, but who has time to iron every piece of "visible" clothing? Not me! So I started folding the clothes as I took them out of the dryer. It did help but then I ran into another problem...I sorted the laundry on our bed (usually during naptime when the house is, for the most part, still) but I didn't always find time to put the sorted laundry away before we put the kids to bed. This was when the clean laundry monster reared its nasty head. I'd be so tired and frustrated that all the nice, clean, folded, sorted laundry had to go back in the laundry baskets to be put away another day. It made me feel like I wasn't really finishing my task (and it took up a lot of space in our bedroom since we currently have 6 people crammed into a 3 bedroom, 850 sq. ft. house).

I'm sure you've seen the amazing pictures of laundry rooms that people have shared on Pinterest and wished your laundry room could be so neat and organized. Yes, I'll admit that I have. However, the Lord provided a way of escape from my temptation to covet, and this escape came in the shape of 4 dollar store "mini" laundry baskets. I found them by "accident" really, I was looking for some little plastic boxes for sort small items when I saw them. I figured that for $1 each, we could swing it. I am so glad that I did. I still struggle with getting all the hanging clothes put away but now the kids can easily put their own folded laundry away.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Count your blessings, an exercise in thankfulness

Today we had some clothes shopping and errand running to do. Miss E. still had some birthday money to spend and wanted to get some outfits for her doll (clearance preemie clothes make GREAT inexpensive baby doll clothes). Mr. R needed some new dress shirts for church (yes, he's growing all too fast, well, they all are). Jared needed some new dress shirts for work. The younger two didn't need anything and I would rather shop for myself when I can do it by myself or with just Jared.

You know how it goes as a parent, when one kids gets a few things the others complain and that was true for today's shopping. Finally after the last store, Jared decided it was time to focus on thankfulness. So we started a simple exercise. As we drove the last 10 minutes, we went from oldest to youngest (yes, even Miss S at age 2 named participated) and had each person name something that they were thankful for in life. We did a few rounds of this and it seemed to help cure the complaining for today. So when you're kids are having a case of the "mopies" tell them to count their blessings, name them one. by. one. It works for adults, too. :) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Menu 2013: August 5-September 1

July was CRAZY at our house and August is going to be almost as busy. I need to start getting everything in order for the first day of school (September 9th) considering I have yet to finish unpacking my office. This summer has just flown by! I've been able to log a few running miles but have yet to run more than 1.3 at a time. I'll be going with a similar menu format to last month as we're working harder to eat healthy and also enjoy the outdoors, so we'll be:
  • Grilled 
  • Salad
  • Sandwich/wrap/pitas
  • Spicy
  • Misc. dish
  • Crockpot
Don't forget to check out the new Printable Menu Plan feature.

Week 1: August 5-11
Week 2: August 12-18 (Miss A. turns "4")
Week 3: August 19-25
Week 4: August 26-September 1
We're having company several different times this month so I'll be doing some baking.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake

I wanted to take breakfast to church for our Sunday school class this morning and it had to be a dish with blueberries as I'd gotten a really good deal on fresh ones this week. I decided to look for a good coffee cake recipe but was missing at least one ingredient for every recipe I looked at, which made me decide to experiment...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Medieval Torches, Chandeliers, and Banners

Our church hosted a "Kingdom Chronicles" VBS this year so I needed to come up with some simple and inexpensive medieval decorations. Here's what I made...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kale Berry Smoothie

Jared happened to see that one of our favorite chefs uses kale in his smoothies instead of spinach so I decided to give it a try this morning. It was delicious and refreshing after a my run. I forgot to snap a picture this morning, but it looks a lot like my Monster Spinach Smoothie.

  • 2 cups fresh kale
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup 1% milk (almond or coconut milk would yummy as well)
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 cup whole strawberries
  • 8 ice cubes

Directions

  1. In a blender, puree the kale, blueberries, yogurt, milk, pineapple, banana, and strawberries till smooth.
  2. Add ice cubes and blend until ice has been crushed. Enjoy!

Servings: 2 (3 cups each)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pepperoni [or Grilled Chicken] Pasta Salad

As I've mentioned before we're trying to had some sort of "salad" twice a week for the month of July. We love lettuce salads, rice salads, etc., but for a quick, easy, and flavorful salad (that can be made ahead of time) Italian-style pasta salad is my "go to" dish. It can be taken to picnics, eaten as a side dish, or enjoyed as a main dish with the addition of mini pepperoni or grilled chicken. I made a huge bowl of this last night so it was ready to eat as soon as we got home from church today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Santa Fe Rice Salad

My sister made this awesome black bean and rice salad for our annual 4th of July cookout at my parents' place. It was so delicious that I just had to get her recipe and include it in my July menu.

Deli-Style Roast Beef: An Experiment in Deliciousness

I have several recipes that call for deli roast beef - cold cut wraps, cheater's Philly cheesesteak pitas, and Philly cheesesteak stuffed peppers to name a few. The problem with that is the price. Deli roast beef is really expensive ($7-$10 per lb). One of our local grocery stores was having a 4-day meat sale and whole sirloin tip roast was included in that sale for $2.69/lb so I decided to give homemade deli roast beef a try. Let me just say that I was not disappointed. It was easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious! I used an 8.81 pound whole sirloin tip roast, olive oil, and McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning. Prep times was only about 5 minutes and I was able to just let the roast cook away while I did other things around the house. I was able to fill two gallon sized freezer bags half full so that I could put one in the fridge for lunches and the other in the freezer for cheater's Philly cheesesteak pitas later on this month.

Sunflowers: A testimony to God's faithfulness

Wednesday was rough. It had been a stressful couple of days for me and I felt overwhelmed.
On Monday, we discovered water in the freshly fixed basement of our old house, which put all showings on hold until we get the problem fixed and things cleaned up again.
On Tuesday, I dragged all four kids along with to the old house so I could start the clean up process. It was a long day for all of us.
Then came Wednesday...I went to turn my computer on to do some work before the kids got up only to realize that it had "died". After that, my morning trip to the grocery store got postponed until afternoon due to an overtired child who was struggling to keep her emotions in check.
I was worn out - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I'll admit that my faith in God's ability to work things out for good wavered. So, we all took a nap before attempting the trek out to work on checking off my shopping list. Thankfully, God helped my kids to sleep and I even got a quick 15 minute power nap.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Menu 2013: July 1-August 4

Summers are always busy, hot, and humid around our house so I want to keep things simple, cool, and refreshing. We have our Vacation Bible School at church this month (don't forget that there is a menu challenge for this month). Jared and I need to get back into an exercise/running routine as well as eating better so that we can handle a 5k later this summer. With that in mind, my menu for this month (except my freezer meal week) will be:
  • Salad twice a week
  • Sandwich/wrap/pita
  • Spicy
  • Grilled
  • Misc. dish
NEW! Printable version of my monthly menu here.

July 1-7: Happy Birthday, America!!
We're spending most of the week with my family out of town so I only need a few meals.
  • Sub Sandwiches and fruit salad
  • Berry Almond Salad - I'm going to attempt a Wendy's copycat - Italian blend lettuce, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberry slices, shaved Parmesan, toasted almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette)
  • Steak, grilled corn, sauteed green beans, asparagus, and fresh bread
  • Chef Salad
July 8-14
July 15-21
July 22-28 (VBS & Freezer Meal Week)
July 29-August 4