Thursday, November 18, 2010


I ended up doing meal planning this week and will start my home blessing hour next week. What I have found makes all the difference is to take a monthly calendar and pencil in the main course for supper for each day. I have a meal plan that I use from Chart Jungle but check out this divine design from Biograffiti. Free to download!

I have the days of the week categorized to give it some predictability and to guide me:
Monday: Pasta (tortellini, spaghetti, perogies, lasagna)
Tuesday: Rice (every second Tues. I make stir fry. Then there's fish, meat marinades) 
Wednesday: Vegetarian (every second week), eggs 
Thursday: Slow cooker, stew, soups in the winter. Summer it's BBQ night. 
Friday: Pizza (every second week: frozen, ordered, or homemade) alternating with hot sandwiches (tuna turnovers, swiss & turkey)
Saturday: Leftovers, or eat out
Sunday: Meat focus (roast, baked chicken, ribs)

Pasta for Monday because it is quick and easy and that's what I need for starting out my week. This plan overcomes the "what should we have for supper in 5 minutes?" hurdle. The best tip that I have received is to take THREE items from the freezer at a time. So, let's say that you've been playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook all afternoon (congrats on your "new high score"!) so you're going to have to serve pasta because there isn't time to thaw anything, right? Sure, but go to the freezer and get out 3 items (chicken, pork and beef, let's say) and put them in your fridge and tomorrow, after spending the afternoon earning another "new high score" (have you no self-control!? haha), you check your fridge for whichever item has thawed the most. You make supper around that and your husband will be SO pleased to not have spaghetti again!

On Monday I baked a pumpkin and puréed it. We baked and iced some pumpkin cookies and I made my favorite pumpkin-pear soup. YUM! As my boys were groaning around the kitchen table, I was asked to say grace. Frustrated, I prayed "Please send down some big, strong angels to make my kids eat the delicious soup that I have prepared so that I don't have to kill them." Haha! It helped me to lighten up but God didn't answer my prayer (at least not how I had creatively suggested). I then told my 7-year old (again) that he should give up determining whether supper will be tasty just by looking at it, because eyeballs do not have taste buds.  I tried threatening that there would be no dessert but my 13-year old was okay to pass on the "cookies with squash in them". My DD happily ate her soup. Sigh.

Later, while thinking about the meal, the thought came to me that instead of making a salad with feta, which offended 1/3 of the taste buds in my house, I could serve a choose-your-toppings salad. The next night I served a bowl of fresh spinach with custard cups of feta, mandarins, and candied cashews. Everyone had salad. Brilliant! And that's where I recognized that as I gain more control over myself, I'm able to loosen the control that I've tried to have over my children (with or without the help of big, strong angels!).

Monday, November 1, 2010

$8 a day

Hello again! I was an artisan/shopper for the month of October, rather than November. I had so much fun! The first weekend I went with some wonderful friends and relatives to a scrapbooking retreat for 3 full days. Delightful!
[Photo courtesy of Deena - thanks, girl!]
My sister and I just took our laptops and I finished up pages for my oldest son, and started working on the 2 family calendars that I'm doing for Christmas gifts. The family calendars are now complete and if I ever figure out how to complete an order at, they will be printed!! Here's a little sample.

 [Above is June from the calendar for my side of the family. Below is November for my DH's side. Does that picture bring you great happiness, or WHAT!?!]

 I also have two 75 page 12x12" photobooks enroute from Shutterfly. One each for the twins. I've embedded Kepler's photobook here (yes, SOOOOO tech savvy). 75% of the pages in his book also appear in his siblings' books.

I also custom ordered some t-shirts for DH and one of my boys, but I can't say too much just in case DH stops by here. But the CDN $ is almost on par with the AM $ so go ahead and order some gifts from the states!

Which leaves me the profession of a Monk for November. I had to LOOK UP what I had accomplished last time I was a Monk (all of five months ago!) and was surprised to see that I got up at 7:45! I have no recollection of that (repressed, I guess! haha). But I'll start November where I left off:
  1. no screen time between 2 and 8pm
  2. getting up at 7:45 everyday (gulp)
  3. morning prayers daily
I'd better write that down on my mirror! So I'll pay myself $8 a day for meeting my daily goals toward my monthly reward of earning a smile for Operation Smile. So here's my plan:
  1. Week 1: practice my achievement from when I was a monk in April
  2. Week 2: add daily scripture reading
  3. Week 3: add weekly home blessing hours (link to Flylady)
  4. Week 4: add meal planning
Now click play on this video, close your eyes and treat yourself to 3 minutes of relaxation. Thanks for reading!