Thursday, March 5, 2015

MENU: 3/5/15 - 3/11/15

We didn't try any new recipes last week, so I'll just jump right into what's coming up.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I'll make up a bunch of taco seasoning, some for the cupboard and some for the month's worth of taco meat that I'll cook and freeze.
* I'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like I do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* toasted coconut and pineapple granola over yogurt
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* chicken & roasted veggie soup/no-knead bread
* lentils & rice
* do-it-all chicken (raw in marinade from the freezer, crockpot)/rice/frozen green beans
* death by garlic/roasted asparagus
* rosemary & white bean sandwiches (dip/spread from the freezer)/raw bell peppers
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers 

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* dump cake 
* snickerdoodles (taking to a function)
Crunchy Flax cereal (We scored a case of 12 for $4.99 at a local discount store, so we've been using it as a snack.)
produce 
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

3/5/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that we have a window above our kitchen sink.

What is something that you're thankful for?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3/3/15 - TEN ON TUESDAY

Big boys - Silas recently invited me to join him for an at-home date. He bought candy for each of us, split some ice cream he had in the freezer, and rented a movie for us to watch together. Devon recently treated the family to ice cream. He asked for a ride to the store, spent his own money on ice cream, then dished it up for the whole family to enjoy.

Coaching - Tim coached a freshman basketball team in our first year of marriage, took the next two years off, officiated basketball for ten of the next twelve seasons, and then coached a sixth grade team this year. His season ended a few weeks ago and it was a good experience. His team lost more games than they won, but he talked frequently about how the kids were making progress, he got positive feedback from the coach who hired him, and one of the rival coaches at a tournament, a coach whose team had just beaten Tim's, said they'd improved a lot since last year and he is confident they'll be a challenge to beat next year. All good things!

Dairy - After several months of eating dairy-free, Teebs is eating dairy again. The rash behind his knees that didn't respond to any treatment and cough that lasted a couple of months went away immediately when his doctor suggested cutting out dairy and returned when we tried to add it back a couple weeks later. However, he's never had a dairy problem before. I  know allergies or sensitivities can start out of the blue, but I've wondered if he just had something go wonky and needed a dairy break while his body reset itself, so to speak. We decided to put him back on dairy and see what happened. Nothing. That's what happened. He's totally fine. If he ends up with problems later, then we'll just cut out dairy again, but it appears that it was just a flukey thing.

Double date - We spent an evening out with Steve and Deanna and had a great time chatting over burgers, worshiping together with All Sons & Daughters, then chatting a bit longer before we headed home. Silas babysat the other little Ws and all the kids had a fun night together.


Free time - This happened one morning. Four kids chatting while they worked on various projects. I love these moments!


Outdoors - I've been able to spend some time in the yard lately. I love mowing, edging, planting, and transplanting. Our yard may not be as immaculate as it was when we moved in, which is fine because the previous owners were in an entirely different season of life, but I enjoy getting my hands in the dirt, working the clippers, and jumping on the shovel.

Puzzles - We almost always have a puzzle in the works, but I've been frustrated with missing pieces and decided to do something about it. We're doing all of our puzzles, one at a time, then re-bagging the ones that are complete (we store puzzles in ziploc bags, which are stored in a plastic tub for an efficient use of space) and putting the ones with missing pieces on our laundry room counter. Once all the puzzles have been put together we'll decide what to do with ones that still have missing pieces.


Role models - Devon and I were on a run last week and had a car heading the opposite direction with two men in it wait for us to cross an intersection. I thought nothing of it until they looped around, came up behind us in a business parking lot, hopped out of their car quickly, then hustled toward two cars in a neighboring parking lot that we were approaching. It appears that there was some sort of domestic dispute between a man and woman, each in their own vehicles, and the two guys in the car had seen something concerning as they passed by and got there as quickly as they could to help. I paused our run long enough to make sure there was nothing I could do and just listened as they asked the woman if she needed help, started getting more information on what was going on, and mediated the conflict. It became clear that I wasn't needed and I didn't want to appear to be gawking, so we moved on. I don't know how it all ended, but I told Devon, "Be that kind of man." I want my kids to be the ones who don't hesitate to stop what they're doing to help someone in need, work to resolve conflicts instead of causing them to escalate, use their strength to protect others, and spend time with people who will join them as they try to do what's right.

School - I'm in a "let's figure out what to do next year" mode right now. As of now, everyone will be home, but I'm ready to change some things up. I'm not sure what that's going to look like, but it's kinda fun to brainstorm, seek input from specific people, and weigh options. Silas and I are also in a long-term, ongoing conversation about high school, as that's going to be here sooner than later.

Spring - We have several different types of flowers in bloom in our yard right now, plus blossoms and new growth on our trees and shrubs. I love it! Here are two of our flowers.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

MENU: 2/26/15 - 3/4/15

I already shared these new recipes on Facebook, but I want to make sure friends who aren't on Facebook get to check them out. We also tried on other new recipe last week, a ham and potato soup, but it wasn't particularly amazing and I doubt we'll make it again.

* chipotle sweet potato nachos - These were absolutely delicious and I can't wait to have them again!

* tuna & veggie green salad - This was a random concoction we made for lunch one day when I pulled various things out of the fridge and cupboards, Devon got some chives from the yard, and Silas requested water chestnuts.

Here's what we have scheduled for the next week.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I'm going to chop and freeze a couple bunches of parsley.
* I'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like I do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* scrambled eggs & spinach/toast
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* rice, kale, & eggs
* Greek chicken (in herbs in the freezer)/rice/frozen peas & corn
* salmon/rice/roasted broccoli
* bean & rice soup from a mix with a ham bone/toast
* pasta with store-bought sauce/lemon garlic cukes
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers 

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* banana spice cookies
Crunchy Flax cereal (We scored a case of 12 for $4.99 at a local discount store, so we've been using it as a snack.)
produce 
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)

(This post contains affiliate links.)

2/26/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful for bulbs in bloom and trees that are blossoming.

What is something that you are thankful for?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

MY CHURCH FAMILY

Mortgage brokers, emergency responders, secretaries, construction. Kids educated in public and private schools, home, and online. Accountants, garbage men, professional athletes and coaches, landscapers. Administrators, teachers, and other school staff. Old, young, and middle-aged, small families and large ones, various religious backgrounds and political opinions. Health coaches, engineers, realtors, lawyers.  Retired, working, unemployed. Counselors, UPS drivers, professional musicians, nannies, pilots.

People who only speak English and those who are fluent in more than one language. American citizens, foreign nobility, and exchange students. Just married, divorced, married once, multiple marriages, widowed, and never married. Dentists, animal and plant farmers, bank tellers, hair dressers. Past and present battles with addiction, travelers and homebodies. Web designers, aestheticians, cake bakers, project managers, mammography techs. People who love to read, create art, and/or listen to music. 

Marketing, advertising, and technology development. Every skin tone and hair texture, outgoing and shy, poor and wealthy. Electricians, HVAC professionals, human resources, stay-at-home parents, baristas and coffee shop owners. Store clerks, mechanics, police officers, librarians, doulas. Women, men, children. Multi-level marketing businesses, daycare workers, speech therapists, jet boat owners, paving crews. Parents with adopted, biological, foster, and/or step-children and childless couples. Military, manufacturing, wedding coordinators, car dealers.

Those who enjoy outdoor recreation and those who prefer to be indoors, people consumed by fashion and those who are oblivious to it. Insurance agents, plumbers, massage therapists, tackle stores, florists. Mental illness, neurotypical, special needs, disabled, healthy, chronic and/or terminal illness.Veterinarians, photographers, caterers, pharmacists, correctional officers and other jail employees. People who make and sell cookie dough, home decor, purses and totes, leather Bible covers, skin care products. 

I could go on, but the point is that I love how our church family is made up of radically different people who are united in their love for Jesus and desire to be more like him, who regularly meet to sing praise songs, study their Bibles, and take communion together.

Would everyone be content at our church? No, which is why it's great that there are a variety of church sizes and styles. Does everyone in our church love every aspect of it? Of course not. No two people will have the same preferences and beliefs about everything. Is our group free of conflict? Nope. We're definitely a bunch of normal human beings, which means there are hurt feelings, misunderstandings, irritations, and sometimes the need for a little space. Do we, whether the corporate church or the individuals that comprise our church family, get everything right all the time? No, we don't. That's just not possible. 

Those things, however, are far outweighed by the myriad of ways our church family supports each other. Sometimes it's practical support, like the church office paying someone's bills and making sure they have gas to get to work, groups of people rallying together to keep food on the table of a family whose finances are tight, or individuals providing money, services, or other resources to those in need, either directly or anonymously. 

Sometimes it's the emotional support of the person who quietly passes you tissue paper while you're crying in church, the church staff member who meets with you for individual or marriage counseling, those who sit with you and listen when you just need to pour your heart out, those with gentle advice gained from their own experiences, the one who remembers a significant date or event and checks in on you.

Sometimes it's the spiritual support of a pastor who teaches verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book so that we learn all the Bible teaches in the frequency that the Bible addresses each thing, the songs chosen by the worship leaders that help us keep our focus on Christ, the people who pray with and for us.

Are these things unique to the church we attend? Absolutely not. Do many of these things happen outside of church? Definitely. Lately, though, I've been struck by how our church family specifically, a group of people with so many differences, is still a cohesive unit overall.  I love it and am thankful to be a part of it.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

FACES OF FAMILY & FRIENDS

Teebs showing the world how strong he is.


Devon burning a sign for us with our street number on it.


Silas assembling a survival kit.


Naomi showing off some of the dress-up shoes Pam got for her on their girly date.


Leighton (and her mom, though I managed to forget getting her on camera because we were too busy chatting) hanging out with us at OMSI.


Melanie joining us at OMSI while she was in town and meeting three Ws for the first time.