Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's on the Menu?

I forgot to post this week's menu!

Sunday:  My Birthday Dinner at my Grandma's house - she made her wonderful mancotti with homemade crepes and butterscotch meringue pie was the main dessert!  (Along with chocolate cake, bread pudding, strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream and pumpkin pie!)

Monday:  Nachos and Guacamole

Tuesday:  My actual Birthday - Daddy took us out to eat!

Wednesday:  Daddy worked late so it was a leftovers night

Thursday:  Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

Friday:  Pasta Alfredo, Salad and Homemade Bread

Saturday:  Homemade Pesto Pizza and Salad

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Goodbye 20's ... HELLOOO 30's!

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. 

What a day of mixed emotions.

#1  "Hurray!  Another year on earth!"

#2  "Ahhh! I'm old!"

#3  "Age is just a number - I'm just getting better!"

#4  "Ahhh!  I'm old!"

#5  "My 30's will be an awesome decade!"

#6  "Where did my 20's go?"

Okay you get the idea ... here's for growing and getting better!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Encouragement

I had my homeschool mom meeting last week and we had a wonderful discussion.  It was such an encouragement and exactly what I needed that night after a very hard day of parenting.  We started with a very interesting discussion about the birthday traditions we have developed for our children.  How do we make our children feel special on their day and let them know we appreciate the day they came into our lives?  That conversation evolved into being yourself and being content with your "season".  Homeschooling mothers (and any mother for that case) have many demands on their time and even as we are devoting ourselves to our children we must be careful to not lose ourselves.  It's so easy to be so busy with lesson plans, housework, laundry, toddlers and babies that there is no time to think or grow yourself.  We forget that we need to explore and encourage ourselves - our souls for lack of a better word.  It's nearly impossible to make sure you have plenty of time for you.  Most days I barely have time to remember my name.  You just have to be yourself in all the little things you do every day.  Don't believe you have to be your vision of a "perfect mom" or be intimidated by the other moms around you.  To be the "perfect mom" you don't have to bake fresh bread daily, create all your children's clothing, throw huge birthday parties and always be smiling - unless that is you!  You do have to love and know your children.  We discussed how we believe our children will remember us.  Some days you may be afraid that your children will grow up and say their childhood was full of mama at the end of her rope, but motherhood is a journey.  We don't have to spend quality time with every child every day or have fun projects for every day of the week.  It is an overall thing.  Try to be joyful and intentional in the things you do.  We can't be everything to every child.  Our leader remembered a prayer she had on her mirror for many years asking God to fill in her inadequacies for her children.  We all have failings but there is so much that we can give our children.  Whether it is a love of reading, love and snuggles or a love of the outdoors it all depends on you.  We are so blessed.  Even on the hard days.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No Spend Week Menu

We're having a no-spend, clean out the pantry week.  I picked up some produce and milk and that was it, but I think I came up with a nice menu ...

Sunday:  Clean-Out-the-Fridge Chicken Soup and Homemade bread

Monday:  Dinner at the In-Laws

Tuesday:  Sausage & Eggs and Pancakes (Whole-Wheat)

Wednesday:  Fish Patties, Mashed Potatoes and Veggies

Thursday:  Sesame Chicken, Rice and Veggies

Friday:  Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese and Salad

Saturday:  Pasta Alfredo and Garlic Knots

I think I will draw this out to next week too - I already have ideas!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking forward ...

Claire is part of a small homeschool co-op that I love!  Last week was the Mom Planning Meeting and I have to say I now have one reason I don't want to move right away.  We have such a great semester planned.  I love the fact that Claire can meet and learn with other children every week, but it's very casual and her quirks are appreciated and tolerated.  We are starting with a 4 week section on Simple Machines and then we will have a Valetine's party and make Valentine's to pass out at our local nursing home (we did the same thing with Christmas cards last month and the everyone loved it).  Then we have a 4 week section on Government and the Presidents that I really look forward to (I was a History/Poli Sci major).  Then we have planned a Career Day.  We hope to have our husbands, etc come in and discuss their professions with the children.  Then a section on Tall Tales, a Field Day and start practicing an End of Year Program for the parents and grandparents.  We plan on finishing out with a trip to the National Park!  We also are planning a Gym day (at the County Rec Center) once a month and we want to do a family skate night.  I think it sounds like a great plan.

I wish we knew exactly when we were moving.  But we have a lot to do until then!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's For Dinner This Week?

Trying several new recipes this week ... hope my picky eater aka Claire will at least try them!

Sunday:  Fried Tilapia, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

Monday:  Homemade Garlic Cheese Pizza and Salad

Tuesday:  Chicken Lo Mein

Wednesday:  Tacos

Thursday:  Crock pot Italian Chicken Pasta

Friday:  Roasted Whole Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

Saturday:  Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes and Bacon

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why did you even ask me?

Claire comes up to me with two shirts.

"Mama, which one should I wear?"

"The star one."

She stares at me and repeats, "Mama, which one should I wear?"

Again I say, "The star one!"

She stares at me again and once again say, "Mama, which one should I wear?"

I have a moment of dawning comprehension.  "Umm, the butterfly one?"

She smiles brightly and bounces off, "Thanks Mom!"

Umm, what was my part of this decision?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's for Dinner this Week?

Well, I'm on the ball this week and made a menu:

Sunday:  Ravioli (marinara sauce for me and Alfredo for Daddy - he's allergic to tomatoes) for the grownups and Spaghetti for the kids and Italian bread

Monday:  Dinner at the In-laws

Tuesday:  Chicken Schnitzel, Macaroni and Cheese and Steamed Veggies

Wednesday:  Sour Cream Enchilada Casserole

Thursday:  Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes and Bacon

Friday:  Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Garlic Bread

Saturday:  Beef Stroganoff, Egg Noodles and Steamed Veggies

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year

Wow, 2012.  I feel futuristic.

I am starting 2012 out with a promise to myself to step up our school schedule.  As of now my goal as been 3 days of schoolwork with Claire per week - it is only Kindergarten!  But this semester I want to do 4 days a week to begin preparing her for 5 days a week next year in 1st Grade.  At least there will be no complaints from Claire.  She adores doing schoolwork!

Going from this
To this
I have hope that this will be a year of new beginnings for our family.  We plan and pray to move our little family this year.  The opportunities are disappearing in our little mountain town.  It's a small town and everyone here is really struggling.  Daddy and I have never loved this town and only live here because we just never left after moving out on our own.  We do have family here and we will miss them, but we need more for our children.  We have narrowed down the plan to move to the Charleston, SC area.  Daddy and I both lived near the ocean as children and we miss it so much.  Last year was the first time we were able to take our children to the beach and we want that more.  We want our children to experience museums and concerts regularly.  Here it is an hour to the nearest museum and Claire always ends up carsick from the curvy, mountain roads.  It is a beautiful place to live, but we need more.  I will enjoy getting to vacation here!

I will miss friends and family, but I look forward to new beginnings.  I look forward to Claire and Chandler playing on the beach, shopping at Target regularly (right now the nearest one is an hour away), exploring museums and historical districts, flat country and salt air.  Claire will be starting 1st grade in the fall and we are discussing adding to our family once we are settled.  It's exciting and intimidating and wonderful and scary all at once.

As of now we are just trickling money into our moving fund and purging things out of our house.  So much planning and organizing to do!