Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

I just started reading this new site, and it got me in the mood to share my menu here. I started menu planning again a couple of weeks ago. First and foremost I need to stop the craziness that happens at 3pm when I have no idea what is for dinner and everything is frozen rock solid in my deep freeze. Next, with the kids' new school schedule and increased homework load from being in higher grades, I not only need to know what is for dinner, but it's a very good idea if I am finished cooking by 3pm (or at least only need to reheat) so that I can devote the time the kids need from me between 3:30 and 6:30pm. Last, menu planning stops me from running to the store incessantly and saves me money because I plan meals from what I have bought using coupons and sales, instead of buying what I need at the last minute at full price, and I only spend one or two trips per week in gas instead of 4 or 5. So, all that considered, those are my menu planning/food budget goals. Not every one of them is getting hit perfectly each week, but I'm trying...and some is better than none!!

So here's this week's menu...

Monday-swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans
Tuesday-JoJo’s spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
Wednesday-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cauliflower
Thursday-stuffed bell peppers (Karen and Joshua), leftovers (Emilee, Trevor, Carter), garlic bread, salad
Friday-chile verde (pork loin), tortillas, pinto beans, broccoli
Saturday-bbq steak, misc pasta, salad

You can visit THIS BLOG to see other bloggers' weekly menu plans.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What a difference a year makes

One year ago tonight/tomorrow Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, destroying Galveston and doing significant damage to the Houston area, including our home.

It's kinda crazy to think back to one year and one day ago. We were happily living in TX, finally thinking we were settling into an area we would stay in for many years after three moves in just under three years. The kids were loving their friends and had just started a new school year. Josh was very happy with his new position/promotion. I was newly pregnant as a surrogate for my Intended Parents and looking forward to finally snuggling in to our neighborhood (sealing that with the purchase of the home we were renting when the new year rang in). Things were finally calming down for us--we were all looking forward to some normalcy and a sense of routine.

And then there was IKE...

One year ago tonight, we were battening down the hatches. About 8pm the wind had picked up to about 50 miles per hour and the sky had turned a cloudy pink. We were getting ready to put the kids to bed downstairs with us; we would all be camping out in the livingroom as it was the safest room of the house. We really thought that we would be waking up to some post hurricane mess, but we had no idea how much it would really change our lives.

But as much as Ike was destructive and devastating and's one of the most significant events of our family's lives. We learned from Ike what is REALLY important...and it's not stuff, and it's not a big house and it's not our's God and's being together, and being thanful for what we have, and trusting that God will provide even when we can't imagine how.

Exactly one year later, I sit here typing on the same blog, but so much else is very different. We own a much more modest home in a new state, we treasure the time we have with all 5 of us together more than ever, and we are focused on getting completely out of debt and staying there. It's a much simpler life and I'm very thankful for where we are and what we've learned. (And no we aren't camping in the livingroom tonight in memoriam of one year ago...everyone is going to sleep in their own rooms and own beds lol.)

(If you are interested, you can use the links on my sidebar to go back in my blog to 2008 and September and scroll thru the pictures and such, especially if you are a new reader and haven't seen them before. It's a crazy story.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We got to go camping over the Labor Day weekend! It was such a great trip!! We all love camping, and for us it's wonderful, relaxing, family time! Our friends also came...Jenny and her monkeys Tyler, Lauren and Elizabeth. I don't have all the pics yet as Jenny has some and Josh hasn't uploaded his camera either, but here's a few to get started. And good news...this time we didn't get rained out!

The first night was Tyler's birthday, so we celebrated with cake around the campfire.

I love fire pics, and you can see Trev in the background of this one!

Emilee found herself a mighty fine walking stick to trudge around with.

This was our toddler shower setup. Carter took several as he's in a "want take shower, Mommy!" phase. The bigger campers also took turns cleaning up here too since the campground shower was broken.

Elizabeth and Carter hangin' out.

The big monkeys playing some travel games.

Once the monkeys were in bed, Josh opened up the camping cantina for some adult beverages :-).