Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Word of the Year

Several years ago I read a post on a blog about choosing a word for the year.  I loved the concept and have picked one each year since even if I didn't always share them on my blog for various reasons.  Over the last couple of months I've spent some time thinking about what I would like next year to look like; where I would like to be at the end of the year.  Being that I'm a goal setter, this is a great way to help me focus on specific areas in order to accomplish, well, things.  I find that without goals or a plan I don't accomplish nearly as much!

I actually have two words to focus on for 2019.  The first is a word I've chosen for the past several years because I feel it is that important for me and my life.  That word is :

One of my mantras in my life now is to "not let anyone steal my joy".  It's really easy to allow people and/or circumstances to steal joy but if the initial focus in the mind is to not let that happen, it is harder for that to happen.  Notice I said harder?  Yes, it does still happen but I find if I look for the positive in all things, I am happier.  If I am happier, so is my family.  Last year I started to ask my little family each night at dinner to tell me one good or positive thing from their day.  Do you know what?  That was hard for everyone.  It was easier for my kids and my husband to tell the bad things; the things that went wrong or that they didn't like.  Especially at the beginning of this project.  The more I asked though, the more they were able to say something good - even as small as "I slept in" or "Mom got my cereal".  I also worked with them at finding the good even in difficult situations.  If they had things to, well, complain about, I would listen to their struggle but then ask them if there was anything positive about the situation?  Do you now what?  That's hard.  It's hard for adults and harder for kids but I would help them find something (even if it was "I don't have to see that person for a whole week!" HA!)  It always amazing to me at how much other people try to zap someone's happiness.  Sometimes I don't think it is intentional but sometimes it is and that's sad.  So yes ----
------- not just today, but every single day even when it is hard.

I wanted to add to this though.  To challenge myself to focus on something else too.  So, I picked
Where am I going with this, you wonder?  Allow me to tell you.  I want to add strength in all areas of my life. By the end of 2019 I would like to be stronger in my health, my home, our finances, with my children and my husband.  I'd like to be "stronger" in my goals by accomplishing some key things and to be stronger at completing some projects.  I think by focusing on being stronger gives it a more positive spin  - it make an end product more exciting because basically to gain strength means that you can handle more tomorrow than you  can today because you built on where you are today.  Like running - you don't start by running 10 miles, you have to work up to that point by laying out a plan, practicing, and working hard.  I feel like my unintentional word in 2018 was "flounder" - I feel like I floundered in a lot of areas; I just "got by" instead of really working to accomplish things.  I got lost in my head; in circumstances; in the ugliness that is life sometimes. 

What about you?  Do you have a word that you want to focus on this coming year? 

Friday, December 28, 2018

And Just like that it's 2019 (And a Weekly Menu)

It's time to wrap up the year!  Crazyness!

Friday - Spaghetti and Garlic bread - a super easy meal!

Saturday - We have our last family Christmas with Darryl's family today so we will be eating there.

Sunday - Beef Tips and Noodles - a great crockpot meal!

Monday - It's New Years Eve!  In the past we've had a couple different soups but I decided to change things up.  I'm leaning towards a simple stromboli/pizza for a "dinner".  Then we will have some snacks.  My mom is bringing a cheeseball and crackers, spinach dip and shrimp.  I haven't decided what I'm going to add to the table yet.  I was thinking of maybe some apples and dip or veggies and dip and just some regular cheese and crackers for all of the boys in the house.  Trying to keep it simple but enjoyable :-)

Tuesday - New Years Day!  I enjoy having a simple but nice "brunch" mid-morning.  Then I think a pork loin in the crock pot sounds good (and is easy!).  Along side we will have broccoli and rice casserole.

Wednesday - Leftovers :-)

Thursday  - BBQ Cups, Mac and Cheese, and Potato Salad.  Simple but good!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

Weekly Menu - a birthday and Christmas

In this weekly menu we celebrate Nate's birthday AND Christmas!  It's a busy but fun week.  I'm trying to keep the days not impacted by those events super simple!

Friday - Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

Saturday - it's Nate's birthday!  It's request for dinner is Pizza Hut :-)

Sunday - My mom is coming for Christmas!  We are going to celebrate Nate's birthday with her and my guess is we will end up at McDonald's or we will have Mac and Cheese at home - his choice!

Monday - It's Christmas Eve.  We enjoy snacks.  I have a few planned. We will enjoy our snacks around dinner time before heading to the Christmas Eve Service at church.  They also have some snacks after the service too.

Tuesday - It's Christmas!  I'm cooking a great ham dinner :-)

Wednesday - Leftovers :-)  I think there should be plenty to eat.

Thursday - Ham and scalloped potatoes and green beans

Super yummy all week long!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly Menu

It's almost Christmas which means it's almost the end of the year.  I'm not quite sure where 2018 went but it is about gone!  We've been pinching pennies and eating at home almost all of the time.  I guess having one vehicle helps too - I can't go anywhere during the day HA!  That's ok, this time of year there are better things to spend money on than eating fast food so we are doing fine! 

Here's the plan for the coming week.

Friday - Beef with mushrooms and snap peas and Fried Rice, and crescent rolls

Saturday - Stuffed Cabbage in the crock pot (I'm not sure why I only make this on St. Patrick's Day - I really love this recipe!), crash potatoes, and biscuits

Sunday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and corn.

Monday - Mac and Cheese and Corn Dogs

Tuesday - Ham and Cheese Quiche, Roasted Zucchini, and Cinnamon Rolls

Wednesday - Tacos

Thursday - I'm not sure.  I ran out of ideas HA!  Maybe leftovers or maybe I'll have made another run to the store and pick something else! 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Weekly Menu

We've been eating a lot of chicken :-)  That big family pack was on sale last week - it's amazing how far that big pack of chicken can stretch HA!  Actually, we had some great meals including Sweet and Sour Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken Parmesan, and Roasted Chicken and potatoes.  With that said, I'm ready for some beef :-)  For Real.

Here's the plan for the coming week:

Friday - Spaghetti with meat sauce and Garlic Bread

Saturday - Cheesy Enchilada Casserole, Rice and Beans and Salad

Sunday - Pork in the crock pot, Applesauce, Mashed Potatoes and Mac and Cheese

Monday - The plan is to go and see Santa tonight!  So, dinner will be quick and easy - Pulled Pork BBQ and Roasted Potatoes

Tuesday - Tacos!!

Wednesday - Pizza and Mac and Cheese

Thursday - Meatball Pizza Bake, Chips, and salad

Friday, November 30, 2018

Weekly Menu

My "after Thanksgiving" menu changed a little just due to leftovers and what I had in the freezer but for the most part things went as planned.  I seemed to shift from not cooking to cooking every meal as the weather turned into winter.  Apparently cooking is more fun when it's cold and snowy out (instead of when it is hot out and my kitchen becomes a, well, oven HA!) Here's the plan for the coming week.

Friday - Our town annual Christmas parade is tonight so dinner needs to be quick.  I'm thinking just Corn Dogs and Chips. 

Saturday - Breakfast.  French Toast Sticks, Eggs, Sausage, and Fried Potatoes

Sunday - Cranberry Chicken, Crash potatoes, and baked beans (left over from the other night)

Monday - Pulled BBQ Chicken and Fried Rice.

Tuesday - Tacos!

Wednesday - Chili and Spaghetti

Thursday - Amish baked chicken, Noodles, and Green Beans.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The "after the holiday" plan

This week will be simple!  (I hope!)

Friday - The plan is leftovers.  This is always "iffy" because you never know how much will really be left.  I'll make sure have something to add to dinner just in case there isn't enough of what is left (even like potatoes to do in the crock pot)

Saturday - Broccoli Cheese Soup with Ham Sammies.

Sunday - my mom is treating us :-)

Monday - Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread and green beans

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday :-)

Wednesday - Corn Dogs and Mac and Cheese

Thursday - Pork loin in the crock, Cheesy Potatoes and Cooked Carrots.

Friday, November 16, 2018

It's Thanksgiving!

I'm not completely ready for Thanksgiving.  It's a week "early" they year because of how the Thursday's fall in the month of December so I keep thinking we have one more week to go and, we don't!  (It gets made up for next year when it comes at the end of the month!).  Despite already having some snow, I'm still in "fall mode" and not quite ready for the holidays but, I guess I had better get ready!!  The days up to Thanksgiving are pretty quiet and I'll keep cooking pretty simple so I can prep for Thanksgiving dinner :-)

Friday - Hamburger Strogenoff, Noodles and cooked carrots

Saturday - Pork Chops, Fried Rice and Crescent Rolls

Sunday - Stuffed Shells, Green Beans, and garlic bread

Monday - Meatball Soup and yeast rolls

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday :-)

Wednesday - Stromboli and salad.  Quite a few years ago I wanted a "tradition" for dinner the night before Thanksgiving.  First, I did Lasagna because I could make it weeks before and freeze it - I didn't have to cook anything but having a heavy dinner the night before wasn't appealing after the first year. Instead I switched to Pizza.  It's a little more open ended with variety - some years I make homemade pizza, or we use store bought crust and add toppings or, like this year, I make my super simple Stromboli.  All the toppings can be prepped in advance so all

Thursday - It's Thanksgiving!  We are pretty traditional.  Every year, I spend some time scouring Pinterest for some new recipe to try and different ideas to add to our traditional Thanksgiving but I usually stick pretty close to what we always do.  Turkey, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Cranberries, Stuffing, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole, Mac and Cheese (for my mac and cheese lover!) and Squash.  I normally make sweet potato casserole but my father-in-law gave us some acorn squash so I thought it would be nice to cook it all up and use it for Thanksgiving.  I might divide it in half - leave some plan for the realists in my family (Like my husband!) and doctor some up like my Sweet Potato Casserole that I love!.  I do have a couple other ideas for a new side dishes to try but I haven't decided yet :-) Dessert - a few favorites like my wonderful pumpkin pie, a Cranberry Cake I tried last year and it was wonderful.  Then I usually like to add one other option :-)

As far as the rest of Thanksgiving day, I like to have something for breakfast.  When I went to the scrapbooking retreat a few weeks ago, someone made an overnight egg/sausage dish for breakfast and it was perfect so I think I'll put that in on Wednesday night so when everyone gets up on Thursday that can eat when they feel like.  Plus, Josh likes to make tortilla wraps so he can make those for our "snack".  :-)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Weekly Menu

I planned a beautiful menu last week based on some themes for each day and had every intention of cooking it until I forgot what I planned and changed it the first two days that then threw off the rest of the week HA!  Now, can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away?  I can't!  It's so early this year!! 

This week my kids are visiting their Grandparents for a few days which means I try to do less cooking but we are also down to one vehicle right now so that means that I'm stuck at home all three days they are gone HA!  I guess Darryl will have to bring home dinner a couple of nights ;-)

Here's the plan;

Friday - BBQ Cups and Mac and Cheese

Saturday - Tonight we will get something out - having one vehicle has limited my time to go to the store and we are running bare bones until I can go do shopping! 

Sunday - Corn Dogs, Bagel Bites, and Mac and Cheese - so whatever is in the fridge and freezer HA! 

Monday and Tuesday - The kids will be gone so Darryl and I will get something out.

Wednesday - the kids come home :-)  I never quite know when they will get home so I'll just have some chicken nuggets on hand in case they haven't eaten yet. 

Thursday - It's Taco Time.  It's been a few weeks since we've had Tacos !

It's a pretty easy week which is nice since I'm planning out Thanksgiving Dinner! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Weekly Menu

Can you believe that it is November?  I can't.  For real.  I mean, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and I haven't even thought about it yet.  I host, which I enjoy.  I also have my menu and plan down pretty well which is nice too.  Plus - it's just all so good!  But, we have to eat between now and then so here's my menu plan for the coming week.

Friday - Chicken and Dumplings.  A Long time favorite of both Darryl and mine.  My kids are not fans though so I'll toss some Chicken nuggets in the oven :-)

Saturday - Our plan is to have a camp fire so I'd like to have hot dogs and smores.  The catch?  Neither of my crazy kids will eat hot dogs HA!  The boys have taken a class in our co-op about Camp Survival skills and have cooked things over a fire but they haven't been fans of any of it !  So they might just get lunchables ;-)

Sunday - Shredded Pork Loin, Amish Noodles and Green Beans.

Monday - It's Meatless Monday so lets try Roasted Vegetable Tortellini Bake and French Bread

Tuesday - For Taco Tuesday I'm going to try a Taco Bake with salad rice and beans .

Wednesday - Today is Asian Wednesday so I'm going to Make Asian Meatballs and Fried Rice

Thursday - Deconstructed Sheet Pan Teriyaki Beef Kabobs, Squash, and Mac and Cheese (For Sheet pan dinner Thursday!)

(You may notice themes this week - I found the idea on a Pinterest site and figured it might give me some inspiration for the week!)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Weekly Menu

Blah.  That's what my cooking has been lately.  We are in the season of life where my kids have limited tastes and cooking just isn't fun like it used to be. I don't really want to spend an hour working on a meal that no one likes!  So that means meal planning isn't quite as fun as it used to be either but meal planning must still happen so it is!

Friday - Friday School wipes me out so I have to keep it simple - I picked up a package of Sliced Turkey w/gravey to serve with Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing mix and green beans.

Saturday - Pulled Pork in the crock pot, Crash Potatoes, Mac and Cheese and homemade applesauce

Sunday - Beef Tips and Noodles in the crock, and Roasted Asparagus

Monday - Enchiladas :-) And all the typical Miexian fixin's

Tuesday - Stromboli and Salad

Wednesday - It's HALLOWEEN!  Dinner needs to be easy and quick for sure!  So, I think that stuffed Shells, Green Beans and Garlic Bread goes with the day

Thursday - Piano lesson night means we eat in shifts based on when everyone is home.  So, I've found that tacos keep it easy.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Our Week in Photos #49

Here's a look back at our week!

 I spent the weekend at the Lakeshore enjoying some time scrapbooking.  I finished two big projects that I have put off for a long, long time and also organized my paper!!  Plus I did some other scrapbooking too.  
 On Thursday we went to the  Library for their Homeschool program.  The boys learned some things about Africa and made these bongo drums. 

 Afterwards I took some photos.  I have to turn some photos in for their school yearbook.  I like these but might try one more set while they are in their dress shirts so hopefully on Monday. 

And, of course Friday school.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Weekly Menu

I did cook last week :-)  I just ran out of time to post.  I got to enjoy last weekend away and so did the kids so it was a nice break for everyone.

This week brings a birthday for a special 10 year old!  Where does the time go?

Friday - Sloppy Joes, Baked Beans and French Fries

Saturday - Dinner out with my mom for Josh's birthday - don't be jealous Josh picked Burger King HA!

Sunday - Zuppa Soup and French Bread

Monday - Josh's Birthday!  He has requested pizza :-)

Tuesday - Enchiladas, Rice and Beans and Salad

Wednesday - Steak (maybe? ), Crash potatoes and CHicken Nuggets

Thursday - Pulled Pork BBQ, Baked Beans and Mac and Cheese

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Our Week in Photos #48

Here's a look at our week - it's been a busy one!

We spent the first part of the week in Mackinaw for a fun getaway with my mom.  We all love Mackinaw and Josh really wanted to go since we haven't gone in a few years. 

One of the big things Josh wanted to do for his birthday (which is still over a week away) was to go swimming at both the indoor splash parks in Mackinaw.  So, we arrived Sunday and went to the first on Sunday evening.  What we didn't know is that both water parks were going to change their schedules to only being open on Friday and Saturday starting the following day.  Needless to say, I had one very, very sad boy on Monday when we couldn't go to either park!  Truth be told, I wasn't happy either.  
 We had a great view of the Lake out our window! 
 One of the favorite thing to do is to feed the seagulls (don't judge!)  They will take food right out of your hand so we are not the only people that feed them ;-) 

 On Monday, we started our day by doing some shopping on Main Street in the city.  We then headed to the Bridge park to skip stones and walk under the bridge.  

 We crossed the bridge and drove through St. Ignace (the boys declared it boring!) and had lunch at Big Boy.  Yes, we had some fun with the big statues outside first. 

 Thanks to my mom, we got to go to Mackinaw Island on Tuesday.  It was a completely 100% foggy ride so we didn't get to see much going to the island but it burned off once we got there for the most part.  Darryl and the boys rented bikes and rode to Arch Rock where they also climbed the 250+ steps to the top.  My mom and I enjoyed wandering down main street. 

 We enjoyed a shortened day at Friday school because . . .. ..

 I was headed to my annual Scrapbooking Conference by the Lakeshore!  Yeah!  A great break for me and I have 5 projects I'm hoping to get done (and one is almost done which is far faster than I anticipated!!) 
While I'm away, the boys are hanging out at my mom's house.  Molly loves Josh - yes, that is that big dog laying in Josh's lap HA!  

So that's our week! 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Our Week in Photos #47

Here's what we did this past week!

We had a great family day on Saturday.  We got some things done and then had our first bonfire of the season that evening.  It was a great fire.  We also set off our last "big" firework left over from 4th of July. 

On Sunday we attended another of Darryl's concerts.  This one was at the Drive-in Church.  Yes, it's just like a drive-in - you park in the lot, tune in with your radio and go to church in your car.  

And this happened this week.  What's that you ask?  The boys learned to tie shoes.  Don't judge.  My kids haven't had tie shoes until this summer (Nate) and Josh just got his a few weeks ago.  Before that they had Velcro, Zippers, and runner ties that you just pull tight.  So, since they both have tie shoes - it was time.  This was a job I gave Darryl since I'm left handed and it is hard to teach this skill backwards :-)  I went to the laundromat and he taught them in a matter of 10 minutes how to do it.  I firmly believe that sometimes, waiting on a skill is better - instead of it taking hours of frustration and shoes always untied due to teaching a 5 year old, we waited and the boys had it down in 10 minutes and now tie there own all the time.  Amen and Amen. 
 This year, Josh has a book club for school where he has to read a book with his class and then they all discuss it together. Here he is reading with his best fat - Harley  That cat loves him even when he almost sits on top of him in the chair HA!
What else is happening?  Nate has taking a true interest in Football.  He heard about Fantasy football and got us all involved.  So all four of us have our own team in our family league and Nate is positive he will win.  Why?  He picked the top players for his team first.  We will see who wins this weekend! 
 Of course we end our weeks right now with Friday School.  This is Nate playing in gym - he is the kids in the front in the red jacket.  I love that he is loving being in gym. 
 The boys in their camping class (they are in the center of the photo - Josh in the yellow shirt and Nate facing the camera, kinda) 

 And their Jury Trials class.  This was a class that took them a while to like but now that it is week 4, they are actually enjoying it.  

So, that was our week.  Lots of school with some fun thrown in for good measure.