Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meal Planning - Conquered!

#1 This may not work for you...
#2 But it sure is working for me!

A Month's Meals

Why? - Because I was failing to get a decent supper on the table for my children.
There was too much fast food, too many grilled cheese sandwiches, and too many evenings when I thought, "Maybe they just won't notice if I don't serve supper, and we can skip right on to the bedtime snack."
Doubly sad because I actually love to cook.
Triply sad because I thought it would be easier with the hubby out of town...I mean, the kids don't care if we eat meat or not, and they don't mind having lasagna three nights in a row!  In reality, it was harder because I lacked motivation, and I REALLY lacked time to actually plan a meal.

The Solution - I kept trying to plan for a week, try some new recipes, make out detailed shopping lists, and on and on, but nothing worked, so I did it my ya go:

{BUT FIRST, a little explanation...this is meant to be very flexible, more like a starting point.  There's still room for creativity and changes of plan, but it at least guarantees you'll have the basics in your fridge and cabinet when it comes time to cook.  Fill it in with meals that your family eats. (Click the links on mine for some yummy recipes.)  I pull this list out before I hit the grocery store, make some notes on the side of staples we need, and buy for the next two weeks.  So far the only extra shopping I've had to do is for milk, bread, and eggs.  Notice that I've even scheduled the times we will eat out...I made it work for our schedule.} 

Here's the plan:

Week 1
Sunday - Long John Silver's (King's request...he'd eat it every week, I say once a month)
Monday - grilled chicken/veggies (Here's where you can be creative.  Make whatever variation of chicken and veggies you please!)
Tuesday - lasagna
Wednesday - pasta (Another chance for improv.)
Thursday - pizza (We always grab a "Hot and Ready" after gymnastics.)
Friday - leftovers/my pizza (Pizza again?? I know. Whole wheat crust makes me think it's healthy.)
Saturday - fish/veggies (Salmon's a fave, but fish sticks are an option. ;) )
Week 2
Sunday - roast
Monday - chicken casserole
Tuesday - Zaxby's
Wednesday - pasta
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - BBQ

Week 3
Sunday - breakfast (mmm...I love breakfast for Sunday lunch. :) )
Monday - grilled chicken/veggies
Tuesday - tacos
Wednesday - Chic-fil-a
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - fish/veggies

Week 4
Sunday - chili (The kids actually eat more cornbread than chili, but it's a good slowcooker meal.)
Monday - chicken stirfry
Tuesday - hotdogs
Wednesday - pasta
Thursday - pizza
Friday - leftovers/my pizza
Saturday - SOMETHING NEW (I'm making these this month)
I know this isn't a plan for everyone, but to a mama with a bunch of picky eaters this has been a life saver.  Maybe it will help you too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Pep Talk

#1 God hears
#2 God cares

As I was slowly rolling toward bed last night I was praying to God.
I was praying for a pep talk.
I wanted to quit...just quit.
I knew I needed encouragement...from somewhere.

The answer:

A good, strange day.
I was so busy...ran long, went to Bible study, drove the kids to and fro, dropped stuff at the consignment sale, etc...and I really didn't talk to anyone more than a sentence or two (except for the children, which is nonstop). 
Weird...not talking to anyone, I was strange that I hadn't.  None of the few sentences that were spoken were meaningful either.  (Well, the conversations with the kids were meaningful, but not in the "pep talk" way I needed.  And my dad did text "your almost there" when I told him about my run, which was nice. But that was the extent of my conversations.)

The Lord decided to give me a pep talk straight from Him today, and I'm glad:

I heard just what I needed at Bible study.  From Isaiah 12:
“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”
That was all I needed...and to top it off the chapter goes on to say:
 Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
The Lord reminded me of my mission.  To "make known His deeds" to those around "make them remember that His name is exalted."

Then he gave me a breath of fresh air...when we got in the car one of my favorite song was playing:
And then...just to seal the deal...He let me have a moment to sit in the sunshine, in the grass!  I love sitting in the grass, but our grass is loaded with ants so it doesn't happen.  The Lord knows these things about us, so while we were out and waiting for King to finish run club, I soaked it in.  Thank you's the smallest gifts that can mean so much!