Friday, December 31, 2010

Recipes for the New Year

Andy and I usually do New Year's resolutions, however the resolutions are simple - Be simple. Be healthy. Be good stewards. We are just going to work on them the best we can, at a pace we can.
I am getting really giddy with excitment as all of my favorite whole foods blogs are posting their favorite recipes. So this post I am going to list all the recipes I want to try this year from some of my favorite blogs.

Kelly The Kitchen Kop
Kitchen Stewardship
Modern Alternative Mama
Naturally Knocked Up
 I am also going to be trying some recipes from Nourished Kitchen, Nourishing Gourmet and Tammy's Recipes.

Also, I am  going to try my hand my head at the "poo-less" world. Have you tried the no-poo (shampoo less) way of life?

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here We Go.... Menu Plan #1

Remember in this post how I got a little over-zealous and made a huge, exorbitant amount of goals? And then I got a little more realistic and wrote about how menu plans and eating at home are going to be my main focus?

Well here is my beginning attempt at menu planning and my journey to simply eating at home. To begin with, I am going to begin using recipes from others but will soon be coming up with some of my own and I will be posting them! :) Stay tuned!

I will posting breakfast and dinner menus for each day (we will be mostly eating leftovers for lunches), however I am posting lunch ideas for the next four days due to Andy having some time off.

Friday 12/31/10:
egg burrito casserole, fried apples (these ARE my recipes and I will be sharing them soon!)
ham and scalloped potatoes, peaches
Cousin Vinny's pizza for the New Year!

Saturday 1/1/11:
Grandma's house for New Year's brunch
BBQ pork, Hoppin' John, greens, grapes, New Year's Cake

Sunday 1/2/11:
oatmeal, fruit
taco nachos, salsa
roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans

Monday 1/3/11:
pancakes, blueberries, fried apples
soup, grilled cheese
ham, parsley potatoes, glazed carrots

Tuesday 1/4/11:
applesauce bread
white chicken chili, salad, corn bread

Wednesday 1/5/11:
eggs, smoothies, fruit
hamburgers, oven fries, salad

Thursday 1/6/11:
baked oatmeal
re-run/sandwiches/buffet nite

Friday 1/7/11:
sweet potato muffins
chicken and dumplings, salad

Saturday 1/8/11:
waffles, sausage
ham sandwiches, green beans, salad

What's cookin' in your kitchen? Any goals or resolutions that you are working on?

*This post is linked to MPM at Organized Junkie!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Struggle...

Have you ever had so much running through your mind and wanted to put it down on paper or type on your blog? Have you ever had a horrible time getting to the point where you can actually calm all your thoughts down enough to get there? I feel like that is constantly the point I am at these days. With that being said, here I go about trying ...

Once again, I am struggling with the situation of Dylan going to school in a public system. Actually to be quite honest, I am having a hard time with Dylan going to school at all. I am so confused on all the thoughts and convictions (I think!) going through my mind.

This past year, we sent Dylan to pre-k at a local preschool. My friend is the teacher and I really felt like I could control a little more. He has loved it and done great! However, I cannot shake the feeling that it was not as God wanted me to do. I sent him mostly because I was tired. I was tired of the continuous questions and fighting and most of all, I was tired - physically- from being pregnant. I was tired of trying to defend my homeschooling to my family and friends. I didn't think I could do it.

So I came up with all kinds of good reasons we should send him into the school system (I know that pre-k is not a huge thing but to me, it felt as if it was.). I even started trying to get Andy excited about potentially putting him in the school system permanently ( I am a planner..). All the while, once again, feeling God tell me it isn't His plan for my family.

I am struggling...

 How do I sort through all these voices in my head? How do I talk to Andy about homeschooling again? Will God provide the patience? How will I stand up to people in my life?

Questions... Questions... Questions...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Simply a SAHM?

I have been struggling with what it means to be a Godly wife, mother and homemaker as we have added another beautiful child to our family. I seem to always have a slight crisis when change happens within our family. I remembered this resource and how well it sums up the goals I have for my life as "just a SAHM".

So take a look... Read it and let me know your thoughts! How do you struggle or succeed in being a Godly wife, mother and homemaker?

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

We are truly blessed this year! I am wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2011!

Here are a few family pictures to give y'all a chuckle ... I love to leave people with a smile! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

What Works for You?

As I stated- menu planning is not something that I am good at doing. I do know, however, that if I do not have a plan in place, I don't cook. I never have the ingredients together or have the meat thawing. So menu planning is something in which I need to conquer.

With having another child, things are kind of hectic around here and often my thoughts of eating are when the boys are screaming they are hungry. That in mind, I sat down and wrote out a menu plan for the next two weeks.

Here it goes. There will also be some posts about some new adventures in our eating this week. We will be venturing out into the land of lentils... Yeah, we are a little late! :)

Monday - December 20
Italian Cream Cheese Casserole (First time using this recipe! I will let y'all know how it goes.)

Tuesday - December 21
Ham and scalloped potatoes, green beans

Wednesday - December 22
BBQ hamburger, oven fries, salad

Thursday - December 23
Pizza, carrots and salad

Friday - December 24
Food with Family!

Saturday - December 25
Christmas Day!

So what menu planning techniques are simple and work for you and your family? Do you cook ahead or plan ahead in any certain fashion?

This menu plan is linked to Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

High Ambitions

Well a week after being home, I can now tell you my thoughts on accomplishing four goals a month was just  too high of an ambition! 

I want the changes in simplifying our lives to be permanent. I want them to be life changing, not just fleeting passion or excitement. I want to make a difference in my family's lives. I want to change.

Therefore, I am amending my previous post. I am taking things slower- slow and steady wins the race! 

New goals... Rest of December... SURVIVE! I know many of you have or have more than three kids. While I am doing well, I am not a fan of change. I need to find my new "normal" and embrace it. 

January- I am going to be focusing on eating all meals at home and trying to find a menu plan that works for our family. Often, I think the idea of menu plans is a good idea and jump on the band wagon. And even more often, the way that someone suggests just isn't the right fit for me and my family. 

With that being said, I am going to be trying all different things dealing with menu planning and hopefully, if time allows, share them along the way.

After I master those two goals, I will move onto another goal. One thing I can tell you is that we are going to begin cloth diapering when Kristian is ready. I enjoy it and I enjoy sharing the "fluff" journey. So stay tuned. Take the ride to simplify with me! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simple Goals

I have been pondering just where I want to begin simplifying our lives. As I have sat here in mental debate, I have noticed one thing- many of the things in which we need to simplify in our family are linked...

Time/ Priorities
Food/ Eating Habits
Weight Management/Health

All of these categories are linked in our family. If we work on one, then all are affected. Therefore, I am going to begin listing the dates and areas we will be working on and you, as well as I will probably see more than one of the categories will benefit.

From December 15 through December 31st, we will begin working on:

Menu Planning
Eat at Home
Make the commitment to raw milk
Make Bread

These all appear to be dealing with eating habits but if you look more closely, you will see that each one, in some way or another, affects every category.

In January, we will be adding on to this list and will be reporting on how making those four small changes went for our family!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Blessings in Abundance!

We are so happy and blessed! Kristian Emery Davis was born Friday, December 10, 2010. He was 6 lbs. 11 oz. and 20.5 inches long.

My mom posted a verse last night that completely and totally summed up my heart at this time.. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)...  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Thank you for your continued support and prayer. Now on to the most fulfilling part- raising a child of God! :)

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Simply... Baby...

Andy and I are so grateful to be letting y'all know that we will be EXTREMELY busy the next few days.

What will we be doing you ask? I'm glad you asked!!

We will be welcoming our third child into the world. We are so excited and so blessed (now that the other kids are in bed and all the cleaning is done! :)). Please stay tuned for updates and pictures!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simple Reminder

This is a re-post of an entry written on my other blog. It is very much true today as it was then. Andy's job is still super stressful and at times almost unbearable. To top it off, it has been hard for him to concentrate as I have been at home having problems with the boys and being in pain with the one on his way. I have not done my best at these things and I am posting this as a reminder more for myself than my friends and readers. Remember, dear friends, how blessed we are to serve our husbands from home, even if at times, it feels tiring and monotonous. 

This was written November 16, 2009....

This post serves two purposes, to inform you all of Andy's job situation (and how grateful we are!) and how I feel it is best to help our husbands.

This past week Andy called and I could tell by his voice that something was amiss. "Things are bad here today," was all he said. The kids were screaming and the first time I didn't hear him. The poor guy had to repeat it again.

Last year, to the day were the first layoffs at Evenflo. They let forty people go. This week when they let people go, there were only nine, but they were all in Andy's division. People that he worked close with and had formed friendship were there one second and they no longer had employment the next.

I (along with Andy) am extremely grateful that Andy still has employment. It is being said that Andy's division will no longer have layoffs but there will be more in other areas.

The job field and work force are extremely difficult right now. The area we live in is said to only get worse before it gets better. There is a lot of unemployment. Many of our friends and family members have been jobless for six months or more, some even longer than a year.

We feel very blessed to still have income and are doing our best to help those around us. This week as I prayed for my husband's job, I felt God speaking to me. There are many things I can be doing to help my husband and the Lord put those on my heart.

Bathe your husband in prayer.
When we wake in the morning, when we go to bed at night, while our husbands are at work, we should be bathing them in prayer. As I said above, the workplace is a very stressful environment. With all the layoffs, there is a lot of work being put on the people that still have jobs. They have to do their job as well as others. In my husband's company, they have made it abundantly clear that if you complain, have a bad attitude or do not earn your keep, you are in danger of losing your job. There can be no mistakes, no bad days, nothing. You have to be on your toes. When this is your job environment, you have to count your blessings and do the best you can. Keep a smile on your face, not complain and perservere. Therefore, as wives, we should be praying continually over our husbands mind and emotions while he is at his workplace.

Be good stewards.
I know that my husband is working hard for the money that is brought home. Therefore, I should be doing my best to spread a dollar as far as I can. I should be spending less and saving more. I should be paying off debt instead of going on shopping sprees. We should be eating at home more and spending more time doing activities that do not cost as much. And, in my opinion the most important (I have stated how I stand on being God's messenger) is tithing. When we tithe, we give God what is rightfully His and He knows our heart and blesses us. When we give our tithe first, God is faithful and our needs are met. Therefore, tithe should be one of the first steps toward being good stewards with our husband's income.

Keep everyone healthy.
When we keep our families healthy, our husband does not have to worry about what is going on at home and it also keeps him in top physical condition. When our husbands are sick, it is harder for them to work their best and have a good frame of mind and spirit. When everyone is healthy, it also saves money but not having to seek medical intervention or help. We also do not have to buy products that aid in making us well. As mothers, we can keep our family healthy by teaching proper hand washing to our children (and enforce it!), take vitamins, and eat healthy food. When our bodies are in top running condition, we are more likely to fight off illness.

Take care of our home.
My husband does not mind if he comes home to a dirty house (or so he says!) but I can tell it is taxing on him to try and relax in a cluttered and uninviting environment. Therefore, I try and always have our home at least picked up when I know he is almost home. It doesn't mean that I thoroughly clean my home everyday, but it does mean that there are not dirty clothes on the couch where he comes to sit.

Take care of the children.
Our kids are very important to my husband and me. I know when I used to work and Andy had Dylan at home, it would have been very upsetting if I had to worry about whether Dylan was properly take care of. I never had to. If there is an obedience problem at home or there is sickness, I try not to call and vent to Andy. He has his own problems to deal with at work, he should have not have to hear about what is going on at home. He is at work, there is nothing he can do but worry and be anxious. Therefore, I try and keep my job at home MY job.

I also never threaten the boys with "just wait until your dad gets home!". That does two things, one it makes a hostile environment for Andy to come home to and second, it undermines my authority. The boys do not take my seriously. So when there is a problem at home I do not call Andy and I handle it myself.

Be dressed.
When Andy gets home, I always have all of us dressed. How disheartening would it be to get up early, work hard all day and then come home and see the rest of your family still in their PJ's? I, for one, would not be happy!

Love them when they return home.
Now I am going to admit, I am not a touchy feely, lovey type person. However, I always try to greet my husband with a kiss and a hug when he gets home. I want him to know that I missed him and I am grateful for him. I also try and show my love by having dinner on the table or almost there. He is hungry for food, love and appreciation and time to relax. I try to help with all those.

Thank him.
Thank him for being the provider and leader of the home. Let him know you appreciate him and do not take him for granted. This makes him feel good about spending time and energy. It gives him a sense of purpose and it tells him that he is loved and admired.

This post is linked to Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers. I am so grateful that the Lord brought us through this difficult time. Some of our friends and family have jobs now but our area is still very depressed and we still have friends losing jobs. Thought, I am so entirely grateful that the Lord is faithful and provides strength and peace.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Simply Read...

There are A LOT of awesome resources out there that are inspirational and help you keep simplicity in mind. I find the more I keep up to date on reading some of these, the more in touch I am with who I am moving toward.

The trick is to not get boggled down and spend a lot of time on the computer. I know a trick that has been working for me lately is to set a goal of finishing something (within reason) such as unloading the dishwasher and after the goal is accomplished, I allow myself to sit down for an allotted amount of computer time. Two things are accomplished with just a little motivation, actually more - I enjoy reading these blogs, I motivate myself into doing something that I really would rather not do, I find good information and tips and I work towards something that is important to me.

Therefore, I am going to do something that I have never done. I am going to start a list on the right side of the blog which shows all the blogs that I look into on a daily basis. Some are spiritual information, some are food and natural living inspiration and some I just enjoy. So.. How about you take a looksy?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful (insert Stressful) Time of the Year...

Does it aggrivate anyone else that the most simple holiday has turned into the most hectic, hairy raising holiday? One that has so little to actually do with us, has us running to the stores getting the best gifts for our family?

How did a holiday in which we should be only focusing on the ULTIMATE gift of all time turn into such a self-centered, people pleasing mess?

This is a picture of my all time favorite Christmas decoration. I am hoping and praying that in this season I will keep my eye on the ultimate reason for the season. And just to let you know, if you have already found the secret for telling family "no" and not buying the coolest, most expensive gifts PLEASE let me know! :)

*Disclaimer* This post was written in hopes that next year, when all these senseless, stressful things come up that I feel I MUST do, I remember how I feel in the midst of the season. ;)
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