Monday, January 31, 2011

Gratituesday: Sickness

I can hear you now... "What Jodi? You're grateful for sickness? Are you sick in the head?". Now hold on, wait a second, give me a chance to explain. I know it is weird to be thankful for sickness but I think that it was a blessing from God.

I think it was just what our family needed - myself especially included.

I'll give you the run down:

We had vacation in October with me being nine months pregnant. We had Thanksgiving and all the "getting ready" you do for having a baby in November. I, dragging my husband and boys along, worked hard and ran myself down keeping up with all the "normal" Holiday activities. We welcomed another member into our family right before Christmas. Then, once again, I ran us all ragged trying to do every. stinkin'. Christmas. activity we have always done. We then jumped into trying to keep up with our normal day to day stuff while trying to recover and get back to the grind.

I never once allowed us time to recoup and get our feet back on the ground. We were tired. We were worn down. It's no wonder we all welcomed every virus and illness into our bodies. We had nothing to fight with.

I declared last week, quarantine week only allowing Andy to go to work. Then Friday we found out it's not just the cold I thought it was. It was strep. Finding that out as well as that we were contagious, I designated last weekend "nobody in, nobody out" weekend.

We spent the weekend cleaning, getting our barrings straight, resting, watching movies... All things our family really needed. Time spent at home. Time just being.

So this week, I am grateful for the sickness which brought us much needed time at home.

What are you thankful this week? Take time to think about it, write about it (if you don't have a blog, post it in the comments section) and visit Laura and tell her and others all about it.

Tex Mex Dip

One of our favorite party foods is Tex Mex dip.

It is so delicious but let me warn you- this is a party food that you want to eat when the crowd is small... Get my drift (punt intended)?! Oh my, can you tell I live in a house full of males? Once- insert funny, awkward story- we invited a new couple over after church and I had prepared this Tex Mex dip and it was really, really uncomfortable (literally and figuratively). Believe it or not, they stayed at our church and we became good friends. Funny story- huh?

Tex Mex Dip

1 cup water
6 tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning or 2 packets (need a recipe for homemade?)
1 pound ground beef
16 ounce crushed tomatoes (if using homemade canned tomatoes, omit water and use 1 quart tomatoes)
1 can chili beans (or soaked kidney beans with spices)
1/2 cup quick rice
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup cheese
sour cream
corn chips or tortillas

Brown ground beef. Stir in water, seasoning, tomatoes, beans, rice, chili powder and garlic salt. Cook 20 minutes on medium; stirring occasionally. Top with cheese and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole,  chips or tortillas.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Plan #3: January 30 - February 5

When I came across this picture, three things came to mind... One- Goodness woman! Clean up your dining room!  Two- Look at all that plastic your child is eating off and with!  And three- Look how sweet and innocent my little baby looks! Can you believe how big he's gotten (and um.a.. gooberish!)!

With that little stroll down memory lane behind us, let's move on to the menu plan - shall we?

As promised, I am incorporating breakfasts and lunches into the plan. I just cannot begin to convey just how much menu plan has improved the daily operating system at my home!

Sunday- January 30:
eggs, toast
sloppy Joe's, oven fries, peas, pears
chicken pot pie, pears

Monday- January 31:
oatmeal, toast
chicken divine, salad
chili red, grilled chicken sandwiches

Tuesday- February 1:
eggs, toast
re-run sloppy Joe's, oven fries
pot roast, potatoes, carrots, salad

Wednesday- February 2:
French toast
shredded chicken sandwiches, salad
crock-pot potato, chicken and corn chowder, salad, bread

Thursday- February 3:
oatmeal, toast
pizza, fruit
re-runs buffet style

Friday- February 4:
pancake and sausage muffins
chicken quesadillas, rice, beans

Saturday- February 5:
Daddy's dirty eggs, toast
bean soup, corn bread, salad
cheddar ranch burgers, fries, baked beans

Know what happens next Sunday? I barely do. I used to be such an avid football fan but with the kids and a husband that hears "football" and thinks "soccer", I hardly EVER get the chance to watch any. However, with the Super Bowl comes some yummy foods and sometimes (used to be Always!) some good commercials.  I just can't resist. This week I will be sharing some recipes. Some Super Bowl favorites and some easy tried and true dinners and desserts. Check back daily!

*This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.*

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Homemaking Binder

Do you have a hard time keeping your home from falling around you? Too many papers, not enough organization? Do you forget where your head is and often feel like a chicken running around trying to catch it? Perhaps you have too many irons in the fire and not enough memory space to remember where you are supposed to be going? Maybe you have young children and the last thing you want to do is try to remember what you are supposed to be having for dinner and guess what! It's four o'clock and hubby is on his way home? 

This was my life before I came upon the idea for a homemaking binder. Some call it a homekeeper's guide. Some call it a Brain Binder. Me? I call it priceless. Without it, I am lost. I remember five years ago, when I was still trying to fine tune my organizational book, we were moving and my notebook got lost in the shuffle. I searched and then actually mourned when I couldn't find it. Ask my husband. He was quite annoyed!

Now five years later with a house twice the size and twice as many kids running around under foot, betcha bootie - I know where my homemaking binder is! I rely on it daily and I know my husband truly appreciates the small sanity it brings to me daily! :) 

There are often times, such as when my kids were sick during the past few weeks, when my house and organization and routine has gone such awry that I just do not know where to begin. Times such as these are when I search out my binder and just pick right up on what I am supposed to be doing. Now do not get me wrong, there are many days in which I just want to throw the binder out the door and go back to bed but it is an awesome tool which makes me feel as if I am maximizing me day and glorifying God through taking care of my family. 

Today I want to share with you my homemaking binder. This binder is many years of trial and error. What works for me might now work for you. I encourage you to begin a home  management and tune it to fit you and your family's needs. (I adore all lists and organizational plans!

What you see when you open the binder. Family... Need I say more?

My Mission Statement and verses in which remind me to remember my statement. 

 This page is a nice little reference you can find at Karen Ehman's page .

This is the routines and schedules part of my binder. Here are  couple of pages in mine.
 My cleaning routine and schedules are next.
This is my menu planning and food notes area in my binder.
This is where I keep a quick idea of what food I need to buy.
 I like to keep all previous menu plans for rotating and ideas.
 Special food instructions.
 This area holds all things revolving around my kids - lost teeth, potty training, etc.

In this section, I also keep my prayer and praise journal. 
As many of you know, the Lord has placed adoption on our hearts. 

 This is were I keep all gardening notes.

This is just a small peek into the homemaking binder. To show and explain every part of it would take so much time. Instead take some pictures of your homemaking binder and join the fun Monday, January 31st over at Life As Mom!



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yet Another Post...

Have I mentioned just how much I now adore menu planning? Do you know how much easier life has been since I have truly embraced the power of menu planning? It took a while but I finally figured out just worked for me and my family.

The month of January we have been eating out of our freezer. We have a crazy amount of food in our home. Here are a couple of pictures of just how much we had in our freezers.

With eating solely from the freezer, we knocked the above pictures of our freezers (I believe our freezers were even more stocked that that!) to these pictures...

I know that it does not look like a huge dent but we now have all the meat in the inside freezer and all the frozen juice, cheese and veggies in the outside freezer. We have saved a TON of money this month and we are trucking away at trying to eat all the freezer foods. 

It's amazing just how easy it is to eat at home when you have a plan in place. I have rarely missed running out for a bite to eat. We have had tons of sickness and such so before my menu plan, we would have most likely eaten out most meals. I cannot begin to reiterate just how awesome it has been to have all our food needs right at our finger tips. I am sure that it will also play a huge role in helping us overcome our illness.

The next Menu Plan Monday, I will be adding breakfasts and lunches as well since things have been going so well with planning dinners!

Do you menu plan? How has it made an impact in your days? Do you find it a help or a hinder?

*This post has been linked to Frugal Fridays.*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Right - Hand Men....

I'm not really sure that these can be classified as "men" but I'm so very sure that in this season of my life I could not live without them!

In my last post tried to convey just how sickly the littles in my home have been and just how much puke and snot I have been cleaning up. Buckets of puke and boxes of snotty tissues and crying and whining and oh.. wait I will get back to the scheduled post...

Also, I have often alluded to the fact I am totally and awesomely in love with all things natural. It all started ... Okay. I digress yet again. That is another story for another day.

Back to my two right - hand men...

I am one of those people who grew up in a home where bleach was used on all and everything. "Bleach it!" was my dad's motto for everything. Therefore, when I think clean I think bleach. If it doesn't have that strong smell, it isn't clean. As you can guess, bleach and asthmatics do not go hand and hand. I had to find something which was natural and safe for my home and children as well as give me the peace of "smelling clean". Enter - Basic- G.

Basic-G is a  germicidal cleaner. It is an EPA-registered product that cleans, disinfects and deodorizes like no other product I know. Basic -G effectively kills nearly 50 known pathogens, i.e. Salmonella, Candida, Fungi, Staph, E.Coli, Herpes, and HIV 1; in pet areas, it destroys Feline Leukemia and Rabies. Basic-G is highly concentrated; it only takes ½ ounce/gal of water. Basic G is the most economical product out there!

I also have come to adore BioKleen Bac-Out. It has been such a blessing on all the sheets and clothes which are housing nasty stains from uh.. hm.. giving your child grapes before a huge vomiting session. Besides it's stain taking out ability, Bac-Out also neutralizes odor. I can spray it and let the dirty sheets and clothing lay on the floor without wanting to puke myself due to the awful smell. How awesome is that?

These two products have saved our clothes and sheets, floors and stairs and will, hopefully, eventually help us turn our germ environment around! Not only have they saved material things, these products have saved Mama's sanity and that my friends is a Thing that I love!

*Shaklee and BioKleen have not given me any perks for writing this post. I just want to get the word out on these awesome products. This post is linked to Things I love Thursday. *

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When Real Life Hits...

I am dealing with reality right now- the reality of having three young children and all the germs and viruses winter brings.

My reality at this point:
  • Puke and Puke buckets
  • Snot and sneezes
  • Potty training gone off course
  • Crying babies
  • Fighting brothers
  • Tired worn out husbands
  • Sleep deprived mothers
  • Too cold of temps to send the boys outside
  • A terribly messy home 
And the list goes on and on ... Today I thought I would share one little tip I am learning.


Scratch that.. Don't just survive. Enjoy. Remember these days are fleeting.

I will be back when I have a moments peace. Hopefully tomorrow. Maybe not for eighteen years. BUT I will be back! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

REAL Me Monday: January 10, 11

So... Do you have your Christmas decorations down? Or are you still holding on to the Christmas spirit just a little? Here at our home... Our Christmas tree and decorations and lights and blow up decorations in our yard.. are still up. Now it needs to be said that we just had our last Christmas activity last weekend, but still... How am I going to get things back to normal with the kids if I refuse to take down the decorations?

Here is a picture we took this past weekend - Lincoln is pretending to cry like Kristian and Andy is trying to console Kristian but in the corner you can see the beautiful Christmas tree.

How about you all? Are you super woman and have all your Christmas decorations? I bet your the type that has your house is cleaned too! :) 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Plan #2


We finally had our LAST Christmas celebration this weekend. My babies are worn out! It has been so nice to have a menu plan and know what we are going to be eating. We have done so well these past weeks. I am so proud of us! (I think it helps that our children are at the "embarrass you too death when your out in public" phase.) 

So here goes our next menu plan...

Sunday 1/9/11:
baked oatmeal
sausage pizza
Italian pasta bake, salad, bread

Monday 1/10/11:
yoghurt smoothies
chicken noodles, dinner rolls, salad

Tuesday 1/11/11:
pancakes, fried apples
sloppy cornbread, oven fries, peas, salad

Wednesday 1/12/11:
cinnamon toast
chicken tenderloins, corn, green beans

Thursday 1/13/11:
eggs, fruit

Friday 1/14/11:
pumpkin bread
pepper steak, brown rice, broccoli

Saturday 1/15/11:
cheesy sausage stomboli, hashbrowns, carrots

What's cookin' in your kitchen this week? 

*This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday. * 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gratituesday: A Grateful 2010 Year in Review!

This past year our family has been blessed abundantly! God is ever faithful and I love that He knows the plans for our life and family!

January '10 - We were blessed with a mild winter but even more blessed to have a roof over our head. After a lot of lay-offs in our family and community (it's still bad around these parts but getting much better!), I felt blessed beyond words to be able to heat our home and even have one!

February '10 - We always try to have an exciting Valentine's day in which we show each other how much we love each other but last year's Valentine's day was very special!

March '10 - We began planning our garden. This is always an exciting time for me. I just love thinking about the nutritious foods which we harvest in the fall!

April '10 - We celebrating our son, Lincoln's 2nd birthday as well as remembered the amazing gift Jesus Christ gave for us, His life!

May '10 - We found out we were expecting baby #3. We were so exciting for God's plan and direction for our family. Andy and I also celebrated our four year anniversary!

June '10 - We celebrated our son, Dylan's, fifth birthday!

July '10 - We had GREAT summer weather here in Ohio and enjoyed it to its fullest!

August '10 - It's a BOY! We learn we are welcoming Davis Boy #3!

September '10 - Dylan started preschool and though I am not sure public schooling is in God's plan for us, he is really enjoying this year!

October '10 - October was an exciting and busy month! I turned the big *26*! Sigh... My dad turned *50*. And to top it off we went on vacation and had a fun Halloween trick or treat at the hotel- going door to door!


November '10 - We enjoyed a wonderful time of Thanksgiving with family and friends!

December '10 - We welcomed Kristian Emery Davis into our family and had a blessed Christmas season!

 This past year we have had many great blessings! How has the Lord blessed you and yours? For more stories of gratitude check out Gratituesday!
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